Actor Bill Paxton dies at age 61

Paxton starred in both mainstream and cult films starting in the 1980s.

ByABC News
February 26, 2017, 11:27 AM

— -- Bill Paxton, an actor who developed a following for his roles in films that achieved both mainstream and cult success starting in the 1980s, died today at the age of 61.

A representative of his family confirmed the death to ABC News.

"It is with heavy hearts we share the news that Bill Paxton has passed away due to complications from surgery," the statement said. "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," the statement read.

The native of Fort Worth, Texas, became known as a versatile character actor, appearing in an eclectic group of hit films that include "Weird Science," "Aliens," "Apollo 13," "Titanic," "Twister," and "True Lies."

He also won devoted fans for his acting in beloved midnight movies and for his memorable drawl, which at times sounded part Texan and part slacker.

Paxton starred as a sadistic vampire in Kathryn Bigelow's cult-classic "Near Dark," and as a quirky bartender in Walter Hill's "Streets of Fire."

Later in his career, he earned a new generation of fans for his leading performance in the HBO drama "Big Love," which aired from 2006 to 2011.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.