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Sorting the Stars: Bill Paxton and Bill Pullman

You know what’s more confusing than actors who bear a physical resemblance? Actors who have that going for them AND extremely similar names. Today, I’m sorting Bill Paxton and Bill Pullman at Selena’s request, but as I started skimming IMDB, I’m not entirely sure I knew they were two separate people. 



This is Bill Pullman (photo from

Bill Pullman

Born 1953

Notable Roles: He played the president in Independence Day, he played opposite Sandra Bullock in While You Were Sleeping, and he was in my childhood favorite, Spaceballs. He was also in Titan A.E. (see below as to why this might be important)





Bill Paxton (photo from IMDB)

Bill Paxton

Born 1955

Notable Roles: He’s been in Titanic (same first five letters as Titan A.E., but so not), Apollo 13, and Twister. He’s the only actor to have appeared in the Aliens trilogy AND the Predator trilogy.

So after looking at what these two men have accomplished, I understand Selena’s dilemma. They are close in age and have similar features. At first, I was going to say, “If it’s an action flick, it’s Paxton.” But there’s Independence Day on Pullman’s list. Then I discovered that Paxton starred in Big Love. So.

If you are watching Big Love, it’s Bill Paxton.

If you are watching Spaceballs, it’s Bill Pullman.

If you are watching an action flick that isn’t Independence Day, it’s probably Bill Paxton.

Selena, did this help you out at all? If nothing else, know that my research validates your confusion!

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