"I love doing action. I'm still just a big kid. My favorite days are the days that I get to show up on a movie like this and I get to run and jump and blast dudes around, hop over fences," Paul Walker told Movies Online back in 2009 during the press run for "Fast & Furious." And certainly is his all too brief run at the movies, he got to do the very thing he loved in a variety of pictures, including one of the biggest franchises on the planet.
Sad news rolls in tonight, as Paul Walker has tragically passed away at the age of 40, following a car accident in southern California. TMZ reports (and have confirmed the news with his representatives, who have issued an official statement -- see below), the actor and another passenger lost their lives after they lost control of the vehicle they had been driving. The identity of the other victim of the accident has not yet been disclosed.
Walker was first in front of the camera at the age of 2, appearing in a TV commercial for Pampers, followed by a string of TV appearances before the young actor booked some movie roles that brought him more attention—in fare such as "Varsity Blues," "Pleasantville" and "The Skulls." However, it was his turn as Brian O'Conner in "The Fast & The Furious" that firmly established his career.
The action series—in which Walker has appeared in all but one of the films ("The Fast & The Furious: Tokyo Drift")—anchored his career, leading him to star in a variety of genre thrillers and action flicks. "Joy Ride," "Into The Blue," "Running Scared" and "Takers" were indicative of the kinds of movies that Walker found his niche in, but it was "Fast & Furious" where he would continue to return to ongoing success.
Walker currently has two completed films awaiting release: the Hurricane Katrina thriller "Hours," and "Brick Mansions," the remake of "District B13." He was currently filming "Fast & Furious 7" for release next summer, though it's unclear how his passing will affect those plans at this point. Paul Walker is survived by his daughter Meadow Rain.
Statement from Paul Walker's official Facebook page: It is with a truly heavy heart that we must confirm that Paul Walker passed away today in a tragic car accident while attending a charity event for his organization Reach Out Worldwide. He was a passenger in a friend's car, in which both lost their lives. We appreciate your patience as we too are stunned and saddened beyond belief by this news. Thank you for keeping his family and friends in your prayers during this very difficult time. We will do our best to keep you apprised on where to send condolences. - #TeamPW
Statement from Universal Pictures: "All of us at Universal are heartbroken. Paul was truly one of the most
beloved and respected members of our studio family for 14 years, and
this loss is devastating to us, to everyone involved with the FAST AND
FURIOUS films, and to countless
fans. We send our deepest and most sincere condolences to Paul's