Bill Paxton remembered by Tucson studio preserving 'Tombstone' l - Tucson News Now

Bill Paxton remembered by Tucson studio preserving 'Tombstone' legacy

SOURCE: Old Tucson Archives SOURCE: Old Tucson Archives
SOURCE: Old Tucson Archives SOURCE: Old Tucson Archives
SOURCE: Old Tucson Archives SOURCE: Old Tucson Archives
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The film "Tombstone" captured the nostalgia for the old west with a legendary story, and a legendary cast, that brought people back to a legendary time. It's a period that is still in existence at Old Tucson Studios. Preservation remains one of the goals for Entertainment Director Rob Jensen. 

Jensen sat in his office Sunday, Feb. 26, scrolling through the archives, remembering his time when the "Tombstone" film crew took over in 1993. It was a year when Jensen was a fellow actor in the various productions at the theme park. He remembered his encounters with actor Bill Paxton.



"Bill was on a break from filming. In his full Morgan Earp costume he stood by the bleachers with the crowd and watched (our) whole show," Jensen said.

A Paxton family representative said the charismatic actor died from complications from surgery. He was 61. The Texas native's credits included notable movies of the past 40 years, from "Titanic" and "Apollo 13" to "The Terminator" and "Aliens." But the one hitting close to home is his performance in "Tombstone" which was filmed in southern Arizona at Old Tucson. 


Paxton had a lasting impact on the area.

“Bill and Sam Elliott in particular, any time they had an opportunity, they would walk away from the set, up to the ropes, to say hi to people," Jensen said, talking about how Old Tucson remains open to the public even as films are in production. "They would shake hands and take photos. Just really, really down to earth.”

It was also a lasting memory for Jensen. Especially when "Tombstone" remains a lasting piece of the studio, he said it was "one of our last big blockbusters of the area that stayed here for the entire movie."

Fans like Michael Martin, visiting Old Tucson on Sunday, remembers the Morgan Earp character the most.

“He had the mustache and the six-shooter on his side," said Martin, the "Tombstone" fan visiting from Illinois. “Each character had their own meaning. That’s what I remember about it.” 

The image of Paxton in costume in Tucson was drawing up sad memories for all, as they learned of Paxton's death.

“Just one of the nicest guys, as far as a celebrity, that you’d ever meet," Jensen said. “I’ll always have that memory." 

MOBILE USERS: Download our Tucson News Now app for Apple and Android devices.

Copyright 2017 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

  • Local newsMore>>

  • Foles leads three Cat brigade to Super Bowl

    Foles leads three Cat brigade to Super Bowl

    Monday, January 22 2018 2:38 AM EST2018-01-22 07:38:39 GMT
    Nick Foles played for the Arizona Wildcats from 2009-2011 (Photo courtesy: AP)Nick Foles played for the Arizona Wildcats from 2009-2011 (Photo courtesy: AP)

    Nick Foles ('11) is the first UA quarterback to lead an NFL team to the Super Bowl.

    Nick Foles ('11) is the first UA quarterback to lead an NFL team to the Super Bowl.

  • Freeze Warning has homeless shelter making adjustments

    Freeze Warning has homeless shelter making adjustments

    Sunday, January 21 2018 11:22 PM EST2018-01-22 04:22:52 GMT

    Inside the climate-controlled chapel, with football as the evening entertainment, Steve Michaelis was thankful on this Sunday night. He knows of the alternative. "God bless it. It's a blessing from God. To be able to come in. Anybody that helps somebody like that. They're out there with nothing," he said.

    Inside the climate-controlled chapel, with football as the evening entertainment, Steve Michaelis was thankful on this Sunday night. He knows of the alternative.

  • Former volleyball coach arrested for sexual contact with underage girl

    Former volleyball coach arrested for sexual contact with underage girl

    Sunday, January 21 2018 8:55 PM EST2018-01-22 01:55:48 GMT
    Forman faces felony charges (Source: Tucson Police Department).Forman faces felony charges (Source: Tucson Police Department).

    Police in Tucson arrested a former assistant volleyball coach for what they say was a sexual relationship with an underage girl. Officers started investigating Saturday, January 20, a potential relationship between 22-year-old Robert Forman II and a girl he met at Ironwood Ridge High School, according to a release from the department.

    Police in Tucson arrested a former assistant volleyball coach for what they say was a sexual relationship with an underage girl. Officers started investigating Saturday, January 20, a potential relationship between 22-year-old Robert Forman II and a girl he met at Ironwood Ridge High School, according to a release from the department.

Powered by Frankly