I was shocked to hear that Bill Paxton died following complications from heart surgery.

He was only 61 years-old.

Paxton was one of those actors who would play lead roles and character roles throughout his career.

But unfortunately, he was also one of those actors that many people recognised but couldn’t quite remember the name. This is despite the fact that he appeared in some of the most well-known movies of all time.

I first became aware of Bill Paxton when appeared in the James Cameron sci-fi horror, Aliens (1986). He made a big impact as the ‘jumpy’ space Marine Private Hudson, who shouted that immortal line “Game over Man!” Cameron had previously giving Paxton a small role as a punk in The Terminator (1984).

He also worked again with Cameron, in True Lies (1994) alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger, as the slimy second-hand car dealer / con man. He graduated to a role in Titanic (1997) as the modern day treasure hunter heading up the search for the wreckage.

He went on to play a cop to Danny Glover’s detective in the not so well received Predator 2 (1990). This was followed up by a starring role in One False Move (1992), as a sheriff seeing an opportunity to move up in his career when two big time LA Detectives trace three violent drug dealers to his small home town. If you can find a DVD copy of this film, I can thoroughly recommend a viewing.

Here is an impressive list of some great watchable films that he appeared in.

Tombstone (1993) as one of the Earp brothers, Apollo 13 (1995) as astronaut Fred Haise opposite Tom Hanks Jim Lovell, Twister (1996) as TV weatherman joining a team of tornado chasers, Frailty (2001), which was he directorial debut and also starred as a Father who has repeated visions of Demons.

More recently he appeared in the feel-good baseball movie Million Dollar Arm as well as the Tom Cruise sci-fi hit Edge of Tomorrow and six episodes of TV’s Agents of Shield, all in 2014.

Paxton was born in Fort Worth Texas and leaves behind a wife Louise Newbury (who he met on a bus in London) and two children.

A great loss.