the versatile actor who appeared in films incuding “Aliens” and
“Titanic” and played a bigamist on HBO’s “Big Love,” has died from
complications following a surgical procedure. He was 61.
With a Texas twang and grizzled visage, Paxton often found himself
playing military men and cowboys. He was closely associated with James
Cameron, playing a punk leader in “The Terminator, as well as an
ill-fated technician in “Aliens,” a venal car deal in “True Lives” and a
treasure hunter in “Titanic.”
Paxton anchored a few films, portraying a tornado-chasing scientist
in the box office smash “Twister” (1996), and a wildlife refuge director
in the flop, “Mighty Joe Young” (1998). In most movies, Paxton cut a
morally upright figure, the character actor equivalent of a Kevin
Costner or Gary Cooper. But he earned the best reviews of his career for
roles that upended his persona. He was gripping as a family man trying
to hide stolen money in Sam Raimi’s “A Simple Plan” (1998), and
similarly effective playing against type as an ethically compromised
lawman in Carl Franklin’s “One False Move” (1992).
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