Fast & Furious actor Paul Walker mourned

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Fans, friends and fellow stars have been paying tribute to US actor Paul Walker, who has died in a car crash.

Walker was best-known for playing Brian O'Conner in the Fast & Furious films.

The 40-year-old died on Saturday when a Porsche being driven by a friend, who also died, crashed near Los Angeles.

Walker's co-star Jordana Brewster said: "Paul was pure light. I cannot believe he is gone." Fellow Fast & Furious actor Vin Diesel wrote that "heaven has gained a new angel".

"Brother, I will miss you very much," Diesel said on Twitter.

In a second message, he said: "My heart is hurting so sad. Paul Walker was a good man. RIP my friend... Sorry to the Walker family."

Walker starred in five of the six movies in the popular Fast & Furious franchise and had started filming the seventh.

The accident happened while Walker was attending an event for his charity Reach Out Worldwide.

Wreckage of Porsche sports car that crashed into a lamp post in Valencia, Los Angeles. 30 Nov 2013 The red Porsche crashed into a lamp post in Valencia, north of Los Angeles

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's department said deputies found a car engulfed in flames when they responded to a report of a collision. Two people found in the car were pronounced dead at the scene.

Images showed the burned-out wreckage of a red Porsche by the side of the road.

"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 organisation Reach Out Worldwide," a statement on the actor's Facebook page said.

"He was a passenger in a friend's car, in which both lost their lives. We... are stunned and saddened beyond belief by this news.''

BBC's Alastair Leithead on Paul Walker's career

Other tributes came from Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, who has appeared in two Fast & Furious films. "All my strength, love & faith to the Walker family during this heartbreaking time," he wrote.

"We find our strength in his light. Love you brother."

Actress Jessica Alba, who appeared alongside Walker in the 2005 diving drama Into the Blue, described him as "a lovely person - so sweet and grounded".

Director Rob Cohen, who cast Walker in the first Fast & Furious picture as well as the 2000 drama Skulls, told Variety magazine that Walker and Vin Diesel were "the perfect duo for me".

Speaking about Walker, the director said: "His American beauty, his athleticism, the directness of his approach to the character, his effusive, down-to-earth personality brought joy to me and everyone around him.

"I will miss him all the rest of my days."

Ludacris, another co-star, recalled : "Your humble spirit was felt from the start, wherever you blessed your presence you always left a mark."

Walker and Jordana Brewster Walker's co-star Jordana Brewster said: 'Paul was pure light'

In the Fast & Furious films, Walker made his name playing undercover officer Brian O'Conner, who infiltrated a gang of illegal Californian street racers before switching allegiances to join them.

As well as those five movies, Walker's other credits included Flags of Our Fathers, Eight Below, Noel and the forthcoming Hurricane Katrina drama Hours.

Universal Pictures issued a statement saying Walker was "truly one of the most beloved and respected members of our studio family for 14 years".

"This loss is devastating to us, to everyone involved with the Fast & Furious films, and to countless fans," it said. "We send our deepest and most sincere condolences to Paul's family."

Walker began acting as a young boy when his mother, a model, took him to auditions for commercials.

He won roles in the TV series Touched by an Angel and The Young and the Restless before moving on to supporting roles in late 1990s films like with Varsity Blues and She's All That.

After the success of the first Fast & Furious film, Walker became the leading man for the second instalment when Vin Diesel dropped out.

Diesel later returned, however, and the six-film franchise has now earned an estimated $2.4bn (£1.5bn) at global box offices. The latest instalment, the sixth, was the most lucrative so far.

The seventh instalment began filming in September but has not been completed. It had been scheduled for release in July.

Paul Walker (r) and Vin Diesel Walker's co-star Vin Diesel (left) said the actor's death had left him 'speechless'

Another forthcoming film is Brick Mansions, a remake of the French action film District B13, for film studio Relativity.

Relativity President Tucker Tooley said in a statement: "Paul was an incredibly talent artist, devoted philanthropist and friend."

A selection of your comments appear below

I met Paul Walker in May at the Fast & Furious 6 UK Premiere, what a wonderful man, so nice and always willing to have a laugh with his fans. Waking up to this incredibly sad news is so horrible, shocked. RIP.

Dex, Hampshire

I was truly saddened by the death of Paul Walker. Fast and Furious will not be the same without you Paul.

Felix, Francistown, Botswana

Thank you for inspiring us, especially to our country and Yolanda survivors. From the bottom of our heart and for all the Filipinos thank you so much Paul and condolences to your family. Rest in peace.

Lyslie Cavan, Philippines

Actors like Walker become a part of our lives, they entertain, inspire and sometimes take us to places we've never been through their roles in movies. I will greatly miss him, he was such an

Lemuel, Kitwe, Zambia

Such sad news he will be truly missed. My heart goes out to friends and family. A brilliant actor and such a huge loss.

Jane Scott, Orpington, Kent

He was a true inspiration to young people in the world today, a hard-working and a truly talented man, a huge loss to the world. He'll never be forgotten for his amazing charity work. Thoughts go out to all his family and friends at this time.

Julia Koncher, Cheltenham

Paul Walker was an amazing actor, Fast and Furious will not be the same with out him. RIP

John, Dudley

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