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.

“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.

Paxton was one of those actors who had a big on-screen presence.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

Bill PaxtonPaxton worked with many stars during that time, and many have expressed their grief at his passing.

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?

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