Bill Paxton’s death may be linked to childhood rheumatic fever

Bill Paxton at She's Funny That Way Los Angeles PremiereIt’s been three days since Bill Paxton passed away and reports are now surfacing that the actor’s death may be linked to a childhood bout of rheumatic fever.

Bill, who was 61 when he died on Saturday (Feb. 25) after complications from heart surgery, shared details on a podcast weeks ago that he contracted the inflammatory disease when he was 13.

While on Marc Maron’s Feb. 6 WTF podcast, Bill said, “I had been to a hockey game, and I woke up one night and I had a lot of pain in my left wrist.”

He continued, “I spent a good part of the seventh grade in bed. I’d had a sore throat at Christmas. It had kind of gotten into my wrist, but it usually damages your heart valves.”

Marc asked Bill if his heart valves had been harmed, to which Bill replied, “Yeah, yeah.”

But Bill also put a positive spin on his past illness, suggesting his bedridden months may have helped develop his creative mind and steer him in the direction of acting.

The Twister star said, “It kind of isolated me at an interesting age… Suddenly I was in this voyeuristic kind of world, where I had TV but there wasn’t much TV on in those days, and I read a lot and looked out the window at the golf course, for about six months.”

According to a story about the podcast posted by The Wrap, “Rheumatic heart disease is permanent damage to the heart caused by rheumatic fever, which usually occurs 10 to 20 years after the original illness… Problems are most common with the valve between the two left chambers of the heart (mitral valve), but the other valves can be affected.”

Some of Bill’s notable credits include Aliens, Apollo 13Titanic and the HBO series Big Love, for which he earned three Golden Globe nominations. 

He had also finished work on the sci-fi thriller The Circle with Emma Watson and Tom Hanks before he died. The film is set for release on April 28, 2017. ~Matthew Pariselli

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Comments & Discussion

  1. Washgod78 • February 28, 2017 @ 4:20 PM

    I just started watching the new series with Bill in it, Training day.
    I was really looking forward to it only to find out he passed away after watching 3 episodes.
    Rip Bill and I wish his family condolences. You were a great actor. I think I’ll have to watch a bunch of his movies to remember some of his funny moments.

  2. marymarymary • February 28, 2017 @ 6:46 PM

    i enjoyed watching his new show on TV too since January, i hope they run the episodes already made, if that is possible, really sorry to lose him he was a great actor for sure

  3. Samantha • March 1, 2017 @ 9:40 AM

    So sad, you’d think they could do something about that.

  4. psky bellefleur • March 1, 2017 @ 12:31 PM

    AWW I FELT SO SORRY WHEN I HEARD ABOUT BILL PAXTON’S SUDDEN DEATH. I LOVED HIM IN TWISTER AND WATCH IT AS OFTEN AS I CATCH IT ON. HE WAS SO NATURAL AND REAL IN HIS WORK.

    I FEEL REALLY BAD FOR HIS FAMILY AND LOVED ONES. ITS A SHAME TO LOSE HIS LIFE SO YOUNG. ONLY 61.
    SKY

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