Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Goodbye Paul Walker

The world went into shock at the weekend as the news spread of the untimely death in a road traffic accident of one of its favourite sons - Paul Walker, better known as Brian O’Conner of The Fast and the Furious franchise. He was 40. Walker’s death occurred on November 30th after leaving a charity event for victims of the recent hurricane in the Philippines, when the driver of the vehicle he was a passenger in, lost control and crashed into a street lamp post and tree and was engulfed in flames. Rescue efforts were unsuccessful and both occupants of the car were pronounced dead by the LA County Sheriff’s Dept.

An actor from a young age, his first work was as a toddler in commercials and later advanced to television when he was older with roles on Highway to Heaven, Who’s the Boss? and Touched by an Angel. His early film career spanned the late 90’s with roles in Pleasantville and The Skulls. Walker’s career properly took off in 2001 when he starred in Rob Cohen’s now-classic The Fast and the Furious in 2001. As deep undercover FBI agent Brian O’Conner the role [and the movie’s unprecedented success] established Walker as a notable movie star and leading man in other movies such as Timeline, Into the Blue, Eight Below and a role in Clint Eastwood’s Flags of Our Fathers. However it was still the Fast and Furious movies with which he will be most remembered, having reprised his O’Conner role in four of the five sequels currently released with a seventh entry in the franchise currently in production and due for release in July 2014 [for which he had believed to have filmed most of his scenes]. He will appear in The Hours, due for release this month.

Walker was of Irish, English and German descent, the son of a fashion model and a drainage contractor, born and raised in California and majored in marine biology in college. He resided in Santa Barbara with his daughter whom he is survived by. He was a brown-belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He was active in marine biology circles and was on the Billfish Foundation board of directors and spent time tagging great white sharks off the coast of Mexico. He also established REACH OUT Worldwide, a humanitarian aid organisation with which he flew to Chile and Haiti to assist earthquake victims. Walker was a self-confessed “gearhead”, an avid car enthusiast and racer. The car his character drove in 2 Fast, 2 Furious was in fact his own personal vehicle.

Walker leaves behind his daughter as well as millions of fans worldwide. Friends, co-stars and colleagues of the acting world like Tyrece Gibson, Dwane “The Rock” Johnson, Alyssa Milano, Jamie Bell, Idris Elba and Jessica Alba all took to Twitter to express grief. Said Fast and Furious co-star Vin Diesel: "To live in the hearts we leave behind, is not to die."

1 comment:

Cubaboy said...

"The world went into shock"? Which world exactly went into shock? My world went into "not giving a shit that a rich talentless actor died"