While fans continue to mourn the recent death of Bill Paxton, new details about his sudden passing have finally come to light and Bill Paxton's cause of death was revealed on Monday by People. According to the magazine, Paxton's official death certificate says that the actor was at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles to undergo valve replacement surgery that was meant to correct an aortic aneurysm that was developing. However, complications from the surgery resulted in a stroke, which is ultimately what lead to the actor's death on Feb. 26.
The 61-year-old actor, best known for his roles in films like The Terminator, Aliens, Apollo 13, Twister, and Titanic (and on TV shows like HBO's Big Love, ABC's Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., and CBS' current freshman drama Training Day) passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, Feb. 26, reportedly due to complications after some sort of surgical procedure. But what kind of surgery — and what kind of complications — were unknown by the public until now. "It is with heavy hearts we share the news that Bill Paxton has passed away due to complications from surgery," the actor's family told TMZ in a statement last week.
In a horribly ironic twist, an aortic aneurysm was also what caused the recent death of actor Alan Thicke in December of last year; in that case, the 69-year-old Growing Pains star had an aneurysm that went undiagnosed and tragically ruptured while he was playing hockey with his son. Aortic aneurysms have also been the cause of death for other celebrities like John Ritter, Lucille Ball, and Albert Einstein.
Filming on all 13 episodes of Training Day Season 1 had been finished before Paxton's untimely death last month; six of those episodes remain to be aired this spring. It is unclear what the status of the freshman series will be moving forward, although the showrunners have insisted that they would never consider recasting Paxton in the lead role of Detective Frank Roarke.
Fans of the late actor will also be able to see him in his final film role next month, when The Circle opens in theaters on Apr. 28. In the upcoming adaptation of Dave Eggers' 2013 novel, Paxton plays the terminally ill father to Emma Watson's ambitious protagonist Mae Holland. The movie also features Tom Hanks, John Boyega, Patton Oswalt, and Karen Gillan.
The official news of Paxton's cause of death is bound to bring some sense of closure to many who were waiting to hear what took him away from us at such a relatively young age; but it also does little to dull the pain of the loss of such a beloved actor, one who — for many of us — appeared in such formative films from our youth. At least we know he'll live on in our memories of his iconic performances.