Actor Paul Walker died in a car accident on Saturday Nov. 30, 2013. Prior to the crash, Walker was attending his Reach Out WorldWide charity car show in Valencia, Calif. He was 40 years old.
Walker is known for his famous role as ex-cop Brian O’Conner in the Fast and Furious series. With the seventh movie still in production, the decision to continue filming has not yet been made.
Now that his indie-thriller project, Hours (which is about a man who struggled to take care of his newborn baby after Hurricane Katrina) is completed, we can expect to see Walker on the screen once more when it releases in 15 select U.S. cities on Dec. 13.
Before Walker’s career took off in 2009 with Fast and Furious, the actor landed a role as Skip Martin in Pleasantville with Reese Witherspoon in 1998 and Dean Thompson in She’s All That with Freddie Prinze Jr. the following year. When his big break came in Fast and Furious, Walker found himself starring alongside big shots such as Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez.
Born on Sept. 12, 1973, Walker quickly found his way on TV; as a baby, he starred in Pampers commercials. He also starred in several television series before landing roles on the big screen. Some may remember him from “Highway to Heaven” (1985-1986) and “Touched by an Angel” (1996).
However, Walker wasn’t just an actor; he was an enthusiast in life.
His love for cars was already there before he starred in Fast and Furious. He joined the AE Performance team and competed semi-professionally in Redline Time Attack series. His interview on GTChannel demonstrates how much of a car lover he really was.
Walker was also a nature-lover. Before entering the movie industry, he was majoring in marine biology at a community college. In his interview with VagrantTV, Walker mentioned he wanted to pursue a career in this field; however, he put school on hold when he got a role in Pleasantville. Yet, that didn’t hinder his passion for marine biology since he joined The Billfish Foundation. In addition, Walker also joined a group of scientists in National Geographic’s “Expedition Great White”, where he helped scientists catch great white sharks and tag them with GPS devices.
Walker’s passion didn't stop at nature; it extended to charity. He was involved Reach Out WorldWide, a non-profit charity organization. According to the website, ROWW is a network of professionals with first-responder skill sets, and they “provide their expertise when disasters strike and augment local resources with the goal of accelerating relief efforts on a worldwide basis.” Currently, ROWW is working on helping those affected by the typhoon disaster in the Philippines and the Illinois tornadoes.
Above all else, Walker was a father to a teenager daughter, Meadow Rain. His daughter moved in with him recently, and the actor found himself transitioning from being a dad to full-time dad. "My daughter lives with me full time now and she’s the best partner I’ve ever had," he told Entertainment Weekly earlier this year.
Walker is greatly missed by his friends, especially his Fast and Furious family.
On Instagram, Vin Diesel wrote, “Brother I will miss you very much. I am absolutely speechless. Heaven has gained a new Angel. Rest in Peace.”
Ludacris tweeted, “Your humble spirit was felt from the start, wherever you blessed your presence you always left a mark, we were like brothers & our birthdays are only 1 day apart, now You will forever hold a place in all of our hearts @paulwalker legacy will live on forever. R.I.P.”
And Tyrese expressed his shock: “My heart is hurting so bad no one can make me believe this is real Father God I pray that you send clarity over this cause I just don't understand My heart hurts it's broken no one can convince me that this is real.... Prayer warriors please pray real hard for his only child, his daughter and family...My God... My God... I can't believe I'm writing this."
James Van Der Beek tweeted twice. The first one read, “Thoughts and prayers tonight are with Paul Walker's friends and family, especially his little girl. So sad. Very heavy heart tonight.” He followed up with, “I just remember him as being so effortlessly golden. He had that way about him, that "thing"... #rippaulwalker #TeamPW.”
Olivia Wilde tweeted, “Heavy heavy heart tonight. Paul Walker was a genuinely good, sweet, kind, laid back, loving person. Sending much love to his family.”
Gabrielle Union tweeted, “This is awful. Awful. #RIPPaulWalker pls pray for his family, friends & fans. We've lost a great, laid back, sweet, cool man & father.”