On a beautiful Saturday afternoon in California, Paul Walker and friend Roger Rodas, who was driving, died in a car crash.
It was a sudden and brutal end for both men.
As of this writing the official circumstances of what lead to the crash are uncertain but the authorities believe that speed was a major cause of the incident.
Those are the facts as we currently know them. They do not however do justice to the men involved. I unfortunately, until this moment, didn’t know who Roger Rodas was other than a friend and business partner to Paul Walker. From the comments I have read he appears to have been kind and generous man who will be missed by his friends and family.
Paul Walker on the other hand was everywhere over the last 15 or so years of his 28 year career. I always felt that his early career was not as strong as his later work but I always liked him and enjoyed the many movies he was in. Don’t get me wrong when I speak of his acting, it’s just that he, like many, found a niche that allows him keep working and he did it well. Paul excelled during his career at playing either the hot jock or hot action star. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. In fact, without that type of character, we wouldn’t have many classic movies in general.
Earlier this year when I saw the latest Fast movie I was really impressed with what he did on screen and was thinking this might be the beginning of another chapter in his career. Like Tom Cruise when he made the transition from hot jock/hot action star, could Walker have turned to more mature and dramatic starring roles? That’s what I was looking forward to.
What a tragic loss. Paul Walker was such a gem, so kind and always had a smile on his face. http://t.co/Ya0fgi3O3z
— Amy Smart (@AmySmart26) December 1, 2013
Sometimes we forget that actors are people too, and they sometimes had lives and interests before they became famous. What I recently learned was his passion for marine biology and his humanitarian efforts. After high school, Paul majored in marine biology before he went into acting full time. He eventually got to participate in a National Geographic series Expedition Great White in 2010. It looked at the migratory and birthing patterns of Great Whites. How many of us can say that we got to realize a dream like that even after it had passed us by?
That and his humanitarian efforts in Haiti and Chile with his group Reach Out Worldwide along with his passion for performance racing and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu shows he was more than just the actor known as Paul Walker. He had a daughter, family and interests that made him a human being. We tend to forget that there is usually a lot more to Hollywood celebrities than their careers.
I'm Heart broken Paul Walker, he was a mate of mine, very sad. My heart goes out to his daughter.
— Idris Elba (@idriselba) December 1, 2013
I never got a chance to meet Walker but I would have liked to. Every interview I saw or article I read about the guy just made him seem like the kind of person I would want to know. Affable and fun loving. Who doesn’t want to hang out with that person?
When people die there are always the “what if’s” that accompany such times. We have to try and remember the good times and all the times we enjoyed spending with the person in question.
So I give you my 5 favourite Paul Walker movies. If you were a fan and want to remember him or if you never saw his movies and just want to see why so many people were moved by his passing, please give these a shot.
Paul was a truly good person in a town of questionable characters.
..A real life tragedy if there ever was one.
— Rachael Leigh Cook (@RachaelLCook) December 1, 2013
Good bye Paul, you will be missed.