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FOR MOST PEOPLE, (myself included) Bill Paxton entered our worlds as the unforgettable Private Hudson from Aliens.

As I heard the sad news today of his passing, I instantly started to reflect on Bill’s career and naturally of those films that fall into the sphere of horror.

So gifted a talent, Bill could transcend across numerous genres and even iconic film franchises, such as The Terminator, Aliens, and Predator 2.

As Private Hudson, Bill portrayed the cocky, loud-mouthed and patronising member of the Army Corp that would be slayed by a Xenomorphs on the Hadley’s Hope colony.

But it was a year later, playing Severen in Near Dark, that would capture the attention of this writer.

It’s a movie that probably deserves more recognition and sees Bill once again star alongside Lance Henriksson as renegade drifters, who just so happen to be vampires.

His past is never revealed but you get the sense that Paxton relished playing the more reckless, violent, and sadistic member of the crew.

It’s a role that stands out in a plethora of other movies, but to mention a couple more, Paxton’s performance of Jerry Lambert was another highlight in his career that I’d like to mention.

On face value, Lambert appears to be yet another brash and cocky performance from Paxton, but beneath the surface is a man of integrity and honour that belies this instinctive reaction to his character.

This is a testament to Paxton’s ability to portray depth to his roles and would later see him cast in the likes of Tombstone, True Lies, Apollo 13, and Twister to name but a few.

It’s little surprising that he would turn his attention to directing at some point in his career and what he leaves behind is possibly one of the most underrated movies at the turn of the century with Frailty.

The tale centres on a family led by a fanatical religious patriarch (played by Paxton) who leads them on a series of murders as they try to destroy the demons that are embedded through American society.

Bill Paxton leaves behind such an important mark on the history of film and the team at Surgeons of Horror will forever remember his stellar work over the years.

He will be deeply missed and put thoughts go out to his family at this time.

Paul Farrell