Actor Paul Walker, best known for his roles in the “Fast & Furious” action movies, died on Saturday (November 30) in a car crash in Santa Clarita, California, his rep has confirmed. He was 40 years old.
Mr. Walker, who was in five of the six films about illegal street racing and heists, was a passenger in a friend’s Porsche Carrera GT and was attending a charity event, according to a message linked to his Twitter account.
“Sadly, I must confirm that Paul did pass away this afternoon in a car accident,” Ame Van Iden, Walker’s publicist, said in an email.
Walker’s team released this statement on his Facebook and Twitter pages: “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.”
It continues: “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.”
When early word had spread that Paul Walker had died Saturday, Bill Townsend posted this picture on Facebook and this message: “The early news reports that Paul Walker has died. I was just with him no more than 2 or 3 hours ago.”
He continued: “Talking cars, he was so happy seeing all his friends get together to look at the cars. I hope it wasn’t him in the wreck, but if it was, he would have passed doing something he loved, which is driving cars. The world lost an angel in Paul.”
“He dedicated so much of his life to helping disadvantaged kids and people who are in need, with his charity recently assisting those in the tornadoes in the Midwest and the trauma in the Philippines. Just today we had hundreds of toys donated for kids, all apart of Paul’s charity. If this sad news indeed true I’m going to do whatever I can to keep Pauls goals for the charity alive,” he added.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement that two people were killed in a car accident in Valencia, a community in the city of Santa Clarita, at about 3:30pm (6:30pm. ET).
Deputies arriving at the scene found the vehicle engulfed in flames. The victims were pronounced dead at the scene, the statement said. The office did not provide the identities of the dead, and said the cause was under investigation.
The first movie in the series, which stars Vin Diesel, was released in 2001, and a seventh was in development at the time of his death, Universal, the studio behind the franchise, said in a statement. Walker’s other credits include “Varsity Blues,” “Into the Blue,” “Flags of Our Fathers” and “Takers.”
“Brother I will miss you very much,” Vin Diesel said in a post on Instagram, adding “I am absolutely speechless. Heaven has gained a new Angel. Rest in Peace.”
Universal conveyed its condolences to Walker’s family, saying, “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.”
More tributes flowed on social media websites such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. “So sad. He gave a lot of joy,” wrote James Franco, while model/actor Tyson Beckford posted “Tyson Beckford: RIP Paul Walker, loved working with you on “Into the Blue.”
Television host Carson Daly said that he was “Sick about the tragic loss of #PaulWalker. I enjoyed our time together very much. Such a really nice guy,” while actress Alyssa Milano, current host of “Project Runway All Stars,” protested “No. No. No” before adding “Rest with the angels.”