Paul Walker was a popular American film and television actor who became best known for his work in the Fast and Furious series of films. However, his life was cut short in a car wreck, thus cutting his life of charity work and enthusiasm for film short.
His Career Beginnings
Paul Walker was born on September 12, 1973 in Glendale, California. While he was a prominent student at the Village Christian School in Sun Valley, California, he had plenty of experience in front of the camera before he graduated.
He was used as a child model for many television commercials for products for children including one advertisement for Pampers when he was a baby. He appeared on many different commercials and television shows in bit roles and got his first film role in 1986 with the movie Monster in the Closet.
He also appeared on a few episodes of the show Highway to Heaven and even appeared on sitcoms like Charles in Charge and Who’s the Boss. In 1992, he appeared on the soap opera the Young and the Restless in the role of Brandon Collins.
The Beginnings Of a Film Career
In 1998, Walker starred in the family comedy film Meet the Deedles. This film was marketed as a comedy that takes place in surf culture.
This led him into many other film roles around that time. He was heavily promoted as a big-name star for films that were targeting a teen audience. He starred in such films at the time as Varsity Blues, She’s All That and the Skulls. He also starred alongside Reese Witherspoon in the high-concept film Pleasantville around the same time.
Making His Breakout
Paul Walker made his biggest breakout in the 2001 film the Fast and the Furious. He starred in the film as car enthusiast Brain O’Conner. This role became the one that Walker would become the most famous for. He even brought back his role many times in many sequels including 2 Fast 2 Furious, Fast & Furious, Fast Five and Fast & Furious 6.
Much of Walker’s enthusiasm for the Fast and Furious series came from his interest in cars. He was an auto enthusiast that drove an BMW M3 E92 for many performance events and had acquired many sponsorships for his car.
Continued Film and Charity Roles
Thanks to his success in the Fast and Furious films, Walker continued to star in a variety of films. Throughout the 2000s, he starred in such films as Joy Ride, Eight Below, Running Scared and Flags Of Our Fathers.
He also had his own charitable organization called Reach Out Worldwide Formed in 2010, Reach Out works to help support parts of the world that have been impacted by natural disasters. His organization helped for many different aid missions including ones for the 2010 earthquakes in Chile and Haiti.
In addition, he was rather interested in marine biology. In 2010, he starred on the National Geographic Channel program Expedition Great White, or Shark Men as it is also known. He traveled with a number of biologists to find great white sharks and to tag them in order to identify their behavioral patterns.
His Sudden Death
On November 30, 2013, Walker and his friend and financial advisor Roger Rodas left a charity event for his Reach Out group in Valencia, California. They drove off in a Porsche Carrera GT and the vehicle ended up going fast at close to a hundred miles per hour. It is unclear as to what type of failures might have been found in the car but it is known that this was not part of an act of drag racing. Also, no drugs or alcohol were involved on the scene.
The vehicle crashed into a light pole at a high speed, causing a massive fire and severe damages to the vehicle. Walker and Rodas both died from their injuries while on the scene. Walker was in the passenger’s seat and he and Rodas both died on the scene from injuries and from the extreme fire that occurred after the wreck.
Walker was soon interred at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills. This has been known for being a cemetery were many celebrities are buried.
His Last Work
Two films with Walker were released not long after his death. In 2013, the thriller Hours was released only two weeks after his death.
In 2014, five months after his death, the film Brick Mansions was released. A remake of the action film District 13, this was the last film that he had completed prior to his death. He was the key star in both of the two films that were released after his death. While they were done filming at the time of his death, both films were dedicated to Walker and many profits from the films went to his charity. Sales of many Fast and Furious DVDs also went to the charity fund.
Walker had also did some work for the film Fast & Furious 7. He was going to return as Brian O’Conner in this film. Reports are that the character was not going to be killed off as expected but he would be prominent in some scenes with some body doubles coming in to replace Walker at many points. His two brothers will appear in the film as his body doubles for a number of scenes that he never starred in.
The film’s release was particularly pushed back as a result of his death and the need to adjust the film in order to make it easier to manage. The film is slated to be released in the United States on April 3, 2015. Not much is known as to how the film is going to honor Walker or if Brian O’Conner is actually going to be killed off or sent away in some form during the film.
The life of Paul Walker certainly was eventful. He starred in a number of films and made a big name for himself in the Fast and Furious series of films. While he died far too early, he is still a figure who is remembered fondly for all the work that he did in film and television as well as the charitable work that he was associated with.