R.I.P. Paul Walker (1973-2013)
Reports have arrived from multiple sources – and are now being confirmed by Paul Walker's Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as his personal publicist – that the 40-year-old star of the Fast and Furious franchise has died on Saturday, November 30th in a car crash. Walker, who was the passenger in a car driven by an as-yet-unnamed friend, is survived by his 15-year-old daughter, Meadow Rain.
Walker made his feature film debut in the cult classic horror-comedy Monster in the Closet, as a 13-year-old "Professor." He remained active in television until the late 1990s, when a string of memorable supporting roles in the hit films Pleasantville, Varsity Blues and She's All That made him a recognizable movie star.
Leading roles soon followed in Rob Cohen's college conspiracy thriller The Skulls and John Dahl's road trip horror movie Joy Ride, but it was his leading performance in 2001's The Fast and the Furious opposite action star Vin Diesel that would become his cinematic calling card, despite a career that would continue in surprise box office successes (Eight Below, Takers), serious dramatic features (Flags of Our Fathers, Running Scared) and – as can be said for most actors – a handful of box office bombs (Timeline, The Death and Life of Bobby Z).
Paul Walker went on to appear in all but one of the six Fast and Furious movies (2006's The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift being a spin-off of the original series), and was currently in production on Fast and Furious 7 when he passed away earlier today. The fate of Fast and Furious 7 is currently unknown, as is the future of Walker's other upcoming feature projects, which include Brick Mansions (an American remake of the hit French parkour adventure District B13) and an upcoming reboot of the Hitman franchise in which Paul Walker was set to star.
Paul Walker was a charismatic leading man, and a member of one of the most beloved ensemble casts in action movie history. His fatal collision occurred while he was out supporting Reach Out Worldwide, a charity organization that was trying to raise funds for relief in The Philippines. While we did not know him personally, he seemed like a fine person who was using his celebrity to make the world a better place. What more could we ask of a movie star?
Paul Walker most certainly will be missed, and our hearts certainly go out to his friends and loved ones. Although it may be small consolation, we will always have his films to remember him by. Here are a handful of our favorites.