My mother and I had a family tradition when I was growing up.
Whenever it looked like it was going to storm, we’d pull out our copy of “Twister” and watch the film as the rain rolled in.
Bill Paxton — who, along with Helen Hunt, starred in the 1996 blockbuster — passed away Feb. 25 from complications of surgery.
He was 61.
— Spotter Network Inc (@spotternetwork) February 26, 2017
“Twister” and “Apollo 13” are two of the first movies I remember ever watching Paxton in.
They remain two of my favorite roles of his — and I have watched both many times of the years.
Bill Paxton was, simply, a wonderful man. A wonderful man… Hanx.
— Tom Hanks (@tomhanks) February 26, 2017
He’d come on screen with his big smile and you’d think “Oh yeah, I love Bill Paxton.”
His career was extremely varied, starting with bit parts in films such as “Stripes” and later a co-starring role in the one of the top box office movies of all time, “Titanic.” I recently re-watched “Terminator” and found myself happily surprised to find Paxton had a small part in that, as well.
He made this movie great–he acted his heart out. What a talented man. My thoughts are with his family. pic.twitter.com/rUcmmYME3h
— Helen Hunt (@HelenHunt) February 26, 2017
I am pretty sure he is one of only two actors ever to be killed by an Alien, the Predator and the Terminator. (Sorry if that’s a spoiler, but if you haven’t watched these action classics by now, what are you doing with your life?)
Great at portraying both under-the-radar and over-the-top characters, Paxton exuded charisma no matter what part he played.
Paxton’s turn in the first season of Marvel’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” was a textbook case in the wide range of his talents and one of my favorite performances he gave.
I have no words. Bill Paxton didn't just play my mentor on the show, he became one in real life. The world is a sadder place without him pic.twitter.com/46e4hMj8nR
— Brett Dalton (@IMBrettDalton) February 26, 2017
Paxton was born May 17, 1955, in Fort Worth, Texas.
He moved to Los Angeles at the age of 18 and worked as a set dresser for a couple of years.
Paxton made his screen debut in 1975. He had more than 90 acting credits on his résumé, not including directing or producing credits.
You were a great friend to me, Bill. AND one of the finest actors to share a set with. Sending so much love to Bill Paxton's family.
— Charlize Theron (@CharlizeAfrica) February 26, 2017
With so many memorable performances in his more than 40-year career, it would be impossible to name them all — but a few include “True Lies,” “Tombstone,” “Mighty Joe Young” and “Texas Rising.”
Perhaps more notably, the storm community reached out in tribute to the man who brought a little bit of their work to the big screen.
The day after Paxton’s passing, storm chasers and storm spotters came together and spelled out a virtual tribute, “BP,” in southern Kansas and northern Oklahoma, plus part of the Texas Panhandle.
The “BP” tribute centered on Wakita, Oklahoma, an integral part in the plot of “Twister.”
“Part scientist, part folksy,” John Wetter, the president of Spotter Network who coordinated the event, said in a CNN article. “Bill Paxton’s character in ‘Twister’ helped to make meteorology — and the hobby of storm chasing — cool.”
Paxton’s legacy will live on through his work, with new film watchers discovering his films every day.
As for this longtime fan, I will continue to pull out my copy of “Twister” — now upgraded to a Blu-Ray — whenever the storms roll in.
What better way to spend a rainy afternoon than with my favorite meteorologist of all time?
— John Squires (@FreddyInSpace) February 26, 2017