Bill was born on May 17, 1955 in Fort Worth, Texas. He discovered his acting aspirations at the age of 8. He and his friends would create movies using hand-held cameras and Super 8 film. His parents supported him--and he moved to LA at 18 to work on an educational film for a few weeks.
A few weeks turned into a few years. Bill worked as a set dresser for Roger Corman's New World Pictures. His first film debut was Crazy Mama (1975) as John. Bill became convinced he would fare better with a few acting lessons. So he moved to New York and studied at New York University under famed drama coach Stella Adler.
When he returned to the West Coast, Paxton's career began to take shape, with eleven appearances on the silver screen between 1981 and 1986. Following a string of bit parts in critically lauded films (The Lords of Discipline, Streets of Fire, The Terminator), he landed major supporting roles in back-to-back movies playing soldier-types: in Weird Science, he appeared as the sadistic, paramilitary brother of the nerdy protagonist; in Aliens, he portrayed a rowdy, gun-toting space marine. You'd think he would have had plenty to do making movies, but during this same period, Paxton wrote, directed, and produced two award-winning short films, and cut an album as half of the rock group Martini Ranch. All that, and he still found time to woo and marry Louise Newbury, whom he met in London in 1982.
derived from imdb.com's mini-biography of Bill Paxton and a few other underrated-actor type web-sites