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Paul Walker Tribute

By Joe Suszczynski and Danny Contreras

Surely everyone has heard about the untimely death of actor Paul Walker. He was taken at the age of 40 and is survived by his 15-year-old daughter, Meadow. Once news of his death was reported, fans everywhere flooded social media expressing sentiments about his recent passing.

Last Saturday, December 30th, Paul Walker and business partner Roger Rodas perished in a tragic car accident following a charity event held to raise money for those affected by typhoon Haiyan. As reported by TMZ, a media and celebrity news website, they were both killed when Walker’s 2005 Porsche Carrera GT crashed into a tree and exploded into flames. Authorities have yet to officially identify the bodies of either man due to the extensive burns that charred both their faces and finger prints.

“It’ll be a couple days,” McKibben said. “We have an idea of who it is, which should make it that much easier,” said Jerry McKibben to The Signal, the Santa Clarita newspaper.

Walker starred in movies such as “Varsity Blues” and “Flags of our Fathers”, but is best known for his appearances on the “Fast and the Furious” series as its co-lead character Brian O’Connor. The character he played was an undercover Los Angeles Police Department officer who infiltrates the street racing scene eventually meeting Dominic “Dom” Toretto (Vin Diesel). He then goes on to question his loyalties to his job and his new friends leading him on many adventures with Dom and his crew of street racers throughout many movies in the series, most recent being “Fast & the Furious 6”. It will be interesting to see how they handle his character in the upcoming movie as they were in the middle of filming. Hopefully they can do the character some justice and kill him off in a proper fashion.

Paul Walker was by no means one of the greatest actors to ever live. He was never nominated for any big time movie awards and wouldn’t be considered an “A-list” actor, but that doesn’t mean he was a bad actor either. Even though he could be considered as niche actor, he did very well at the niche he found himself in.

Walker’s death caused several different reactions with fans and colleagues both praising and honoring the actor, while others cynically commented on the state of the world through his death. Co-stars Vin Diesel and Tyrese Gibson paid their tributes to Walker in various forms, with Vin Diesel tweeting, “My heart is hurting so sad. Paul walker was a good man. RIP my friend… Sorry to the Walker family.” Gibson visited the scene of the crash on Sunday morning to pay his respect at Walker, tweeting their last interaction, a Thanksgiving message directed to Walker.

The driver, Roger Rodas, is a professional driver and business partner of Walker. They ventured into the professional circuit of racing as team “Always Evolving,” with Rodas as the primary driver and reached the 2nd place in the Pirelli Porsche World Challenge. Rodas was also listed as a business consultant for Merryl Lynch. He is survived by his wife, Kristine Rodas.
Besides acting, Paul Walker was also an avid philanthropist having aided several relief efforts over the past five years, including sending a humanitarian team to Haiti and Chile following their devastating earthquakes in 2010 and 2012, respectively.

Being Detective Brian O’Connor essentially immortalized Walker’s career in Hollywood. Walker even found himself to be a sex symbol. Many girls I know ogled the man due to his tone body and boyish looks complete with some subtle stubble on his face. I would imagine he would always be in the running for People Magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive.”

Paul Walker may be gone from this world physically, but his movies and memories will always be remembered and he will never be forgotten.

Rest easy, Paul.