‘Fast and Furious’ actor dies before Abu Dhabi shoot

Fans and fellow actors mourned Sunday the death of Paul Walker, best known as undercover agent Brian O’Connor in the “Fast and Furious” action movies. (File photo: Reuters)

Fans and fellow actors mourned Sunday the death of Paul Walker, best known as undercover agent Brian O’Connor in the “Fast and Furious” action movies, in a fiery car crash in California.

The latest installment of Fast and Furious started filming in the United Arab Emirates this month, confirming speculation that Hollywood film franchise would set its next movie in the country, reported Gulf News.

Walker, 40, appeared in all but one of the six movies in the popular franchise, and was a leading protagonist along with Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez. The stars of the upcoming movie were set to travel to Abu Dhabi in January, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

“It is with a truly heavy heart that we must confirm that Paul Walker passed away today in a tragic car accident while attending a charity event for his organization Reach Out Worldwide,” the late actor’s publicists wrote on his Facebook account on Saturday.

“He was a passenger in a friend’s car, in which both lost their lives.”

The publicists wrote that they were “stunned and saddened beyond belief by this news.” The message was also linked to Walker’s Twitter account, reported Reuters.

Walker was killed when the Porsche sports car he was traveling in slammed into a tree and caught fire around 3:30 pm (2330 GMT) on Saturday in the town of Santa Clarita, in Los Angeles county, local media reported.

Witnesses recognized Walker and one onlooker even tried to pull him from the wreckage, the local Santa Clarita Valley Signal newspaper reported.

Fatal break

Walker was taking a Thanksgiving break from filming the seventh “Fast and Furious” movie, which had been scheduled for release in July.

According to Reuters, Walker had been at an event to raise money for victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines for Reach Out Worldwide, a non-profit disaster relief group the actor founded.

“Brother I will miss you very much,” wrote Hollywood star Diesel on his Instagram account. “I am absolutely speechless. Heaven has gained a new Angel. Rest in Peace.”

Another “Fast and Furious” co-star, Ludacris, wrote on Twitter: “Your humble spirit was felt from the start, wherever you blessed your presence you always left a mark, we were like brothers & our birthdays are only 1 day apart, now You will forever hold a place in all of our hearts @paulwalker legacy will live on forever.”

Walker is survived by his 15-year-old daughter, Meadow.

(With Reuters)

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Last Update: 06:42 KSA 09:42 - GMT 06:42
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