This is a sad way to come back from an otherwise nice holiday break. Over the weekend, news broke that ‘Fast & Furious’ star Paul Walker has died. He was only 40-years-old and leaves behind a teenager daughter.
In a tragic irony, the actor famous for leading a car racing franchise died in an auto accident. Walker was a passenger in a 2005 Porsche Carrera GT driven by his friend, the owner of a high-end vehicle dealership. On Saturday afternoon, both men were killed in a crash after leaving a charity event. The Sheriff’s Department in Santa Clarity County, CA, has reported that, “Speed was a factor in the solo vehicle collision.” The car hit a light pole and was engulfed in flames. Both victims were pronounced dead at the scene.
After coming up through the acting ranks in movie bit parts and TV walk-on roles, Walker broke out as a leading man with 2001’s racing thriller ‘The Fast and the Furious‘. Although he had limited success outside that franchise, he returned for four more ‘Furious’ movies – only missing the third installment, ‘Tokyo Drift’. With a simple yet appealing formula (fast cars, big explosions) and an attractive ensemble cast, the ‘Furious’ franchise has been extremely popular around the world. This summer’s most recent entry, ‘Fast & Furious 6‘, was the highest-grossing yet with a box office haul of nearly $800 million. Before his death, Walker had already shot footage for next summer’s ‘Fast & Furious 7’. At this time, it isn’t known whether he finished filming his part in the movie, or whether the circumstances of his death will affect the studio’s release plans.
The actor was an auto and racing enthusiast off-screen as well as on. In 2010, he competed in the RedLine Time Attack racing event, where he drove a custom BMW M3. He owned a Nissan Skyline R34 that was featured in ‘2 Fast 2 Furious’.
‘Fast & Furious 6’ is scheduled for release on Blu-ray on December 10th.