More Bill Paxton Bios & Profiles
Biography #2 (for Ghosts of the Abyss)As one of the industry's most accomplished talents, actor-director-producer Bill Paxton moves effortlessly between major studio films as well as independent features.
Last year, Paxton made his feature directorial debut with the critically acclaimed Gothic thriller, Frailty. The film, which starred Paxton, Matthew McConaughey, Powers Boothe and Matt O'Leary, recently received the National Board of Review's Special Mention for Excellence in Filmmaking.
Later this year, Paxton co-stars in Club Dread -- a film by the comedy troupe Broken Lizard. Surrounded by limber, wanton women on a booze-soaked island resort, the Broken Lizard dudes face a machete-wielding killer on the loose in this comedy from Fox Searchlight Pictures.
In May, Paxton travels to London to film Jonathan Frakes' Thunderbirds, costarring Ben Kingsley and Anthony Edwards. Paxton will portray Jeff Tracy, a billionaire former astronaut and partriarch to five sons who use their own private island as a base to launch daring rescue missions. Thunderbirds is a Working Title Films production.
Paxton first emerged as a leading man with his critically lauded performance as the small-town sheriff in Carl Franklin's One False Move. In 1998, critic Roger Ebert cited Paxton as best actor for his turn as Hank Mitchell in Sam Raimi's A Simple Plan. In addition, he received a Golden Globe nomination that year for his performance as Colonel John Paul Vann in HBO's A Bright Shining Lie. Paxton's credits also include Traveller, a film he produced and starred in with Mark Wahlberg and Julianna Margulies.
Paxton has appeared in several blockbusters, accumulating worldwide box office numbers that surpass three billion dollars. In addition to Titanic, he starred with Tom Hanks and Kevin Bacon in Ron Howard's Apollo 13 and in Jan de Bont's Twister. Paxton appeared as the tough Texas billionaire, trapped at 26,000 feet on K2 in the action-thriller Vertical Limit, directed by Martin Campbell. He also portrayed the captain in Jonathan Mostow's WWII submarine hit U-571, co-starring Matthew McConaughey and Harvey Keitel.
Moving to Hollywood from Fort Worth, Texas, Paxton began his career as a set dresser on Roger Corman's Big Bad Mama. After working in the art department on several features, he decided to move to New York to study acting. Returning to Los Angeles in 1980, he met James Cameron while moonlighting as a set dresser on the low-budget sci-fi movie Galaxy of Terror. He subsequently started landing acting jobs, first in B-horror movies (Mortuary, Night Warning) and later in studio films (The Lords of Discipline, Weird Science). Paxton's filmography also includes Walter Hill's Streets of Fire and Trespass, Kathryn Bigelow's Near Dark, Pass the Ammo, Tombstone, and Indian Summer.
In 1980, he directed the classic short film Fish Heads for NBC-TV's Saturday Night Live. In 1999, he hosted the show with musical guest Beck.
Bio courtesy Disney for "Ghosts of the Abyss" (14-Apr-2003)