Big Love Actor Bill Paxton Dead at 61

Veteran actor Bill Paxton, best known to TV audiences as polygamist patriarch Bill Henrickson on HBO’s Big Love, died on Saturday due to complications from surgery. He was 61.

The actor, who starred on CBS’ adaptation of the Denzel Washington/Ethan Hawke film Training Day — production on all 13 episodes wrapped in December, with nine left to air — also appeared in the History Channel miniseries Hatfields & McCoys and ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

In a statement released to TMZ, Paxton’s family says that “it is with heavy hearts we share the news that Bill Paxton has passed away due to complications from surgery,” and notes that his “passion for the arts was felt by all who knew him, and his warmth and tireless energy were undeniable.”

CBS has released the following statement, paying its respects to the Training Day star:

We are shocked and deeply saddened this morning by the news of Bill Paxton’s passing.  Bill was, of course, a gifted and popular actor with so many memorable roles on film and television. His colleagues at CBS and Warner Bros. Television will also remember a guy who lit up every room with infectious charm, energy and warmth, and as a great storyteller who loved to share entertaining anecdotes and stories about his work.   All of us here offer our deepest sympathy to his wife, Louise, and his two children.

In addition, HBO has released the following remembrance:

We are extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Bill Paxton. Big Love was a seminal series for HBO for many years due to Bill’s extraordinary talent and grace. Off screen, he was as warm, smart and fun as one could be. A true friend to so many at HBO. He will be greatly missed.

In addition to his small-screen credits, Paxton is known for such films as Twister, Titanic and Aliens.

Paxton is survived by his wife, Louise Newbury, and his two children.

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  1. Terri Spoonemore says:

    I’m so shocked didn’t know he was sick or what it was he was truly a fav will miss love prayers for all

  2. Rob says:

    I wonder what this means for Training Day. I know that’s the wrong thing to think about but gosh, they must be in a panic.

    • justsomeguy says:

      Truthfully, I don’t think it was coming back anyway.

    • PatriciaLee says:

      I love that show because of his performance. Condolences to his family and bless them for sharing his great talents with us.

    • TinLV says:

      Well,the show is so new that replacing a lead probably won’t really affect it much.. Its not the same as trying to replace a role in a long-running series.. I expect that it will go on hiatus for awhile and maybe come back with a new lead actor.. If the ratings were good enough to try and save it at all.. I have been watching it, but don’t know if it was getting decent ratings or not.

    • Fabrizia says:

      Ratings were bad anyway. Had it been a hit they could have recast or kill the character.

  3. magsmcdee says:

    This is a shock! He is one of my favorites, he was perfect in Big Love. 61 is too young.

  4. Andrea says:

    This makes me so sad. My thoughts and prayers go out to his friends and family. RIP Bill Paxton, gone too soon.

  5. justsomeguy says:

    Wow. I just watched Twister for the billionth time on Thursday. RIP

  6. Lucille de la Chevrotiere says:

    I am shocked to hear this news. My condolences to his family. He was well loved by all. Great actor.

  7. Sarah says:

    What surgery did he have?

    • He had heart surgery but dies from a post-op stroke. Don;t know what his previous lifestyle was or if he had a history of heart problems in his family but you have to take care of yourself at an earlier age because it will catch up with you. Every old person I’ve met who has health issues always say the same thing, I wish I would have taken care of myself earlier. It sucks being old with health issues and taking a mountain of pills for the rest of your life.

      • drhenning says:

        Classic line from Mickey Mantle was a few years before he died in his mid 60’s of liver cancer that if he knew he would live as long as he did, he would have taken better care of himself. Mick’s father and grandfather both died in their 40’s so he lived hard thinking he wouldn’t last that long.. I loved Big Love… I guess they’ll have to tack him on at the end of the Memoriam section tonight.. With all the deaths, might last a long time tonight..

  8. msstargate says:

    Loved him! So sad to hear this.

  9. retsim says:

    So sorry to here the news Sympathy to family and friends .

  10. LADY_in_MD says:

    So sad to hear loved him on Big Love and Twister is one on my favorite movies
    Condolences to his family friends and co workers

  11. Anna says:

    What sadness this brings to all of his fans
    Know that Angel’s have him on his next journey
    Angel’s are around his family for comfort

  12. Jess says:

    He will be missed. I loved his character on Training Day. That show was good. My condolences to his family.

  13. Christopher Mark Letch says:

    Rip bill

  14. Kevin Tran says:

    Really enjoy his work in films like Aliens, True Lies, Titanic and The Terminator which were all directed by James Cameron. Very sad about his passing. RIP Bill Paxton :-(

  15. A. D. says:

    Such a great actor and sad loss…I’ll always remember him 1st at Chet in Weird Science. :(

    • Kevin Tran says:

      He had a scene in The Terminator (1984) as the guy with blue spiked hair and delivered the line “nice night for a walk”.

    • Marie-France Picard says:

      Chet was a memorable caractor !! .. :-)) … It is a shock for me his death !! … RIP Bill .. :-(

  16. I usually don’t post regarding celebrities’ obituaries. Unless one is pretty much heartless, people feel a sense of loss across the board. I just want to say that we all need to realize that no surgery is “routine,” and that we need to hold our loved ones close and support them totally and not be dismissive when they are scheduled for any type of operation. There are always risks of complications, regardless of the patient’s health or the surgeon’s skill.

  17. Iris says:

    RIP Mr.Paxton.

  18. JWDB says:

    I saw him speak on a panel at an ATAS Father’s Day event. He was brilliant and funny and adorable, along with being a great actor. So sad and sorry to hear this.

  19. Steve F. says:

    Whoa. Game over, man…

    Really, I didn’t know he was sick. I loved him in just about everything he did. My condolences to his family and friends.

  20. MMD says:

    This is a shock. Deepest condolences to his family, friends and fans. Rest in Peace Mr. Paxton.
    Another one lost in the 60-70 age bracket. Scary.

  21. OMG I am shocked😢 I was just watching training day last night on my dvr. He was the best actor and a great person. And 61 is to young. What kind of surgery was he getting? I feel bed for his kids and wife.. My prayers are with the family.

  22. Philip says:

    It’s so weird and so sudden. I was just reading a few articles and interviews recently in magazines about Bill Paxton where he was really upbeat and excited about Training Day. He seemed like he had a lot coming this year otherwise.

    Wonder if he’ll be mentioned in the Oscar In Memoriam section, but it may be too short notice.

  23. Jason says:

    I’m just stunned. This is the definition of unexpected. Growing up in the 80s, he is one of those people who have always been part of my life. From the first time I saw him in a brief appearance in Terminator, to Aliens and Weird Science, he was an integral part of my pop culture life. True Lies was always a personal favorite. Any time he was on screen, you knew you were in good hands.

  24. Trogdor777 says:

    Oh man! Sucks to hear this. Bill Paxton was always one of my favs. He quietly seemed to build a very good body of work over the years, and genuinely seemed like a cool guy.

  25. Jessica says:

    What a sad day he was an amazing actor I can’t believe he’s gone how many more people are we gonna lose this is crazy. May he rest in peace.

  26. Brian says:

    So surprised by this.


  27. RIP BILL. You were in my favourite movies growing up.

  28. dee says:

    Rip, will,miss you and especially on Training Day.

  29. Blue Note says:

    How very sad for his family and T.V. Series family. Without Paxton, there is no Training Day. He was everything on the show….He MADE the show.

    • Lulu says:

      I agree. Loved his new show…HE was the reason I watched. Can’t believe he’s gone.
      Love and prayers to his family. He will be missed. R.I.P.

  30. T.W.S.S. says:

    Only discovered his greatness in the last three years or so, but I’m sure he still had a lot of great roles to play.

  31. Marty says:

    I loved him as the older brother in Weird Science that was turned into the farting blob.

  32. Kimberly Campbell says:

    So, so, so, sad……..R.I.P. Bill Paxton… will truly be missed.

  33. Scott says:

    Beyond sad. What is happening?

  34. Lydia Green says:

    My deepest condolences to Bill’s family.

  35. Angela says:

    Truly stunned by this news. Dang.
    RIP, Bill Paxton.

  36. Angela Livingston says:

    Oh my gosh I’m sorry for the lost of the family good actor

  37. Ann says:

    In shock…Loved him in Twister…One of my favourites. Sad for his family.

  38. couch mom says:

    He had some of the best lines in Aliens. So sad to hear this. :(

  39. craig says:

    A trully great and unreal actor he will be missed as all the movies he has made to bills wife and family don’t be sad his memory lives on in his children and his wife. to his kids and wife I bet he will be looking down from heaven and smiling and thinking how proud he is so do not cry when his children get scared he is their thinking of you and your family when the kids go to collage he will be glad he has done the wright thing by his kids.

  40. Joe says:

    Well that sucks. I loved Bill Paxton since I was a kid. I’m seriously sad now.