Bill Paxton, the actor perhaps best known for his roles in the classic films Aliens and Titanic, has died aged 61.
The Texan star died from complications following heart surgery, according to a statement released by his family.
Paxton starred in a series of big hits by director James Cameron, starting with The Terminator in 1984, followed by the sci-fi classic Aliens, True Lies and Titanic.
He is survived by his wife of 30 years, Louise Newbury, and their two children.
The family statement said: “It is with heavy hearts we share the news that Bill Paxton has passed away due to complications from surgery.
“A loving husband and father, Bill began his career in Hollywood working on films in the art department and went on to have an illustrious career spanning four decades as a beloved and prolific actor and filmmaker.
“Bill’s passion for the arts was felt by all who knew him, and his warmth and tireless energy were undeniable. We ask to please respect the family’s wish for privacy as they mourn the loss of their adored husband and father.”
Paxton won an Emmy for his performance in the TV mini-series Hatfields and McCoys, alongside Kevin Costner. He also earned three Best Actor Golden Globe nominations for his starring role in the HBO drama Big Love.
When he died he was working on a crime thriller TV series – Training Day – for the US network CBS. His final big-screen role will be in the thriller The Circle, alongside Emma Watson and Tom Hanks, who tweeted today hailing Paxton as “a wonderful man”.
Bill Paxton was, simply, a wonderful man. A wonderful man… Hanx.
— Tom Hanks (@tomhanks) February 26, 2017
uniquely American national treasure. His filmography speaks for itself. His friendship was a blessing. My love to Bunny, James and Lydia.
— Rob Lowe (@RobLowe) February 26, 2017
Very sad to hear about Bill Paxton. His talent, enthusiasm and energy were unique. Our thoughts are with his family pic.twitter.com/W4IVuILHxv
— Cary Elwes (@Cary_Elwes) February 26, 2017
— Jamie Lee Curtis (@jamieleecurtis) February 26, 2017
Bill Paxton was hands down one of the greatest guys that I have ever met. I feel lucky to have called him my friend. Bill, I love you. RIP.
— Aaron Paul (@aaronpaul_8) February 26, 2017
I am so saddened by Bill Paxton's passing. Had the pleasure of meeting him a few times in recent years and he was truly the loveliest guy.
— edgarwright (@edgarwright) February 26, 2017