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Paul Walker was an American actor who came to fame in movies such as Varsity Blues and became well-known for his starring role in The Fast and the Furious franchise.
Born in California in 1973, Paul Walker made his big-screen debut in the 1986 horror spoof Monster in Your Closet. After appearing in several television shows in the 1990s, including Charles in Charge, Who's the Boss? and The Young and the Restless, Walker gained attention with a role in the 1999 film Varsity Blues, and his TV days were officially behind him. After working in teen movies such as She's All That and The Skulls, Walker got his breakthrough role in 2001 with The Fast and the Furious, which would become his star vehicle and keep him busy through four sequels and a short prequel. The Fast and the Furious franchise established Walker as an action-film mainstay, and he went on to appear in several films in the genre, including Takers, Hours and Vehicle 19. Walker died in a car accident on November 30, 2013, at age 40.
Born on September 12, 1973, in Glendale, California, Paul Walker appeared in front of the camera at a young age, modeling and acting in television shows such as Charles in Charge, Highway to Heaven and Who's the Boss. In 1986, he made his film debut in the horror spoof Monster in the Closet while also landing a recurring role on TV's Throb.
After high school, Walker attended various California community colleges, but he dove into acting full-time in 1993, taking a role in the soap opera The Young and the Restless. After a handful of TV guest roles and the lead in Tammy and the T-Rex, Walker starred in the family comedy Meet the Deedles and left his TV career behind for good.
Walker's next role was a big one for his career: He appeared opposite Reese Witherspoon in the critically acclaimed, high-concept Pleasantville. From that point on, Walker found himself in starring roles in such late-1990s films as She's All That, Varsity Blues and The Skulls—all pitched at a teen audience which helped turn Walker into a heartthrob.
The Role of a Lifetime
In 2001, Walker's career hit overdrive when he landed a leading role alongside up-and-comer Vin Diesel in The Fast and the Furious. A film that paid homage to road films of the 1970s, The Fast and the Furious brought Walker to new heights of fame on the way to box-office receipts of more than $200 million.
Two years later, the franchise was back with its first sequel, 2 Fast 2 Furious, and Walker was again along for the ride. The film's gross was even larger than the first, and a bona fide hit series was under way. Walker then appeared in a few more action-oriented movies, including Timeline (2003), Into the Blue (2005) and Running Scared (2006), while also signing on to appear in the ensemble drama Noel (2004) and the children's adventure movie Eight Below (2006).
Walker also showed his range as an actor in the 2006 war drama Flags of Our Fathers, directed by Clint Eastwood. He continued to take on more action movie roles in The Death and Life of Bobby Z (2007), Takers (2010) and Fast Five (2011)—the third installment of the Fast and Furious franchise. In 2012, Walker signed on to film The Fast and the Furious 6 (2013), keeping the series' momentum going.
While not filming, Walker was active in Reach Out Worldwide, a nonprofit organization he formed in 2010 to bring aid to regions devastated by natural disasters.
I live by 'Go big or go home.' That's with everything. It's like either commit and go for it or don't do it at all. I apply that to everything. I apply that to relationships, I apply that to like sports, I apply that to everything. That's what I live by. That's how I like it.”