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BILL PAXTON (Earl) was last seen in the History Channel miniseries Hatfields & McCoys, opposite Kevin Costner. The show set a ratings record as the toprated entertainment telecast ever for ad-supported basic cable. He was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award and a SAG Award for his work as Randall McCoy. His upcoming films include Doug Liman's All You Need Is Kill, opposite Tom Cruise, and Jeff Renfroe's The Colony, starring Laurence Fishburne. Paxton was honored with three Golden Globe nominations for his work on HBO's critically acclaimed series Big Love, where he played Bill Henrickson, a loving father and a husband to three wives, played by Jeanne Tripplehorn, Chloƫ Sevigny and Ginnifer Goodwin.

After gaining critical attention in John Hughes' comedy Weird Science and James Cameron's scifi Aliens, Paxton's performance as the small-town sheriff in Carl Franklin's One False Move marked his emergence as a leading man. He went on to star in a host of blockbusters, including Tombstone, True Lies, Apollo 13, Twister, Mighty Joe Young, Titanic, U-571 and Vertical Limit.

In 1998, Roger Ebert cited Paxton as his Best Actor choice for his turn as Hank Mitchell in Sam Raimi's A Simple Plan. In addition, Paxton received a Golden Globe nomination that same year for his performance as Lt. Colonel John Paul Vann in HBO's A Bright Shining Lie.

Paxton segued from being on camera to directing feature films. In 2001, Paxton made his directorial debut with the gothic thriller Frailty, in which he also starred alongside Matthew McConaughey. In 2005, he directed the sports drama The Greatest Game Ever Played, which starred Shia LaBeouf. Both films are considered modern classics of their respective genres. In 2002, Frailty received special recognition from the National Board of Review for excellence in filmmaking. Additionally, Paxton served as a producer on the features The Good Life and Traveller, in which he starred along with Mark Wahlberg and Julianna Margulies.

Paxton began his career as a set dresser on producer Roger Corman's Big Bad Mama in the mid-'70s. After working in the art department on several features, Paxton moved to New York to study acting with Stella Adler. Returning to Los Angeles in 1980, he met James Cameron while moonlighting as a set dresser on the low-budget sci-fi movie Galaxy of Terror. Subsequently, Paxton landed acting jobs in movies such as Mortuary and Night Warning. He earned a cult following for his work in movies such as Near Dark, Boxing Helena, The Dark Backward and Broken Lizard's Club Dread. His other credits include Trespass, Indian Summer, The Evening Star, Streets of Fire, Frank & Jesse, Navy Seals, Predator 2, The Vagrant, Pass the Ammo and Steven Soderbergh's Haywire.

In addition to his awards for acting and directing, Paxton holds the distinction as the only actor to have visited the wreck site of the Titanic with Cameron for the documentary Ghosts of the Abyss. Paxton completed four descents to the site, 2.5 miles below the surface of the North Atlantic.

A native of Fort Worth, Texas, Paxton resides with his wife and children in California.

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