Paul William Walker IV (September 12, 1973 – November 30, 2013) was an American actor. He began his early career guest-starring in several television shows such as The Young and the Restless and Touched by an Angel.
Walker gained prominence with breakout roles in coming-of-age and teen films such as She's All That and Varsity Blues. In 2001, Walker gained international fame for playing Brian O'Conner, one of the lead protagonists in the street racing action film The Fast and the Furious, and would reprise the role in its sequels.
He was also in films such as Eight Below, Into the Blue, Joy Ride and Takers. Outside of acting, Walker was the face of The Coty Prestige fragrance brand Davidoff Cool Water for Men and starred in the National Geographic Channel series, Expedition Great White. He also founded the charity Reach Out Worldwide (ROWW), an organization providing relief efforts for areas affected by natural disasters.
Walker died in a single-car accident on November 30, 2013 alongside friend Roger Rodas. His films Hours and Brick Mansions were released posthumously and his final film Furious 7 is scheduled to be released on April 3, 2015 in the United States.
Walker lived in Santa Barbara with his dogs. He and Rebecca Soteros, a one-time girlfriend, have a daughter named Meadow Walker, who lived with her mother in Hawaii for 13 years and then moved to California to live with Walker in 2011. He previously dated Jasmine Gosnell. He held a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Ricardo "Franjinha" Miller at Paragon Jiu-Jitsu and was awarded with his black belt by Miller posthumously. Walker held an interest in marine biology; he joined the Board of Directors of The Billfish Foundation in 2006.
He fulfilled a lifelong dream by starring in a National Geographic Channel series Expedition Great White (later retitled Shark Men), which premiered in June 2010. He spent 11 days as part of the crew, catching and tagging 7 great white sharks off the coast of Mexico. The expedition, led by Chris Fischer, founder and CEO of Fischer Productions, along with Captain Brett McBride and Dr. Michael Domeier of the Marine Conservation Science Institute took measurements, gathered DNA samples, and fastened real-time satellite tags to the great white sharks.
This allowed Dr. Domeier to study migratory patterns especially those associated with mating and birthing over a 5-year period of time. In March 2010, Walker went to Constitución, Chile to offer his help and support to the people injured in the 8.8 magnitude earthquake that struck on February 27. He flew with his humanitarian aid team, Reach Out Worldwide, to Haiti to lend a helping hand to the 2010 Haiti earthquake victims.
An avid car enthusiast, he competed in the Redline Time Attack racing series in which he raced an M3 E92 and was on the AE Performance Team. His car was sponsored by Etnies, Brembo Brakes, Ohlins, Volk, OS Giken, Hankook, Gintani, and Reach Out Worldwide. Walker had been preparing for an auto show prior to his death. Roger Rodas became Walker's financial adviser in 2007 and helped to establish Reach Out Worldwide. Rodas, a pro-am racer who worked as Walker's financial adviser, was the CEO of Always Evolving, a Valencia high-end vehicle performance shop owned by Walker.
Walker was close friends with his The Fast and the Furious co-star Tyrese Gibson. Vin Diesel considered Walker to be like a brother, both on and off screen, and affectionately called him "Pablo". Walker's mother referred to her son as Diesel's 'other half.' On November 30, 2013, at approximately 3:30 p.m. PST, in Valencia, CA, Walker and Rodas, 38, left an event for Walker's charity Reach Out Worldwide for victims of Typhoon Haiyan in Rodas's red 2005 Porsche Carrera GT.
The car crashed into a concrete lamppost and two trees on Hercules Street, a 45 miles per hour (72 km/h) speed zone near Kelly Johnson Parkway in Valencia, Santa Clarita, California, after which the vehicle burst into flames. Rodas died of multiple traumatic injuries, while Walker died from the combined effects of traumatic and thermal injuries, according to the Los Angeles county coroner's office. Both of their bodies were burned beyond recognition.
The curve where Walker and Rodas were killed is a popular spot for drifting cars. The coroner's report stated that the 2005 Porsche Carrera GT was traveling at a speed possibly as high as 100 miles per hour (160 km/h) before the crash. The coroner's report further stated that no alcohol or other drugs were found in the systems of either man.
In March 2014, further investigation revealed that the speed of the car was the lone reason for the crash. The car was said to be traveling between 80 miles per hour (130 km/h) and 93 miles per hour (150 km/h), and had nine-year-old tires that were seldom driven on.
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