Bill Paxton, cinema’s most famous storm chaser, got a moving tribute after it was announced that he passed away this weekend. A three-state Twister-worthy goodbye was coordinated through Facebook and social media as extreme-weather buffs in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas spelled out “BP” by dotting the three states with points from their GPS systems.
The tribute was as much to Paxton as it was to Bill Harding, his one-time character in the movie Twister, a work-obsessed storm chaser who put a spotlight on the oft-overlooked professionals who risk their lives to chase storms and pursue better early-warning systems for tornadoes.
The 1996 film inspired a generation of new recruits to the profession, and it's little surprise that a group in the heart of tornado country got together to pay homage.
Storm chasers putting together the most fitting tribute to Bill Paxton. The “B” is almost done while the “P” is taking shape. pic.twitter.com/VorpQ2eOFy— Bryan Snider (@BryanSnider) February 26, 2017
The storm chasers coordinated the “B” faster, so it took shape before the “P”; once both letters took shape, the results were impressive.
Paxton’s career spanned decades, with early roles including appearances in Stripes, Commando, and The Terminator, as well as Apollo 13 and Aliens. But it’s arguably his role in Twister that was most significant to his career. He had recently worked on the show Training Day and the upcoming film The Circle.