A fiery car crash north of Los Angeles has killed 40-year-old Paul Walker,the star of the Fast & Furious movie series,and one other person in the vehicle.
Deputies found a Porsche Carrera GT engulfed in flames when they responded to a report of a collision Saturday afternoon in the community of Valencia,the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department said. Two people who were found in the car were pronounced dead at the scene.
Walkers publicist Ame Van Iden confirmed the actors death. A statement on Walkers Facebook page said he was a passenger in a friends car,and that Walker was in the area to attend a charity event for his organisation Reach Out Worldwide.
The Sheriffs Department said that speed was a factor in the crash.
The Santa Clarita Valley Signal reported that the Porsche crashed into a light pole and tree and burst into flames. His Fast & Furious co-star Vin Diesel posted a photograph of him and Walker arm-in-arm on Instagram with the message: Brother I will miss you very much. I am absolutely speechless.
Walker rode the Fast & Furious franchise to stardom,starring in all but one of the six action blockbusters,beginning with the first film in 2001. The blond-haired,blue-eyed Los Angeles-native brought California surfer good-looks and an easy,warm charm to the popular street-racing series.
The son of a fashion model and a sewer contractor,Walker grew up in a working class,Mormon household in Glendale,California. The oldest of five siblings,Walkers mother began taking him to auditions as a toddler.
Walker has said the early induction to show business wasn’t to start him on a career path,but as a way to help provide for the family.
After a string of TV roles as a child in the ’80s,including small roles on Who’s the Boss and Charles in Charge,Walker made his feature film debut in the 1998 comedy Meet the Deedles. His performance in the 2000 thriller The Skulls caught the eye of producer Neal H Moritz,who cast him in The Fast and the Furious as undercover police officer Brian O’Conner. Adapted from a Vibe magazine article about underground street races,the film became an unexpected hit.
Walker,a self-described gearhead, kept his character’s sports car from the film 2 Fast 2 Furious.
Walker starred in other films,including the crime thriller Running Scared,the Antarctic adventure Eight Below and the heist film Takers. Walker continually drew praise from his co-stars and directors as a kind-hearted and eager collaborator. Your humble spirit was felt from the start, Ludacris,Walkers Fast & Furious co-star,said on Twitter.
He formed Reach Out Worldwide in 2010 to aid people struck by natural disasters.
Walker is survived by his 15-year-old daughter.