Actor Bill Paxton dies aged 61

In a statement, the 61-year-old actor’s family said he passed away as a result of complications following surgery

Hollywood actor Bill Paxton – best known for his roles in Apollo 13 and Titanic – has died at the age of 61.

In a statement, the actor’s family said he passed away as a result of complications following surgery.

Paxton, a Texas native, became a favourite of director James Cameron through the 1980s and 1990s, appearing in films such as The Terminator and Aliens as well as Titanic.

Paxton also starred in True Lies and more recently in the TV series Big Love - which earned him three Golden Globe nominations.

"It is with heavy hearts we share the news that Bill Paxton has passed away due to complications from surgery," said the family statement, which called Paxton a "loving husband and father."

"Bill's passion for the arts was felt by all who knew him, and his warmth and tireless energy were undeniable.

In Titanic Paxton played a treasure hunter, and he was an astronaut in the Ron Howard space adventure about Apollo's attempted moon landing.

For his role in Apollo 13, Paxton won a Screen Actors Guild Award for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture in 1996.

Tributes started pouring in from celebrities, as Hollywood prepares for its biggest night of the year, with the Academy awards held later on Sunday.

Oscar winner Tom Hanks called him “a wonderful man” while Charlize Theron- who won the best actress Oscar for her role in Monster - said he was “a great friend.” 

The actor’s family have requested privacy at this time.