- Image 1 of 3
- Image 2 of 3
- Image 3 of 3
Actor Paul Walker, best known for his role as undercover cop Brian O'Conner in the popular "Fast & Furious" movies, died in a car accident in Southern California Saturday. He was 40 years old.
A representative for the actor confirmed his death in an e-mail to Fox News Saturday evening.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said that two people were killed in the crash, which occurred at approximately 3:30 p.m. local time in Santa Clarita, Calif. A statement on the accident from the department said that deputies found the car engulfed in flames when they arrived at the scene.
Both victims were pronounced dead at the scene. Walker's publicist said Sunday the other person in the car was Roger Rodas, a friend of Walker's who owned a sport car dealership.
The Los Angeles County Coroner told KTTV's Kevin Takumi that dental records would be needed to formally identify the bodies.
A statement on the actor's official Facebook page said that Walker was a passenger in the car, and had been at a charity event for his organization, Reach Out Worldwide earlier in the day.
"We appreciate your patience as we too are stunned and saddened beyond belief by this news," the statement read in part. "Thank you for keeping his family and friends in your prayers during this very difficult time. We will do our best to keep you apprised on where to send condolences."
Walker, a Southern California native and the oldest of five children, began acting at a young age when he appeared in commercials, and his television credits include appearances on "The Young and the Restless" and "Who's The Boss?"
Walker said the early induction to show business wasn't to start him on a career path, but was a way to help provide for the family. Walker made his feature film debut in the 1998 comedy "Meet the Deedles." Supporting roles in the films "Pleasantville," ''Varsity Blues" and "She's All That" followed.
But it was his turns opposite Vin Diesel in "The Fast and the Furious" films, adapted from a Vibe magazine article about underground street races, that made Walker a star. He was cast by producer Neal H. Moritz, whom Walker had impressed with his performance in the 2000 thriller, "The Skulls."
Walker reprised his role as Brian O'Conner in four of the five sequels made of the 2001 hit. The latest edition, "Fast & Furious 6," was the most lucrative of them all, grossing more than $788 million worldwide following its May release.
According to the Internet Movie Database, Walker was to appear in "Fast & Furious 7," due out next July. He will also appear in the film "Hours," due out December 13.
Universal Pictures, the studio behind the "Fast & Furious" films, released the following statement Saturday evening: "All of us at Universal are heartbroken. Paul was truly one of the most beloved and respected members of our studio family for 14 years, and this loss is devastating to us, to everyone involved with the FAST AND FURIOUS films, and to countless fans. We send our deepest and most sincere condolences to Paul's family."
Walker starred in other films, including the crime thriller "Running Scared," the Antarctic adventure "Eight Below" and the heist film "Takers." Though his stardom didn't make as much of an impact outside the "Fast & Furious" series, Walker continually drew praise from his co-stars and directors as a kind-hearted and eager collaborator.
"Your humble spirit was felt from the start," said Ludacris, Walker's "Fast & Furious" co-star, on Twitter. "Wherever you blessed your presence you always left a mark, we were like brothers."
Walker is survived by his 15-year-old daughter, Meadow.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.