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Bill Paxton: An Appreciation

“Big Love” Press Conference Photo by Vera Anderson/WireImage

Bill Paxton had a supporting role in Weird Science, a Kelly LeBrock-Anthony Michael Hall-Ilan Michael Smith-Robert Downey Jr-John Hughes-vehicle that WPIX played about six times a month during Bush the Elder’s presidency. Paxton cements the film’s status as a high-end teen sex comedy by giving it a memorable villain. The actor’s Texas upbringing inspires his take on “Chet,” a menacing older brother with a love for hell-raisin’ and an array of paramilitary outfits. Chet physically and psychologically terrorizes Gary and Wyatt as they try to show their new computer-generated girlfriend around town. Paxton’s character bears a striking resemblance to the townies in Peter Bogdanovich’s Last Picture Show. He also appears to be the model for Bob Mapplethorpe’s older brother in Wes Anderson’s Bottle Rocket.

Did you know that Bill Paxton played the role of “Nazi Radio Operator” in the Pat Benatar video for “Shadows of the Night”? In that 1982 clip, the Long Island chanteuse single-handedly defeated the Germans, almost. She did get a little help from her male co-pilot in the “Midnight Angel,” who appears to be Rod Roddy.

Rod Roddy was a TCU man, but still a great man. I miss him very much.

Nothing made me feel better on a sick day home from school than Rod Roddy’s voice at 11 AM on the Price is Right. After an hour of the Price is Right, I would feel well enough to go over to the local shopping plaza and ride the escalator for a while.