One of Paxton’s earliest roles also cemented his reputation for toughness, as the mean older brother of Wyatt (Ilan Mitchell-Smith) who gets punished for his cruelty in a most unique way.
Private Hudson might not have been the ultimate hero of “Aliens,” but he did get the most memorable line (“Game over, man!”) and one of the best deaths.
One of the all-time great vampire movies, directed by Kathryn Bigelow, featured Paxton making a major impression as the psychotic vampire Severen.
Bill Paxton is the definition of badass in this twisty, violent thriller. As a chatty cop with deep secrets, his performance elevated this gritty low-budget hit to cult status.
Paxton was a lynchpin of several great ensembles of the 1990s, and his work in “Tombstone” as Wyatt Earp’s brother Morgan was no exception.
Bill Paxton’s quasi-cameo in James Cameron’s action romp was perhaps the film’s most hilarious sequences.
As astronaut Fred Haise, Paxton anchored yet another amazing ensemble of actors in Ron Howard’s still powerful historical drama.
This disaster film was not at all a disaster, a box office hit that was also a fun romp proving Paxton’s leading man chops.
It’s easy to forget that Paxton’s in “Titanic,” given how iconic the central romance between Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet is, but he not only anchors the film but serves as an audience stand-in for the tragic tale.
An Oscar-nominated favorite directed by Sam Raimi that perhaps featured Paxton at his finest.
Paxton also directed three films, with “Frality” standing out as a critically acclaimed favorite, co-starring Matthew McConaughey.
Paxton had done a little television before, but the HBO drama about polygamy was a major commitment — one that earned him Golden Globe nominations and new respect from a new medium.
Paxton was nominated for both a SAG award and an Emmy for his work in the History Channel miniseries about one of history’s most epic feuds.
Paxton brought his own spin to the classic drill sargeant trope, while also nimbly adapting to the performance nuances required by Doug Liman’s “Groundhog Day”-but-with-war sci-fi film.
CBS’s loose TV adaptation of the Antoine Fuqua police drama premiered just a few weeks ago, and Paxton’s performance was heralded by many as one of its most important elements.