Actor Paul Walker died today in a single-car accident, according to his representatives. Walker, 40, is best known for his work in the "Fast and Furious" series, which released its sixth installment this year. He was in production on the seventh installment in the series.
The actor was a passenger in a friend's car during a charity event for Reach Out Worldwide, the non-profit organization he founded to provide disaster and post-disaster relief. Both Walker and the driver were pronounced dead on the scene, according to Variety. The news was first reported by TMZ.
The actor's official Facebook page posted the following message:
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
Universal Studios, the studio behind the "Fast and Furious" franchise issued the following statement:
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. We send our deepest and most sincere condolences to Paul’s family.
Stars took to Twitter to pay tribute to Walker. His "Fast & Furious" co-star Ludacris tweeted, "Your humble spirit was felt from the start, wherever you blessed your presence you always left a mark...You will forever hold a place in all of our hearts…"
While much of Walker's career was spent in Hollywood, he recently starred in the 2013 SXSW film "Hours," set in New Orleans during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The film is due out December 13. He also had memorable roles in the acclaimed films Gary Ross' "Pleasantville" and Clint Eastwood's "Flags of Our Fathers."
Walker started acting as a child in commercials, before moving on to appear on TV series including "Highway to Heaven," "Diff'rent Strokes," "Charles in Charge," "Who's the Boss?" and “The Young and the Restless" and then graduating to film in the late 90s with movies such as "Varsity Blues" and "She's All That."
Acting came easily to Walker. "I didn't have to work for it. Do you really appreciate it when something’s just handed to you? It was handed to me at an early age and I realized that unless you really take control of it and own it, it’s always going to feel that way," he told Indiewire in an interview earlier this year.
He is survived by his teenage daughter.