Uncle Bill


Illustration by The Illustrating Man

Bill Paxton was an incredible character actor of the finest form. He was a “That Guy”. The kind of actor you recognize instantly, and are so excited to see because they are a memorable weirdo from a million movies you have seen, even if you’ve never known their name, and snap your fingers trying to remember the name of just one thing you’ve seen them in. Bill played fools and maniacs the way only a true genius can, an incredibly intelligent actor and film maker hiding behind a goofy grin. He was so omnipresent in movies and TV when I was growing up he was like some rarely seen uncle who showed up at family events from time to time, America’s TV uncle. And like a real “That Guy”, Bill truly was everywhere, whether you knew it or not. He directed the Fish Heads music video, and was at the parade in Dallas the day Kennedy was assassinated. He is a real life Forrest Gump. As a matter of fact I just had to double check to see if he wasn’t in Forrest Gump, with his track record it seemed entirely possible. His passing today is a loss to the art form, we will never see his particular brand of lunacy on film again. Good night Uncle Bill.

“There he goes. One of God’s own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.”

-Hunter S. Thompson






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