7 Years Ago We Lost Actor, Humanitarian, and Dad, Paul Walker

Paul Walker
(Paramount / Getty Images / courtesy of Meadow Walker)

Today marks 7 years without Paul Walker: actor, humanitarian, Vin Diesel’s other half — but most importantly, dad. 

Paul and Meadow Walker
(courtesy of Meadow Walker)

Paul died Nov. 30, 2013 at age 40 in a fatal car crash and he’s been missed him every day since. Family and friends said goodbye in a private ceremony Dec. 14 that year, and later, at a public memorial, fans and friends revved their engines in honor of Paul.

a helmet with signatures to remember Paul Walker
(Getty Images)

He left behind daughter Meadow Rain Walker, though in good hands: Vin Diesel, her godfather, and other Fast & Furious franchise stars remain close with Meadow today. 

Since then, Meadow, 21, has grown into a successful young woman, modeling professionally just like her paternal grandmother, Cheryl Crabtree Walker. She also regularly engages in social work and charity. 

On what would have been Paul’s 42nd birthday — when she was just 16 — Meadow expressed her wish to “share a piece of my father with the world” by establishing The Paul Walker Foundation, which aims to “serve as an enduring light of Paul’s unique spirit, far reaching goals, and spontaneous goodwill.”

The foundation awards grants and scholarships to students and researchers of marine biology, a field close to Paul’s heart. Paul took community college courses in marine biology as a young twenty-something and had been hooked on studying marine life ever since. 

In a role that combined his love for the big screen and marine biology, he starred in National Geographic Channel series Expedition Great White, later retitled Shark Men, in which he spent 11 days off the coast of Mexico tagging great white sharks. As part of the expedition, Paul got to contribute to taking measurements, gathering DNA samples, and fastening satellite tags to sharks for further study. We are also hoping he got to high-five a shark at some point, but this is just a dream of ours. We just hope the sharks appreciated Paul as much as we do. 

Paul Walker as a crew member on Shark Men
(National Geographic)

But if we go allllll the way back, we’ll learn that our favorite speedster heartthrob (yes, dads are allowed to call other dads “heartthrobs”) had been acting when he was still in diapers. That’s right, this guy had more success at age two as a toddler than I’ve had in my whole life — by starring in a Pampers commercial. 

Between then and the explosive success of the Fast & Furious franchise, Paul starred in favorites like Varsity Blues (1999), She’s All That (1999), and The Skulls (2000).

The cast of Varsity Blues
(Paramount Pictures)

And then the magic happened: the first installment of the franchise that would catapult him to superstardom, The Fast and the Furious, emerged in 2001. With it, his friendships and lasting impact on costars Vin Diesel, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson (who appeared in 2 Fast 2 Furious in 2003), and Michelle Rodriguez. 

The cast of The Fast & The Furious.
(Universal Pictures)

Paul would go on to star in 6 more films in the franchise. Paul died before the completion of filming for Furious 7 (2015), but amazingly, producers made it work. Along with some rewrites, their solution was to call Paul’s brothers, Cody and Caleb, to stand in for Paul in uncompleted scenes. I know what you’re thinking, at first this sounds batshit — but LOOK: 

Paul Walker's brothers, Cody and Caleb
(Getty Images)

They are their mothers’ sons. I haven’t watched Furious 7 yet but maybe tonight’s the night to do it and pour one out for Paul.

The end of Furious 7 featured Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth’s song “See You Again,” commissioned especially for the film’s soundtrack as a tribute to Paul. 

There will be at least 3 more installments to the franchise, and thankfully Caleb and Cody said they’re open to helping out again, but things won’t be quite the same without Paul. 

Paul Walker
(Giphy)

In 2015, Vin Diesel named his fourth child Pauline to honor Paul, because if making 7 movies together doesn’t make you brothers for life, then what will? “There’s no other person that I was thinking about as I was cutting this umbilical cord,” said Vin. “I just thought, I knew he was there. I thought it was a way to keep his memory a part of my family, a part of my world.” Meadow maintains a close relationship with Pauline and the rest of the Diesel family, which Vin considers her a part of.

Our favorite thing about Paul walker? His brotherhood with fellow dad Vin Diesel. (Runners-up for favorite things: that he owned a collection of 30 cool as hell cars and that he earned a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, plus a black belt posthumously.) 

Vin Diesel and Paul Walker
(Universal Pictures)

“Part of Paul’s legacy lives through every frame that we shoot,” said Vin, after explaining he promised Paul there would be an eight chapter of the series. “You are reminded of this angel that was so integral to this concept of brotherhood for our millennium,” he said. “There’s something beautiful about that. There’s something celebratory about that.”

And angel he was, truly. Outside of his inspiring, action-packed film career, it was clear that Paul gave a damn: about marine life, about family, about people in general. In 2010 he founded Reach Out Worldwide, a nonprofit charity that provided humanitarian aid to victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. He regularly visited and aided disaster-stricken areas until his death. 

“If there’s one good thing to come from any of this, it’s that we can raise the charity’s profile –that’s what Paul would have wanted,” Paul Walker Sr. said about Paul’s death.

Paul on Walker a humanitarian mission
(Daily Mail)

Paul’s family and costars can be seen remembering him as a humanitarian, actor, brother, dad, and all-around exceptional human being in I Am Paul Walker, a 2018 documentary that honors his storied life. 

Paul’s legacy lives on through his Fast & Furious family, through his nonprofit charity, and through Meadow. Each year on his birthday and Father’s Day, she celebrates her dad by sharing old videos and photos on Instagram. In one post, she shared an old home video of her surprising her dad and then wishing him a happy birthday. (Warning! Onion cutting ninjas have been spotted in your area.)

If you want to honor a Real One, why not watch your favorite Fast & Furious installment with us today. Or perhaps you’ll spend extra time admiring the marine life in your neighborhood pond when you go for a walk. Or you might simply tell your daughter you’re proud of her. Just a few ideas for remembering, as Meadow calls him, “the most beautiful soul.”

Meadow Walker Shares Sweet Tribute on Late Dad’s Birthday

Meadow Paul Walker
(Instagram/meadowwalker)

Paul Walker’s daughter posted a sweet tribute to the late “Fast And The Furious” star on his birthday, sharing a cute throwback photo of the two from a simpler time. Meadow Walker had grown very close to her dad in the year leading up to his tragic death, and she was only 15 when he had his accident in 2013.

Now 21 and a successful model, Meadow posted the photo of the two of them from years ago with a simple caption to commemorate her dad’s birthday: “The moment I realized we are twins. Happy birthday to the most beautiful soul.”

 

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the moment I realized we are twins. happy birthday to the most beautiful soul.

A post shared by Meadow Walker (@meadowwalker) on

Fast and Furious co-star Jordana Brewster echoed Meadow’s words, commenting: “the most beautiful.” Family forever isn’t just a line from the movies, at the cast seems to be pretty tight even away from the scenes. As evidence of that, Meadow and Vin Diesel’s kids are still close.  Meadow has been steadfast in keeping her dad’s legacy alive, even founding the Paul Walker Foundation several years ago.

Meadow also regularly shares old photos and videos of the two of them, helping to keep alive her dad’s memory. Some of them, never seen publicly before, are the exact type of heartwarming father-daughter relationship any dad would love to have.

 

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happy place

A post shared by Meadow Walker (@meadowwalker) on

And Meadow was far from the only one to post a tribute to Walker. Diesel posted a photo with the two of them, captioned “Always.”

 

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Always…

A post shared by Vin Diesel (@vindiesel) on

And others in the Fast cast gave a nod to the beloved star who was taken from us far too soon.

 

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Simply put….. We miss you everyday!!!!!! Happy birthday KING WALKER

A post shared by TYRESE (@tyrese) on

 

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I miss you.

A post shared by jordanabrewster (@jordanabrewster) on

Paul Walker’s Daughter Shares Sweet Selfie With Vin Diesel’s Kids

Meadow Walker with Diesel Kids
(Instagram/meadowwalker)

Paul Walker’s daughter showed the bond between his family and co-star Vin Diesel’s is still strong, as she posted a sweet picture with Diesel’s kids. She left a simple caption, recognizable to all Fast and Furious fans:

“Family, forever”

 

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family, forever

A post shared by Meadow Walker (@meadowwalker) on

It’s been almost seven years since Paul Walker passed away in a tragic car accident, but the bond between him and co-star Vin Diesel was a real one, as the two became fast friends (I mean, that was just sitting there).

And the bond between their families is also a strong one. Diesel is Meadow Walker’s godfather. And Diesel’s daughter Pauline (now 5) was named after his late friend.

In the pic, Meadow (now 21) shared the shot with the three Diesel children (who range between 5-12).

In the past, Vin Diesel has spoken about how he values his relationship with Meadow and being a part of her life. And he credited Paul Walker for inspiring him to be a better dad.

Meadow was 15 when her dad passed away, but she and the Diesels have kept his memory alive, especially through the special bond between their families.

 

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happy birthday to the loveliest soul I’ll ever know

A post shared by Meadow Walker (@meadowwalker) on

Paul Walker’s Daughter Promotes Father’s Legacy with Touching Tribute

Meadow and Paul Walker
(Instagram/meadowwalker)

Paul Walker’s life ended tragically and unexpectedly almost 6 years ago, but the Fast and the Furious star’s memory continues to live on through his friends and family.

Walker’s 20-year-old daughter, Meadow, clearly had her dear dad on her mind last weekend when she posted a candid shot of him swimming around with an unusually aquatic pig.

“Thinking of you xx,” she captioned the shot.

 

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thinking of you xx

A post shared by Meadow Walker (@meadowwalker) on

The post prompted many of Walker’s co-stars and friends to chime in, too.

Fellow Fast & Furious actor, Tyrese Gibson, commented, “Animal and Ocean lover!!! Never seen this pic! So cool!”

“I love this picture,” wrote Jordana Brewster along with a heart emoji.

The Paul Walker Foundation, a group founded by Meadow herself in 2015, dropped a couple of heart emojis under the photo, too. The charity aims to empower future generations by protecting the oceans and wildlife and providing grants and scholarships to marine science students and researchers.

“Growing up in Hawaii I developed a strong connection with the ocean,” said Meadow, as quoted on the Foundation’s website. “My father loved the ocean and was always teaching me new things. I want this foundation to do many good things including help others who share my father’s passion.”

While clearly a Hollywood superstar, Walker was known by many for his outreach efforts and spontaneous acts of goodwill.

In a 2018 interview with People Magazine, Walker’s mother, Cheryl Walker, revealed that she had spoken with her son mere moments before his deadly car accident.

“We were having this good conversation, and he’d forgotten about an event he had,” said Cheryl. “He got a text and said, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m supposed to be somewhere!’”

Even though he never made it to the event—a charity car show for his Reach Out WorldWide initiative, which dispatches first responders to help with relief efforts after natural disasters—Walker’s beautiful legacy continues to unfold thanks to those who loved him most.