‘Fast and Furious’ star Paul Walker dead at age 40

Paul Walker died Saturday in a car accident in Southern California.  The “Fast and the Furious” star was only 40-years-old.

As first reported by TMZ, Walker passed away after he was involved in a single-car accident and explosion today in Santa Clarita, CA.  The outlet reported Walker lost control of his Porsche GT and crashed into a tree or pole, but it turns out he was the passenger in the car and not the driver.  The car burst into flames and both Walker and the driver were killed.  Walker was in the outreaches of Los Angeles County for a car show benefiting the Philippines typhoon relief effort.

On Saturday evening, Walker’s Facebook page included this update: 

“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”

Walker’s publicist also confirmed his passing to the Associated Press.

He was most recently seen in “Fast and Furious 6” and was in production on “Fast and Furious 7.” 

The LA area native began his career as a teenager with guest appearances on TV shows such as “Highway to Heaven” as well as a stint on the ’80s sitcom “Throb.”  Walker’s movie career took off in the late ’90s with roles in Gary Ross’ “Pleasantville,” “She’s All That” and Brian Robbins’ “Varsity Blues.” It was an under the radar surprise hit, 2001’s “The Fast and the Furious,” that made him a star. The action thriller hit a chord with audiences and spawned a successful sequel, “2 Fast 2 Furious.” Walker didn’t return for the third film, but eventually found his way back for the fourth installment, “Fast and Furious,” which shocked Hollywood by grossing more than any of the three previous films.  The two follow ups, “Fast Five” and last May’s “Fast and Furious 6,” became global blockbusters.

Walker’s other credits included Richard Donner’s “Timeline,” “Into the Blue,” “Joyride,” “Running Scared,” a very small role in Clint Eastwood’s “Flags of our Fathers” and “Takers.” Unfortunately, the only hit that Walker that allowed Walker to really step out of his “Fast” persona was Walt Disney Studios’ family flick “Eight Below.”

Walker is survived by his 15-year-old daughter Meadow Parker.

More coverage from HitFix: 

Jordana Brewster and “Fast and Furious” director Justin Lin react to Walker’s death.

Video: Paul Walker’s last interview with HitFix for his upcoming movie “Hours”

Officials: Speed was a factor in Paul Walker car crash

Commentary: Thoughts on Paul Walker’s death and how we deal with celebrity death