Paul Walker, an actor perhaps best known for his roles in the “Fast and Furious” films died today in a car crash, his rep told ABC News. He was 40 years old.
“Sadly I must confirm that Paul did pass away this afternoon,” Ame Van Iden said in an email.
Though the rep gave no more details, a message on his Facebook page said that it happened during a charity event for Walker’s organization Reach Out Worldwide.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies found a car engulfed in flames when they responded to a report of a collision in the community of Valencia, according to The Associated Press. Two people who were found in the car were pronounced dead at the scene, the sheriff’s department said.
“He was a passenger in a friend’s car, in which both lost their lives,” Reach Out Worldwide said in a statement. “We appreciate your patience as we too are stunned and saddened beyond belief by this news.
“Thank you for keeping his family and friends in your prayers during this very difficult time,” the statement said. “We will do our best to keep you apprised on where to send condolences.”
His “Fast and Furious” co-star Vin Diesel posted on Instagram: “Brother I will miss you very much. I am absolutely speechless. Heaven has gained a new Angel. Rest in Peace.”
Mark Webb, who works on the set of the “Fast and Furious” movies and was with Walker in Atlanta filming just a few weeks ago, was at the scene of the crash.
“As far as people go, they didn’t come any finer, any more gracious,” Webb said. “He always treated everybody with respect.
“This one hurts,” he told ABC News Radio. “This one hit right in the gut on this one.”
“All of us at Universal are heartbroken,” Universal Pictures said in a statement. “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.”
The entertainment web site TMZ reported that Walker was in a Porsche when the driver lost control and crashed the vehicle into a tree.
The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station confirmed in a statement to Us Weekly that there were two fatalities in a traffic collision at approximately 3:30 p.m. Saturday.
Paul William Walker IV, born Sept. 12, 1973, in Glendale, Calif., began his acting career as a child in commercials, before moving on to roles in numerous TV series.
The oldest of five children in working class family, Walker had looked to acting as a way to make a living and support the family, and for a while his carrer looked more blue collar than Tinstletown.
He starred as Jeremy Beatty in the sitcom “Throb,” in the mid 1980s, and guest appearances on “Charles in Charge,” “Who’s the Boss?” “The Young and the Restless” and “Touched by an Angel.”
His first movie appearance was a supporting role in the 1998 comedy “Meet the Deedles,” followed by supporting parts in “Pleasantville,” “Varsity Blues,” in which he played star quarterback Lance Harbor alongside James Van Der Beek, and “She’s All That.”
His breakthrough came in the 2000 thriller “The Skulls,” a performance that impressed producer Neal H. Moritz enought to give him a major role in “The Fast and the Furious.”
In the “Fast and Furious” movies, which has been one of the most successful movie franchises in recent years, he played undercover police officer Brian O’Connor. He starred in “The Fast and the Furious,” “2 Fast 2 Furious,” “Fast & Furious,” “Fast Five” and “Fast and Furious 6.”
“Fast and Furious 6,” which was released in May, grossed more than $788 million worldwide.
At the time of his death, he was filming “Fast & Furious 7,” and a movie he had recently finished work on “Brick Mansions,” which was in post production.
Another film, “Hours,” a drama about Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, was due to be released later this year.
The news created an outpouring of condolences and remembrances — including from Hollywood and music stars — on Twitter and other social media.