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Bill Paxton

Credit: Kevin Lynch; AP
Meet the Real McCoy – And Hatfield | Kevin Costner

Hatfields & McCoys

Kevin Costner's Hatfield: Meet the Man Behind the Feud

Originally posted 05/30/2012 05:25PM

Fourteen million cable TV watchers can't be wrong. As the dust settles on the History Channel dramatization of the great American feud – the network's ratings record-setter Hatfields & McCoys airs its third and final installment Wednesday night – perhaps it's time to step back and look at the real-life patriarchs being portrayed by Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton.

The series tells the tale of West Virginia's Devil Anse Hatfield (Costner) and Kentucky's Randall McCoy (Paxton), close friends until the end of the Civil War. Once home, simmering tensions and resentments soon explode into an all-out rivalry that encompasses years of land disputes, kidnappings, even murder.

While artistic liberties were admittedly taken by the makers of the TV drama, several facts remain, according to a Blue Ridge Country magazine account. Devil Anse, whose full name was Capt. William Anderson Hatfield, was "tall, gray-eyed and bearded" and looked remarkably like Stonewall Jackson.

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Credit: Kevin Lynch; Chris Large
Hatfields & McCoys: Whose Side Are You On? | Bill Paxton, Kevin Costner

TV News

Hatfields & McCoys: Whose Side Are You On?

Originally posted 05/30/2012 11:00AM

Hatfields & McCoys, the History Channel's epic miniseries starring Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton as the heads of the famous feuding families in the post-Civil War South, comes to an end Wednesday after the trilogy's first installment Monday registered nearly 14 million viewers – a ratings record for cable.

Costner and Paxton play close friends Devil Anse Hatfield and Randall McCoy, whose personal conflict escalated into a decades-long rivalry between their families in Kentucky and West Virginia, and nearly led to war between the two states in the post-war years.

"Costner comes as close to a hero as this piece gets," opined the Los Angeles Times TV critic. "It is a truly brilliant performance, worthy of an Emmy for the pipe-smoking alone."

Meanwhile, The Washington Post said, "Paxton takes full advantage of his juicier role as Randall McCoy, a war camp survivor with a taste for vengeance and hellfire religion."

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Cameron, Paxton Take on Real Titanic

Originally posted 04/10/2003 10:00AM

It seems director James Cameron and actor Bill Paxton just can't swim clear of the Titanic.

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'Frailty' Is Child's Play For Paxton

Originally posted 03/28/2002 01:00PM

The "Titantic" actor and father of two makes his directorial debut with a gothic fairy tale about a serial killer set on enacting God's will.

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Filed Under: Bill Paxton

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