Jennifer Aniston had the difficult task of presenting this year’s In Memoriam segment during the Oscars. The moment was made that much more challenging, given that the actress was still processing the death of Bill Paxton, who passed away prior to the ceremony.
Holding back the tears, the Hollywood star paid a heartfelt tribute to the Twisteractor and other stars Hollywood lost last year. "Whether a Prince leading the musical revolution, or a princess leading a rebellion in a galaxy far far away," she began - an obvious nod to Prince and Carrie Fisher. "Everyone was a cherished member of our Hollywood family... as was beloved friend and actor who left us just yesterday, Bill Paxton."
Taking a moment to compose herself, the 48-year-old then went on to add: "Let us remember their lives and their beautiful work. All were loved, and all will be missed." Sara Bareilles performed a beautiful rendition of Joni Mitchell's Both Sides during the emotional segment, which paid tribute to Mary Tyler Moore, Gene Wilder, John Hurt, Anton Yelchin, Zsa Zsa Gabor and Debbie Reynolds.
Jennifer Aniston paid an emotional tribute to Bill Paxton at the Oscars
It was particularly poignant as news of the Titanic star's death was announced just hours before the show. Bill, who is perhaps best known for his roles in Apollo 13, Twister and Titanic, passed away at the age of 61 after complications from surgery. A family representative confirmed the sad news in a statement on Sunday, which read: "It is with heavy hearts we share the news that Bill Paxton has passed away due to complications from surgery.
Bill Paxton passed away after complications from surgery, aged just 61
"A loving husband and father, Bill began his career in Hollywood working on films in the art department and went on to have an illustrious career spanning four decades as a beloved and prolific actor and filmmaker. Bill's passion for the arts was felt by all who knew him, and his warmth and tireless energy were undeniable. We ask to please respect the family’s wish for privacy as they mourn the loss of their adored husband and father."