The death of film and TV star Bill Paxton has hit the Hollywood community hard Sunday, just as the Academy Awards is expected to deliver one of the most somber In Memoriam segments in recent history, due to the passings of many celebrities in the past year.
Several of Paxton's co-stars and colleagues have spoken out to pay their respects to the actor, including his longtime friend James Cameron, who directed Paxton in The Terminator, Aliens, True Lies and Titanic.
"I've been reeling from this for the past half hour, trying to wrap my mind and heart around it. Bill leaves such a void," Cameron said in a statement to Vanity Fair. "He and I were close friends for 36 years, since we met on the set of a Roger Corman ultra-low budget movie. He came in to work on set, and I slapped a paint brush in his hand and pointed to a wall, saying 'Paint that!' We quickly recognized the creative spark in each other and became fast friends. What followed was 36 years of making films together, helping develop each others projects, going on scuba diving trips together, watching each others kids growing up, even diving the Titanic wreck together in Russian subs. It was a friendship of laughter, adventure, love of cinema, and mutual respect. Bill wrote beautiful heartfelt and thoughtful letters, an anachronism in this age of digital shorthand. He took good care of his relationships with people, always caring and present for others. He was a good man, a great actor, and a creative dynamo. I hope that amid the gaudy din of Oscar night, people will take a moment to remember this wonderful man, not just for all the hours of joy he brought to us with his vivid screen presence, but for the great human that he was.
The world is a lesser place for his passing, and I will profoundly miss him."
Paxton's Apollo 13 co-star Tom Hanks wrote on Twitter, "Bill Paxton was, simply, a wonderful man. A wonderful man." Their Apollo 13 director Ron Howard called his death "crushing."
Bill Paxton was, simply, a wonderful man. A wonderful man... Hanx.— Tom Hanks (@tomhanks) February 26, 2017
Paxton's Frank & Jesse co-star Rob Lowe paid digital tribute to the actor as well, writing, "Devastated by the sudden loss of my close friend and one of the finest actors in the business, Bill Paxton. Renaissance man, raconteur and uniquely American national treasure. His filmography speaks for itself. His friendship was a blessing. My love to Bunny, James and Lydia. In his memory, on this Oscar Sunday, watch One False Move or A Simple Plan to see this lovely leading man, at his finest."
Devastated by the sudden loss of my close friend and one of the finest actors in the business, Bill Paxton. Renaissance man, raconteur and— Rob Lowe (@RobLowe) February 26, 2017
uniquely American national treasure. His filmography speaks for itself. His friendship was a blessing. My love to Bunny, James and Lydia.— Rob Lowe (@RobLowe) February 26, 2017
In his memory, on this Oscar Sunday, watch "One False Move" or "A Simple Plan" to see this lovely leading man, at his finest.— Rob Lowe (@RobLowe) February 26, 2017
Twister co-star Cary Elwes wrote that he was "Very sad to hear about Bill Paxton. His talent, enthusiasm and energy were unique. Our thoughts are with his family," while Helen Hunt said he "made this movie great."
Very sad to hear about Bill Paxton. His talent, enthusiasm and energy were unique. Our thoughts are with his family pic.twitter.com/W4IVuILHxv— Cary Elwes (@Cary_Elwes) February 26, 2017
He made this movie great--he acted his heart out. What a talented man. My thoughts are with his family. pic.twitter.com/rUcmmYME3h— Helen Hunt (@HelenHunt) February 26, 2017
Meanwhile, his Mighty Joe Young co-star Charlize Theron wrote, "You were a great friend to me, Bill. AND one of the finest actors to share a set with. Sending so much love to Bill Paxton's family."
You were a great friend to me, Bill. AND one of the finest actors to share a set with. Sending so much love to Bill Paxton's family.— Charlize Theron (@CharlizeAfrica) February 26, 2017
Arnold Schwarzenegger, who co-starred with Paxton in The Terminator and True Lies, said the actor "could play any role, but he was best at being Bill — a great human being with a huge heart."
Bill Paxton could play any role, but he was best at being Bill - a great human being with a huge heart. My thoughts are with his family.— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) February 26, 2017
Ron Perlman, who'd shared the screen with Paxton in 1995's dark comedy The Last Supper, also shared a recent picture with the actor, writing that he was "alive as can be" when it was taken and that his loss is "unprocessable."
This picture was taken 2 months ago. As you can see, Bill was alive as alive can be. Losing him is a gut punch. Unprocessable. Rest easy b.. pic.twitter.com/wDXt15jJr9— Ron Perlman (@perlmutations) February 26, 2017
Bill was with his wife for 30 years. If that don't tell ya sumthin....— Ron Perlman (@perlmutations) February 26, 2017
Flights of angels sweet prince...
Big Love co-star Aaron Paul also shared a touching tribute on Twitter as well, writing, "Bill Paxton was hands down one of the greatest guys that I have ever met. I feel lucky to have called him my friend. Bill, I love you. RIP."
Bill Paxton was hands down one of the greatest guys that I have ever met. I feel lucky to have called him my friend. Bill, I love you. RIP.— Aaron Paul (@aaronpaul_8) February 26, 2017
The Twitter tributes to Bill have poured in from all across Tinseltown, with one message seeming to be most common among them: He was a great actor and person who will be sincerely missed.
Just heard the so so sad news about my pal #BillPaxton. So talented, special and the sweetest guy you'd ever want to meet. RIP my friend.— Paul Reiser (@PaulReiser) February 26, 2017
Rest In Peace my sweet friend. pic.twitter.com/1QC7pzDZPz— Julie Benz (@juliebenz) February 26, 2017
Bill Paxton was notoriously one of the nicest people in the industry. He also gave us some of the all-time most iconic movie moments.— Jordan Peele (@JordanPeele) February 26, 2017
So sad about the passing of Bill Paxton. In film school, we went to the set of Weird Science & he was so nice to us. Such a wonderful guy.— Paul Feig (@paulfeig) February 26, 2017
So tragic the passing of Bill Paxton. Heartbreaking. What a talent, with so many more years of art to share with us. My love to his family🙏🏻— Debra Messing (@DebraMessing) February 26, 2017
As well as Bill Paxton's sterling work in, among many others, Nightcrawler, A Simple Plan, Apollo 13, One False Move, Aliens & Near Dark...— edgarwright (@edgarwright) February 26, 2017
Bill Paxton was simply one of the greatest people ever. To know him was to love him. I loved him. Huge love to Louise, Lydia and James. Xo— Jeffrey Dean Morgan (@JDMorgan) February 26, 2017
Never a false move from the great Bill Paxton, tornado hunter, psycho vampire and a master at making ordinary Joes extraordinary. RIP.— Justin Chang (@JustinCChang) February 26, 2017
My fave thing about Bill Paxton was he saw his wife Louise on a London bus 30 yrs ago & never let her go. Everyone loved Bill. 💔 pic.twitter.com/xJESxj6OpX— Dana Delany (@DanaDelany) February 26, 2017
RIP Bill Paxton — a great actor whom many first noticed in Weird Science pic.twitter.com/uo0Tfd98XB— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) February 26, 2017
The loss of #BillPaxton is beyond crushing. Once again, an icon, far too young, gone far too soon. 😢 Goodbye Private Hudson.— Josh Gad (@joshgad) February 26, 2017
Sad news about Bill Paxton - too young. Always humanity, decency and touches of humor shining through his work. RIP.— Jeffrey Wright (@jfreewright) February 26, 2017
Unbelievable. Bill Paxton is gone. Shocking. RIP— Michael Chiklis (@MichaelChiklis) February 26, 2017
I am stunned & saddened at the passing of Bill Paxton. I just worked with him recently. A warm and beautiful soul and a talented actor. RIP— Lou Diamond Phillips (@LouDPhillips) February 26, 2017
What sad sad news.Bill Paxton was a genuinely good guy and an actor of great depth .Love and prayers for peaceful hearts to his family.— Melissa Gilbert (@MEGBusfield) February 26, 2017
Saddened by the shocking loss of Bill Paxton. The greatest guy & wonderful actor. His enthusiasm and passion was infectious. See his films!— Ralph Macchio (@ralphmacchio) February 26, 2017
Paxton passed away on Saturday due to complications associated with surgery. In a statement to TVGuide.com, a family representative said in a statement:
"It is with heavy hearts we share the news that Bill Paxton has passed away due to complications from surgery. A loving husband and father, Bill began his career in Hollywood working on films in the art department and went on to have an illustrious career spanning four decades as a beloved and prolific actor and filmmaker. Bill's passion for the arts was felt by all who knew him, and his warmth and tireless energy were undeniable. We ask to please respect the family's wish for privacy as they mourn the loss of their adored husband and father."
He was 61.