The death of film and TV star Bill Paxton has hit the Hollywood community hard Sunday, just as the Academy Awards is expected to deliver one of the most somber In Memoriam segments in recent history, due to the passings of many celebrities in the past year.

Several of Paxton's co-stars and colleagues have spoken out to pay their respects to the actor, including his longtime friend James Cameron, who directed Paxton in The Terminator, Aliens, True Lies and Titanic.

"I've been reeling from this for the past half hour, trying to wrap my mind and heart around it. Bill leaves such a void," Cameron said in a statement to Vanity Fair. "He and I were close friends for 36 years, since we met on the set of a Roger Corman ultra-low budget movie. He came in to work on set, and I slapped a paint brush in his hand and pointed to a wall, saying 'Paint that!' We quickly recognized the creative spark in each other and became fast friends. What followed was 36 years of making films together, helping develop each others projects, going on scuba diving trips together, watching each others kids growing up, even diving the Titanic wreck together in Russian subs. It was a friendship of laughter, adventure, love of cinema, and mutual respect. Bill wrote beautiful heartfelt and thoughtful letters, an anachronism in this age of digital shorthand. He took good care of his relationships with people, always caring and present for others. He was a good man, a great actor, and a creative dynamo. I hope that amid the gaudy din of Oscar night, people will take a moment to remember this wonderful man, not just for all the hours of joy he brought to us with his vivid screen presence, but for the great human that he was.

The world is a lesser place for his passing, and I will profoundly miss him."


Paxton's Apollo 13 co-star Tom Hanks wrote on Twitter, "Bill Paxton was, simply, a wonderful man. A wonderful man." Their Apollo 13 director Ron Howard called his death "crushing."



Paxton's Frank & Jesse co-star Rob Lowe paid digital tribute to the actor as well, writing, "Devastated by the sudden loss of my close friend and one of the finest actors in the business, Bill Paxton. Renaissance man, raconteur and uniquely American national treasure. His filmography speaks for itself. His friendship was a blessing. My love to Bunny, James and Lydia. In his memory, on this Oscar Sunday, watch One False Move or A Simple Plan to see this lovely leading man, at his finest."



Twister
co-star Cary Elwes wrote that he was "Very sad to hear about Bill Paxton. His talent, enthusiasm and energy were unique. Our thoughts are with his family," while Helen Hunt said he "made this movie great."



Meanwhile, his Mighty Joe Young co-star Charlize Theron wrote, "You were a great friend to me, Bill. AND one of the finest actors to share a set with. Sending so much love to Bill Paxton's family."



Arnold Schwarzenegger, who co-starred with Paxton in The Terminator and True Lies, said the actor "could play any role, but he was best at being Bill — a great human being with a huge heart."



Ron Perlman, who'd shared the screen with Paxton in 1995's dark comedy The Last Supper, also shared a recent picture with the actor, writing that he was "alive as can be" when it was taken and that his loss is "unprocessable."





Big Love
co-star Aaron Paul also shared a touching tribute on Twitter as well, writing, "Bill Paxton was hands down one of the greatest guys that I have ever met. I feel lucky to have called him my friend. Bill, I love you. RIP."



The Twitter tributes to Bill have poured in from all across Tinseltown, with one message seeming to be most common among them: He was a great actor and person who will be sincerely missed.

Paxton passed away on Saturday due to complications associated with surgery. In a statement to TVGuide.com, a family representative said in a statement:

"It is with heavy hearts we share the news that Bill Paxton has passed away due to complications from surgery. A loving husband and father, Bill began his career in Hollywood working on films in the art department and went on to have an illustrious career spanning four decades as a beloved and prolific actor and filmmaker. Bill's passion for the arts was felt by all who knew him, and his warmth and tireless energy were undeniable. We ask to please respect the family's wish for privacy as they mourn the loss of their adored husband and father."

He was 61.