Bill Paxton, the versatile actor who appeared in films including Aliens and Titanic and played a bigamist on HBO's Big Love, has died from complications following a surgical procedure. He was 61.
With a Texas twang and grizzled visage, Paxton often found himself playing military men and cowboys.
He was closely associated with James Cameron, playing an ill-fated technician in Aliens for the filmmakers, as well as a venal car deal in True Lives and a treasure hunter in Titanic.
Paxton anchored a few films, portraying a tornado-chasing scientist in the box office smash Twister (1996), and a wildlife refuge director in the flop, Mighty Joe Young (1998).
A representative for his family released a statement asking for privacy and saying: "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."
Tom Hanks was quick to pay tribute to Paxton, saying he was "simply, a wonderful man. A wonderful man."
Titanic director James Cameron said news of the death had left him reeling.
"Bill leaves such a void. He and I were close friends for 36 years, since we met on the set of a Roger Corman ultra-low budget movie.
"We quickly recognised the creative spark in each other and became fast friends. What followed was 36 years of making films together, helping develop each others' projects, going on scuba diving trips together, watching each others' kids growing up, even diving the Titanic wreck together in Russian subs."
Paxton's True Lies co-star Jamie Lee Curtis, said: "Nooooo. Bill Paxton is gone. Such a funny, talented, loving human."
Kiwi Star Trek star Karl Urban also mourned Paxton's death, calling him an "awesome talent and a great guy".