Paul Walker was an American actor whose best-known role was as Brian O’Conner in The Fast and the Furious movie franchise. He passed away on November 30, 2013 when the Porsche Carrera GT he was in as a passenger crashed on a road in Valencia, CA. According to the forensic tests done at the scene of the crash, the car had been travelling 50 to 80 km/hr over the speed limit. Walker was not the driver of the vehicle; his friend and business partner Roger Rojas had been the Porsche’s driver. Wear of the tires was determined to have been the main culprit for the crash.(1)
Walker’s birth name was Paul William Walker IV. He passed away at the age of 40.
Walker was raised in Glendale, CA. His parents were both Mormon and raised Paul and his four siblings in the faith of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
As Paul entered high school, he began attending a Christian school. He graduated in 1991 from Village Christian School in Sun Valley, CA.
Sometime between his graduation and the first Fast and Furious movie in 2001, Paul Walker changed his faith and became a non-denominational Christian. “I’m a Christian now,” he once said in a 2005 article, four years after the release of the first Fast and Furious picture.
“The things that drove me crazy growing up was how everyone works at fault-finding with different religions. The people I don’t understand are atheists. I go surfing and snow-boarding and I’m always around nature. I look at everything and think, ‘Who couldn’t believe there’s a God? Is all this a mistake?’ It just blows me away.”
Walker easily falls into the non-political category. One gets the sense he’s just doing his thing, with none too many cares. Originally, his dream was to be a marine biologist and one of his idols is Jacques Cousteau so one might assume he’s bit of an environmentalist. Later grown Walker, was heavily attached to animals and considered liberal.
Throughout his professional career Paul Walker remained active in charitable causes. Bill Townsend, a friend of the actor, went on the record to state that Paul “dedicated so much of his life to helping disadvantaged kids and people who are in need, with his charity recently assisting tornado victims in the Midwest and in the Philippines.” (2)
On the day of Paul Walker’s death he had been at a charity fundraiser for Philippino victims of Typhoon Yolanda. Walker’s charity, Reach Out Worldwide, helps victims of natural disasters.
Walker had one daughter from his relationship with a girlfriend, Rebecca McBrain. The daughter, Meadow Rain, was born in 1998.
It’s against the religion of Mormonism to have sex outside of the confines of marriage. Whether this was a deciding incident that led Paul Walker to leave the Mormon faith and move to Christianity is unclear.
However, there are two things that are very clear about Paul Walker and his relationships: friendship and family.
Paul was very close to his Fast and Furious castmates Vin Diesel and Tyrese Gibson. After learning of their friend’s passing, Diesel flew back to the States and rushed to Paul Walker mother’s home. There, Paul’s mother told Diesel that he had lost “his other half”. In the day following the car crash that claimed Walker’s life, an emotional Tyrese Gibson went to the crash site where he broke down.
The second undisputed fact was that Paul Walker was also close to his daughter Meadow. She moved in with her father and urged him to leave acting so he could spend more time with her.
“I went to a born-again Christian high school, was brought up in a traditional Mormon family where these ideas about parenting are of structure and sacrifice. To think outside of that idea of family and parenting that I’ve grown up with is tough, but also very freeing,” said the actor.
After losing their son and brother, the Walker family worked with Universal Pictures, the studio behind the Fast and Furious movies, to suitably find a way to bring closure to the role of Brian O’Conner. Paul’s brothers Caleb and Cody helped with filming as stand-ins for the character of Brian. Their facial features were digitally replaced with Paul’s.