Paul Walker Biography
Paul William Walker IV is an American actor. He became well known in 2001 after starring in the surprise summer hit The Fast and the Furious and has since gone on to star in movies such as Joy Ride, Running Scared, and Eight Below.
Walker was born in Glendale, California and raised in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles County. The son of Paul Walker III (a sewer contractor) and Cheryl (née Crabtree; a former fashion model), he is the second oldest of his four siblings (two brothers and two sisters). Walker was raised a Mormon, graduating from Village Christian School. After high school, he attended several community colleges, seeking a degree, and a career, in marine biology.
Walker's small-screen career began as a toddler, when he starred in a television commercial for Pampers. He began modeling at the age of 2 and began working on television shows in 1985, possessing roles in shows such as Highway to Heaven, Who's the Boss?, The Young and the Restless and Touched By an Angel.
Walker's film career began in 1987, with the horror/comedy film Monster in the Closet. He continued with roles in several other movies without much success. It wasn't until 1998 that Walker made his feature film debut in the comedy Meet the Deedles, which finally gained him fame. This subsequently led to supporting roles in the movies Pleasantville, Varsity Blues, She's All That, and The Skulls.
In 2001, Walker's breakthrough role arrived when he starred opposite actor Vin Diesel in the successful action film The Fast and the Furious. The film established Walker as a notable film star and leading man and led to his reprisal of the role in the 2003 sequel 2 Fast 2 Furious. He continued his career with leading roles in films such as Joy Ride, Into the Blue, and Timeline, and also had a supporting role in Clint Eastwood's 2006 adaptation of Flags of Our Fathers.
Walker's most recent feature films are crime thriller Running Scared and Walt Disney Pictures' Eight Below, both released in 2006. Eight Below garnered critical-acclaim and opened in first place at the box office, grossing over US$20 million during its first weekend. During the filming of Running Scared, director Wayne Kramer stated that, "[Walker] is that guy on some level but he’s not really" when comparing Walker with his character in the movie, Joey Gazelle. Kramer continued on to say that he "loved working with [Walker] because as a director he’s completely supportive of my vision of what the film is. And even better, he’s completely game for it."
Walker starred in the independent film The Lazarus Project which was released on DVD on October 21, 2008. He has recently finished the next film of The Fast and the Furious franchise, titled Fast & Furious, which is scheduled for release on April 3, 2009.
Walker has been cast opposite Matt Dillon and Hayden Christensen in the crime drama Takers, which began filming in early September 2008.
Walker, who was named as one of People's Most Beautiful People in 2001, currently resides in Santa Barbara, California with his Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Boone. His daughter, Meadow Rain, lives in Hawaii with her mother, a former girlfriend of Walker's. He is an avid surfer and studies the martial arts forms of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai kickboxing, combining them into his exercise routines, which also include outdoor sports.