Happy Birthday Bill Paxton: Remembering the Iconic ‘Twister’ Actor on What Would’ve Been His 65th

by John Jamison

Bill Paxton was one of the great character actors of all time. He turned in iconic performances across decades and had a knack for delivering incredibly memorable lines. Tragically, the “Twister” actor passed away in 2017 following complications from heart surgery. But today, we celebrate the iconic actor’s birthday by taking a look back at some of his iconic moments.

And we may as well start from the beginning. After small parts in “The Terminator” in 1984 and “Weird Science” in 1985, the Fort Worth, Texas native was ready to make his mark. And perhaps his most memorable line came in one of the first big roles he ever landed.

In 1986, Paxton played Private Hudson in James Cameron’s “Aliens.” His iconic performance in the action-packed science fiction film left us with a legendary line that has taken on a life of its own, “That’s it, man. Game over, man. Game over!”

Famous as that line has become in the decades since “Aliens,” it would be a while before Paxton got another big opportunity. But sure enough, the 1990s saw him rise to become one of the most sought-after character actors in the world.

Bill Paxton’s Legendary Decade

It began with “Tombstone” in 1993. Paxton played Morgan Earp, brother of Kurt Russell’s Wyatt Earp. The movie went down as a fan favorite.

Two years later, in 1995, Paxton landed the role of astronaut Fred Haise in the Tom Hanks-led “Apollo 13.” Ron Howard directed the film, which depicted the events that unfolded during the Apollo 13 mission to the moon. Paxton can be seen in the clip below as his character, Kevin Bacon, and Tom Hanks fight for survival in the true story.

A year later, Bill Paxton starred in the 1996 thriller “Twister.” Storm chaser Bill Harding was his first major lead role, and opposite Helen Hunt, Paxton helped make the movie a classic.

Another year gone by, Paxton joined back up with James Cameron to play Brock Lovett in the heartbreaking story of “Titanic.” The 1997 romance, which starred Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, became one of the biggest movies of all time. And Paxton had a hand in it.

The Iconic Actor’s Career In Recent Years

The 2000s saw Bill Paxton branch out into more TV roles.

In 2006, he starred as Bill Henrickson in the drama series “Big Love.” The show ran for five years and proved popular. But his move toward TV work isn’t to say that he was irrelevant in movies. In 2014, he starred as Master Sergeant Farell in the Tom Cruise-led “Edge of Tomorrow.” The movie has gained recognition in recent years.

In 2017, Bill Paxton’s death marked the end of a prolific career. He was a legend and is gone too soon. Happy birthday, Bill. And rest easy.