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Commentary: ‘Fast & Furious’ star Paul Walker dies at 40 in car crash

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Paul Walker arrives at the premiere of ‘Fast and Furious 4’ in Lille, France March 18, 2009. The actor, 40, was confirmed dead Nov. 30 in a car crash while on the way to a toy drive. Credit: Courtesy of MCT

Paul Walker arrives at the premiere of ‘Fast and Furious 4’ in Lille, France March 18, 2009. The actor, 40, was confirmed dead Nov. 30 in a car crash while on the way to a toy drive.
Credit: Courtesy of MCT

“Fast and Furious” star Paul Walker was confirmed dead in a car crash Saturday. Walker, who was 40 years old, and his friend Roger Rodas were attending a toy drive and car meet in Valencia in Santa Clarita, Calif., for Walker’s organization Reach Out Worldwide at Always Evolving Performance Motors, in which both men reportedly have business ties.

Rodas, the driver of the red Porsche, lost control of the car and crashed into a tree, according to reports from The Santa Clarita Valley Signal. A light standard was also knocked over at the scene of the crash.. Rodas also died in the accident.

Walker’s claim to fame is his role as Brian O’Connor in the critically-acclaimed movie franchise “Fast & Furious” and was in the midst of filming “Fast & Furious 7,” which would follow the most recent film, released in May. The seventh film of the series was set to release July 11, 2014, but production has been delayed, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Walker began his career at a young age through modeling and appearing in commercials and small TV shows. After his 1986 debut in the movie “Monster in the Closet,” Walker was involved in various TV programs until a feature role in the 1998 comedy “Meet the Deedles” led to more hit roles in movies, such as “Varsity Blues” (1999) and “She’s All That” (1999).

It was not until starring alongside Vin Diesel in the 2001 action movie “The Fast and the Furious” that Walker made a name for himself in the cinema world, appearing in four of the subsequent movies in the series.

Vin Diesel posted a photograph of the two on Twitter in memory of Walker.

“Brother, I will miss you very much. Heaven has gained a new angel. Rest in peace xxx,” Vin Diesel tweeted at about 2 a.m. Sunday morning.

In addition to actor, Walker was a father to 15-year-old daughter Meadow Walker.

“When I was little he taught me to walk, taught me to smile, and taught me to never give up. I loved him even before I knew what love was. He was my hero. My REAL life hero! He will always be in my heart! It brings tears in my eyes as I write this. You’re gone, but not forgotten! R.I.P Dad!” Meadow Walker posted on her Facebook wall along with a photograph of the two.

Walker was an avid fan of surfing and marine biology, traveling and driving race cars. He valued any time he could give to Reach Out Worldwide, which is “a quick-response, mobile first aid organization aiding in rescue and recovery after major natural disasters around the globe,” according to the organization’s Facebook page. The nonprofit organization is currently raising funds to assist those affected by the recent typhoon in the Philippines.

However, at the end of the day, Walker seemed to realize what should be held most important in life.

“You know, all that really matters is that the people you love are happy and healthy,” he said to “Flaunt Magazine” in July 2001. “Everything else is just sprinkles on the sundae.”

 

2 comments

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