Actor Paul Walker, best known for his role as Brian O’Connor in the Fast and Furious film franchise, died in a car crash yesterday afternoon. He was 40.
The actor was a passenger in a friend’s car during a charity event for Reach Out Worldwide, the non-profit organization he founded to provide disaster and post-disaster relief. Both Walker and the driver were pronounced dead on the scene, according to Variety.
The actor’s official Facebook page posted the following message:
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
Universal Studios, the studio behind the “Fast and Furious” franchise issued the following statement:
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 family.
While he’ll always been known for the ‘Fast and Furious’ franchise (which got really good starting with #4 and has kept getting better), I’d say his two essential movies are ‘Eight Below‘, the Disney family flick set in Antarctica where he rescues a stranded dog sled team, and ‘Running Scared‘, Wayne Kramer’s insanely violent and gloriously trashy piece of gonzo crime film.
The two couldn’t be tonally further apart from one another, but Walker was superb in both. Check them out if you can.