The news that Fast and Furious star Paul Walker passed away yesterday seemed to shock and stun everyone last night. The actor and humanitarian was only 40 years old when he died in a fiery car crash in Valencia, Santa Clarita, California with friend Roger Rodas. As tragic as the loss is, Walker leaves behind a legacy of charity work and popular action films that were loved by fans all over the world. Here’s a look back at Walker’s life, the movies he made and the difference he’s made in people’s lives.
Paul William Walker IV was born September 12, 1973 in Glendale, California. He was raised in a Mormon household and started going on auditions as a child to help support the family. Movie stardom was never the actor’s dream. His first love was the ocean and he studied marine biology at various community colleges before his film career took off.
Walker is burned in many film fans’ memories as one of the big heartthrobs of the late ’90s teen movie boom. He appeared as Reece Witherspoon‘s love interest in Pleasantville, co-starred opposite James Van Der Beek in Varsity Blues and Freddie Prinze, Jr. in She’s All That.
His big break came in 2001 when he appeared as Brian O’Conner in the original The Fast and the Furious film. The movie became a surprise international hit and spawned six sequels. Walker appeared in all but one.
It’s not clear yet how his untimely death will affect production on the seventh Fast & Furious film, but Vin Diesel suggested on Instagram that they were filming some extra scenes in Los Angeles just last week.
Diesel has already posted a message on Instagram in memory of Walker that reads, “Brother I will miss you very much. I am absolutely speechless. Heaven has gained a new Angel. Rest in Peace.”
The prevailing sentiment in Hollywood has been that we haven’t just lost a popular film star, but a good man.
Walker is survived by his fifteen-year-old daughter Meadow.