Born on September 12th, 1973, Paul William Walker IV was an American actor known internationally for his participation in the Fast & Furious franchise. His birthplace was Glendale, California, where he was raised together with four younger siblings by parents Cheryl, a fashion model, and Paul William Walker III, a sewer contractor and former amateur boxer. The Walker family was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Walker graduated high school in 1991 and went to a community in Southern California to major in marine biology.
Walker’s first steps into the acting world were at the age of two when he began to appear in television commercials. He made his TV debut in 1984, when he had a guest role in the series CBS Schoolbreak Special. Young Paul spent the following decade taking on roles in a variety of popular shows of the time, like Highway to Heaven, Charles in Charge, Who’s the Boss?, Touched by an Angel and The Young and the Restless. During those years Walker also made his big screen debut in low budget, horror comedy Monster in the Closet (1986). His first feature film role was the comedy Meet the Deedles (1998). By the end of the decade, Walker had landed supporting roles in somewhat successful movies such as Pleasantville (1998), She’s All That (1999) and Varsity Blues (1999).
Paul Walker’s breakthrough role, which earned him international fame and stardom, was as one of the lead characters starring opposite Vin Diesel (who would later become one of his best friends) in The Fast and the Furious, which premiered in 2001. He went on to play the character in the seven subsequent films in the franchise. In that same year Walker starred in the commercially successful Joy Ride (2001), another car thriller that placed him as an action star. During the next couple of years he would participate in films not as successful, high-budget as before, like Into the Blue (2005) and Running Scared (2006). Walker was also cast in Clint Eastwood’s war film Flag of our Fathers (2006) and praised for his performance in the drama film Eight Below (2006).
Almost seven years after his first appearance as the character Brian O’Conner, Walker reprised his role for the Fast & Furious sequel in 2009. In between movies of his most famous franchise, he starred in the heist movie Takers (2010) and later founded his own production company, Laguna Ridge Pictures. He also resumed his modeling career in 2011, as the face of Cool Water, a fragrance brand.
In 2013, Paul Walker passed away in an unfortunate car accident on his way to a charity event. At the time he had been filming the seventh installment of Fast & Furious, which had to halt production in the wake of the accident. The film was completed using old footage and stand-ins for his character, and was dedicated to his memory. Walker had four films released after his death: a remake of the French film District 13 (2004), thriller film Hours (2013), action film Brick Mansions (2014), and Pawn Shop Chronicles (2013), in which he also served as executive producer.