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TRIBUTE TO ADDICTIVELY AWESOME ACTOR BILL PAXTON

The Bill Paxton Crazy Mama cameo... Post Originally from 2-26-2017
Not many actors equal Jack Nicholson, who, in a technical sense, the recently departed Bill Paxton (who died from complications of surgery on February 26th), replaced in the maligned yet entertaining TERMS OF ENDEARMENT sequel, THE EVENING STAR. And Peter O'Toole said in an interview about THE STUNT MAN, also referring to his string of other accomplishments,  "Great movies make Great Actors." Jack, Peter and many others have been in far greater movies than the late Bill Paxton, whose performances would often exceed the movie itself. He shares Jack's mischievous cat-that-ate-the-canary grin, and seems to have the kind of steady confidence that, if he were a real life friend, you'd feel both amused and completely safe with. But Paxton had a likability factor that trumped many actors. His on-screen style bordered on comedy and drama while his spontaneity made him one of the most unique actors from the 1980's. But our name-dropped buddy, actress Sally Kirkland, said she had coached Bill when he first got into show business. She couldn't remember the picture, and as movie fanatics aka cult film freaks often know more than the genuine article, it was, most likely, a low-budget Roger Corman 1950's-era/1975-shot bank robbing action flick titled CRAZY MAMA, a hybrid of BONNIE AND CLYDE and Corman's BIG BAD MAMA. CRAZY is one of Paxton's first moments on screen. Later, after his fame was well established, features like TWISTER where he starred, or smaller roles like the scene-stealing or rather movie-making turn as bullying older brother Chet in John Hughes's WEIRD SCIENCE, he always left an impression. And while the big time stardom waned a bit after playing a sort of Jacques Cousteau/Geraldo Rivera hybrid in his TERMINATOR, ALIENS and TRUE LIES director James Cameron's epic blockbuster TITANIC (and Cameron's then-girlfriend's rural Vampire yarn NEAR DARK), his last big starring push was on cable television, and that's where, nowadays, the good stuff is. And it takes a great actor to succeed in both venues. And he was that. Great and completely original.
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