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The Character You Forgot Bill Paxton Played In The Terminator

Upon Bill Paxton's sudden death in 2017, many remembrances for the late actor made note of his versatility as an on-screen performer (via Rolling Stone). Not only was the talented actor capable of making us all laugh in everything from 1985's "Weird Science" to 1994's "True Lies" and even 2002's "Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams," he also repeatedly proved his ability to make us feel a whole range of emotions in plenty of dramatic roles too. 

Things like HBO's "Big Love," for which Paxton was thrice nominated for a Golden Globe, and History's "Hatfields & McCoys," for which he was nominated for an Emmy, became special markers of Paxton's particular talent. Of course, this is also true of the roles for which Paxton is best remembered, including his characters in 1986's "Aliens," 1993's "Tombstone," 1996's "Twister," 1997's "Titanic, and 1998's "A Simple Plan," to name only a few. 

If you noticed that Paxton tended to appear in films directed by James Cameron (reportedly, Cameron also planned to cast him in "Avatar," at one point), there's a good reason for that. According to a statement Cameron provided Vanity Fair in 2017, the duo first met in the early 1980s when Cameron was working as a production designer on the set of Roger Corman's "Galaxy of Terror." The two quickly hit it off and, only a few years later, Cameron cast Paxton in a movie that made its director and a certain Austrian bodybuilder famous: 1984's "The Terminator."

Bill Paxton played a character called Punk Leader in the first Terminator movie

He doesn't last long in the movie, but Paxton's Punk Leader is actually one of the first people killed by Arnold Schwarzenegger's famous character. In the very first scene of the franchise, the Terminator arrives in 1984 Los Angeles, having traveled through time from the year 2029. Though the Terminator's main mission is to kill Sarah Connor, he is also willing to kill anyone else who stands in his way.

The Terminator walks around Griffith Observatory completely nude and apparently unbothered by it. As he walks around the famous landmark, the cyborg eyes a group of men at the entrance to the facility. Though he walks in complete silence, the three men spot the 6-foot-2-inch, nude bodybuilder from some distance away.

The man with the blue hair and the tire tread face tattoo is a 29-year-old Bill Paxton in one of his earliest film roles. Paxton only gets a few lines in the movie and none are well received by his cybernetic opponent. As the Terminator approaches the trio, Paxton's character sarcastically makes note of the Terminator's lack of clothes by asking, "Nice night for a walk, ay?" 

Still adjusting to his surroundings, the Terminator simply repeats the group's words back at them. As he laughs, Paxton's character responds, "I think this guy's a couple cans short of a six pack." Though they initially appear amused by the Terminator, they don't take kindly to his insistence that they provide him with their clothes. After they each retrieve switchblades from their jackets, the Terminator quickly and easily murders each of them.

Paxton later worked alongside Schwarzenegger again in 1985's "Commando" and 1994's "True Lies" (via IMDb).