Friends Remember Bill Paxton's Impact on North Texas Film Industry

People are remembering the life of Fort Worth native Bill Paxton and his impact on film festivals and projects in North Texas. The actor passed away over the weekend at age 61 after complications from heart surgery.

"Of all the people that I can think of in the world that deal with film and film as art, Bill Paxton probably had the biggest impact in the Dallas-Fort Worth area," said NBC 5 film critic Gary Cogill.

Michael Cain, the president and CEO of EARTHxFilm, was a friend of Paxton's for 28 years.

"When Bill walked into a room, it definitely lit up. He was energy, he was just fun, kind of mischievous," Cain said.

Paxton was also supportive, coming back home to help promote the Deep Ellum Film Festival.

"He loved connecting to the community that he grew up in," Cain said.

Paxton also helped Cain relaunch the Dallas International Film Festival.

"There's sometimes you're needed, you know, particularly when you're a celebrity like him. He got the fact that his hometown festival needed him," Paxton said.

Paxton and his childhood friend, Tom Huckabee, also helped relaunch the Lone Star Film Society.

"And he was just really proud of where he was from and wanted to let that community know that they, too, could be film makers, that they could be—they could follow their dreams," Cain said.

Cain also said Paxton treated everyone as an equal.

"Bill was so giving. He would take the time to make everyone feel special," Cain said. "He never lost track of who he was. He was always just a great man and a great Texan."

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