Actor Bill Paxton dies at age 61

Bill Paxton, a four-decade-long star on broadcast and cable TV, and the big screen, has died, his family announced Sunday.

His career spanned such films as "Apollo 13,'' "Aliens,'' "Twister'' and "Weird Science'' and the HBO series "Big Love.'' At the time of his death, Paxton was starring in the CBS TV series "Training Day.''

The actor recently appeared on Good Day LA for his role in "Training Day."

He died of complications from surgery, his family announced in a statement to the media. Bill Paxton was 61 and had lived in Ojai.

Ron Howard tweeted that the news was "crushing'' and called Paxton "a great talent and spirit.''

"His passion contributed so much to 'Apollo 13,' and all his work,'' the producer and director said. "We'll miss the hell out of you.''

And Tom Hanks tweeted that "Bill Paxton was, simply, a wonderful man. A wonderful man.''

One fan noted that Paxton was the only actor to have -- in separate movies -- been killed by the Terminator, the Predator and the Alien.

Bill Paxton was born in Fort Worth, Texas in 1955 and arrived in Hollywood at age 18, working as a set dresser for Roger Corman. Roles in low budget films and television led to some quirky credits, including writing and directing the award-winning "Fish Heads'' short film aired in 1980 on ''Saturday Night Live.''

A small role in "Alien'' led to a starring performance as Private Hudson in "Aliens'' in 1986, according to his biography at

His big break came in "One False Move,'' and other roles included "Tombstone,'' "Apollo 13,'' "True Lies,'' "Titanic'' and the HBO series "Big Love.''

Paxton reportedly lived in Ojai.

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