Bill Paxton was born to Mary Lou and John Lane Paxton on May 17, 1955, in Fort Worth, Texas. Other than being a museum executive and the head of the family’s lumber business, John Paxton, Bill Paxton’s father, was also fond of arts. Therefore, Bill got early exposure to arts and cinema. This early brush with cinema led to Bill becoming interested in filmmaking. Thus, after graduating from Arlington Heights High School in Fort Worth, Paxton decided to move to England to study arts and chose Richmond College. While at Richmond College, Paxton met Tom Huckabee and Paxton, along with his old friend Danny Martin and Huckabee, created several Super 8 short films. After completing his graduation, Paxton moved to Los Angeles in the hopes of becoming a director. However, after facing several rejections, he decided to move his attention to acting.
In 1975, Bill bagged his first film role in Crazy Mama, an action/comedy film that not only marked the debut of Paxton but also another supremely popular actor Dennis Quaid. Bill had a minor role in the film. After doing some small work here and there, Paxton decided to study acting. He chose to go to New York University, primarily because he wanted to learn acting from Stella Adler, the American actress and acting teacher who founded the Stella Adler Studio of Acting. Even though Paxton was greatly inspired by Stella, he decided to quit acting school only after two years and returned to Los Angeles.
In 1980, Paxton decided to go back to his first love, which was film direction. He directed a short film called Fish Heads. The film was shown on Saturday Night Live, an event that worked in Paxton’s favour. In 1981, Paxton got a small role in Stripes and got the opportunity to work alongside actors John Candy and Bill Murray. In 1982, Paxton formed a music band called Martini Ranch with his friend Andrew Todd Rosenthal. Though the band kept the actor occupied, the members did not release anything significant until 1988. In 1983, Paxton yet again did a small role in The Lords of Discipline and in 1984, he got a chance to work with James Cameron while working on The Terminator. In the film, Bill played a punk who is killed by the Terminator. Two years later, Bill worked with Cameron again on the science fiction action film Aliens. In 1985, Bill played the role of Chet Donnelly in the film Weird Science. This role was more prominent than anything Paxton had done until then — in Weird Science, Bill played the evil older brother of one of the film’s protagonists. As Chet, Bill finally got a chance to display his acting skills properly and leave audiences impressed.
At this point, Bill Paxton’s struggle had lasted almost a decade. Though things were turning around for him, they were not happening at a good pace. Bill had to struggle for another couple of years before getting his big break in 1992. Do you want to know how life turned around for Bill Paxton? More importantly, do you want to know why Bill’s family is suing his surgeon after the actor’s death? In the next part, we will get to Bill’s iconic career and his wrongful death. So, don’t go anywhere — keep watching. Meanwhile, if you are enjoying this video, do not forget to like and subscribe to our channel.
In 1992 finally came Bill Paxton’s big break — he was offered the role of Dale ‘Hurricane’ Dixon, a small-town lawman in pursuit of three criminals, in One False Move. The film was a hit, especially with the critics, who had only good things to say about it. More importantly, though the film also starred Billy Bob Thornton and Cynda Williams, many critics singled out Bill for his excellent performance. One False Move finally opened the doors of Hollywood for Bill. During the 90s, Paxton starred in several successful films, including Tombstone, in which he played Morgan Earp; Apollo 13, in which he played Fred Haise; and Twister in which he played Bill Harding. However, during the 90s, Bill’s most successful collaborations happened with James Cameron. He worked with Cameron on True Lies in 1994. In the film, his character was called Simon and though he had only ten minutes of screen time in total, he stole the entire film with his incredible performance. He worked again with Cameron in 1997 on Titanic, in which he played a treasure hunter looking for the heart of the ocean necklace. Titanic, as we all know became the highest-grossing film of all time, an achievement it held onto until 2010 and the film did a lot for Bill Paxton’s career.
Around this time, Bill began exploring different mediums. In 1997, Paxton produced Traveller, a drama that narrated the story of a bunch of con artists. In 2001, he went back to directing and made his directorial debut with Frailty, a psychological thriller starring Mathew McConaughey. The film was well-received and gathered largely positive reviews from the audiences. In 2005, he directed The Greatest Game Ever Played, a biographical sports film based on the life of golf champion Francis Ouimet. The film starred Shia LeBoeuf and received good critics ratings but fared mediocrely on the box office.
During the early 2000s, Paxton did several films but none of the roles was good enough to allow him to explore his acting potential further. Thus, in 2006, when he was offered the role of Bill Henrickson, a Utah-based businessman and the patriarch of a fundamentalist Mormon family that believes in polygamy, in the HBO TV series Big Love, Paxton accepted the role immediately. Actresses Ginnifer Goodwin, Jeane Tripplehorn and Chloe Sevigny, played the actor’s wives in the series. The series was a huge hit and even though Henrickson was a difficult character to play, Paxton made him entirely believable. Big Love fetched Paxton three golden globe nominations and millions of fans.
After Big Love, Paxton delivered several successful TV shows. He played Randall McCoy in the 2012 miniseries Hatfields & McCoys, a History channel miniseries which also starred Kevin Costner. The series fetched him another Emmy nomination. Then, in 2014, he played John Garrett, the legendary villain, on Marvel’s Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D and in 2017, he played a rogue cop in CBS’ Training Day.
In early 2017, during an interview with Marc Maron, Bill shared with his fans that he had contracted rheumatic fever at the age of 13 which had led to a damaged heart valve. In 2017, Paxton decided to undergo open-heart surgery. For the operation, he chose Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and Ali Khoynezhad was his surgeon. Unfortunately, eleven days after his surgery, Paxton suffered a stroke — he passed away on February 25, 2017.
Almost a year after the Big Love star died of complications related to his surgery, his widow Louise Paxton and two children — James and Lydia — decided to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the surgeon who had performed the surgery on Paxton. The lawsuit makes allegations of battery, negligence and wrongful death against the hospital and the cardiovascular surgeon. The lawsuit further states that Paxton lost his life because Kohynezhad was not experienced enough to handle the surgery and that the surgery was beyond his scope of privileges. Further, it also states that the surgeon used risky and unconventional surgical techniques without informing Paxton’s family about them.
The company followed the lawsuit with a press release in which the family, through their lawyer Steve Heimberg accused Kohynezhad AND 100 other hospital staff members of negligence. In the press release, the family cleared that when Paxton began suffering various complications, including ventricular dysfunction, ventricular tachycardia, compromised coronary artery, excessive bleeding and shock, Khoynezhad was not even in the operating room to handle the complications. The family further stated that even after they asked the hospital staff to notify Khoynezhad of these complications, the surgeon did not return to the hospital and therefore, his negligence and inability to provide correct treatment and continuing care are the real reasonS why Paxton lost his life.
The lawsuit clearly states that the family was not informed about the risks involved in the surgery and it is due to the negligence of Ali Kohynezhad and members of the Cedars-Sinai hospital that Bill Paxton had to undergo a second surgery to repair his damaged coronary artery. Bill couldn’t revive from this second surgery, his condition kept deteriorating over the next 10 days and he breathed his last on February 25, 2017.
USC’s Center for Health Journalism looked into the lawsuit filed by Paxton’s family and released its report on the matter. According to this report, Paxton suffered from a bicuspid valve and people with this condition often have aortic aneurysms, which in turn, can lead to fatal ruptures. The report further states that it is quite probable that during the surgery a blood clot or something else travelled to the brain and caused a stroke later. According to the report, open-heart surgeries have these risks and therefore, a patient’s family must be notified of these risks well in advance.
Ali Khoynezhad has resigned from the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. However, he has remained unavailable for any comments. Cedars-Sinai, on the other hand, has released a statement in which they have clarified that the medical centre takes the well-being of its patients very seriously and their safety is the centre’s top priority. The statement further said that the medical centre and doctors working at the centre thoroughly review each patient’s medical background and medical care requirements. The matter hasn’t been resolved yet.
Only time will tell if the family is right or not in believing that Paxton died of medical negligence. However, what’s sad is that the film industry has lost an incredible actor capable of setting the screen on fire with his unique take on different roles. The storm chasers paid tribute to the legendary actor by spelling out the man’s initials via. Spotter Network. Jennifer Anniston chose 89th Academy Awards to pay her tribute to Paxton and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D ended episode 16 of season 4 with ‘What if’. All in all, Bill Paxton will be terribly missed.
Which is your favourite Bill Paxton movie or show? Do you think the actor’s family is right in suing the Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre? Do you think surgeon Ali Khoynezhad is at fault here? Please let us know your opinion through the comments section. If you enjoy Facts Verse videos, do not forget to like and subscribe to our channel and press the bell icon to stay updated about all our latest updates.