Bill Paxton’s death at 61 years old from complications
related to surgery on Feb. 25 delivered an unexpected blow to friends, family
and fans alike. But perhaps no one is more surprised than the cast and crew of
CBS’ TV adaptation of Training Day,
which starred Paxton as the morally ambiguous Detective Frank Roark. The show premiered
on Thursday, Feb. 2 and is only four episodes into its mid-season run.
On Sunday, co-star Justin Cornwell, who plays Officer Kyle
Craig, shared a cute photo of the two Training
Day stars as the fate of the series remains unknown. “We were just two guys
on top of the world. Rest easy my friend,” he posted on Twitter.
Julie Benz, who plays Holly Butler, also shared a photo of
her with her former co-star. “Rest In Peace my sweet friend,” she wrote.
Meanwhile, Drew Van Acker, who plays Detective Tommy
Campbell, recalled memories from the time he shared with Paxton onset of the
series. “Bill..buddy..I'll never forget the countless stories you shared and
how you made us all laugh. You have forever made a dent in the world,” he
“We are truly devastated at the passing of our friend Bill
Paxton. He was a tremendously talented actor, and a wonderful man beloved by
the entire “Training Day” cast and crew,” executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer
said in a statement to ET. “Bill’s extraordinary body of work ensures that he
will never be forgotten. Our heartfelt condolences to Bill’s family and
friends. He will be missed more than we can possibly express.”
In a separate statement to ET, filmmaker and Training Day executive producer Antoine Fuqua offered his condolences. "Bill was someone whose goodness and compassion was evident from the moment you met him. He was an immense talent and the type of guy you wanted to spend as much time with both in front of, and behind, the camera. My heartfelt condolences to his family."
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CBS and Warner Bros. Television also issued a joint
statement to ET about Paxton, but did acknowledge any plans for the show.
“We are shocked and deeply saddened this morning by the news
of Bill Paxton's passing. Bill was, of course, a gifted and popular actor with
so many memorable roles on film and television,” the statement reads. “His
colleagues at CBS and Warner Bros. Television will also remember a guy who lit
up every room with infectious charm, energy and warmth, and as a great
storyteller who loved to share entertaining anecdotes and stories about his
work. All of us here offer our deepest sympathy to his wife, Louise, and his
CBS also confirmed that all 13 episodes of the first season
had been filmed prior to Paxton’s death. The next new episode is slated for
Thursday, March 3.
Ahead of the show’s premiere, Paxton and his co-stars gave
ET an exclusive first look at adapting the 2001 film starring Denzel
Washington and Ethan Hawke for TV. The series, which follows new characters,
takes place 15 years after the events of the film.
“When I read the pilot, there was a lot of action in the
pilot and I thought ‘Oh my god, are you ready for this?’” Paxton said at the
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Prior to Training Day,
Paxton had a successful run on HBO as the patriarch of a fictional
fundamentalist Mormon that practices polygamy. The series, which ran for five
seasons, earned Paxton three Golden Globe nominations for his portrayal of Bill
Henrickson. He immediately followed that series with History Channel’s three-part miniseries Hatfields & McCoys, which earned Paxton a primetime Emmy nomination.
On Sunday, HBO recognized its former longtime star,
tweeting: “We are saddened to hear of the passing of Bill Paxton. Big Love was
a seminal series for HBO due to Bill's extraordinary talent and grace.”