Essays · Features and Columns

Fade Out: Paul Walker (1973–2013)

By  · Published on December 1st, 2013

Actor Paul Walker was killed this afternoon in a car accident in Santa Clarita, California. He was the passenger in a friend’s Porsche, which hit a light post and tree and then burst into flames, according to the L.A. County Police Department via the Associated Press/Los Angeles Times. Both victims were attending a charity event.

Walker, who began in Hollywood at age 2 and just recently had turned 40, is best known for the recurring role of Brian O’Conner in the Fast and Furious movies, having appeared in all except the third movie, Tokyo Drift. The seventh movie is currently in post-production and set for release next summer, though it’s unknown if he might have been needed for additional work or reshoots. Another film, Hours, which debuted at the SXSW Film Festival this year, opens posthumously on December 13th.

His other movies include Joy Ride, Varsity Blues, Running Scared, Timeline, Takers and another 2013 release, Vehicle 19. He was a great lover of cars, which explains some of his role choices, and that makes the way he died especially tragic.

What is less known about Walker is that he was a founder of the organization Reach Out Worldwide, the organization holding today’s event, an automotive gathering and toy drive. Through ROWW, he physically helped out with earthquake relief in both Haiti and Chile following their devastating back to back disasters in 2010. And since then, it’s been around the world responding to natural disasters, including the recent catastrophic typhoon in the Philippines and tornadoes in Illinois.

Condolences go out to Walker’s friends and family and fans. He entertained the world and did great service to help those in need. May he rest in peace.

Related Topics:

Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.