After recently going to watch Furious 7 at the cinema for a second time (yep, just couldn't help myself), I did what many 21st century movie lovers do these days after watching movies: immediately went to the IMDB profile of the stars of the film. It was there, lost in Paul Walker's film career, that I realized that despite being just 40 years old when he tragically passed away, he had had an enormous career.
While Paul was most famous for the Fast and Furious franchise, he actually got his start in the industry when he was just a toddler, doing television commercials for Pampers! Paul's film career began in 1986 when he filmed the sci-fi horror comedy Monster in the Closet, and sadly ended much too soon just before filming was completed on Furious 7 in November 2013.
But between his first and final films, there were plenty of films that are worth remembering, so take a trip down memory lane and check out many of the TV shows and films outside of the Fast and Furious franchise that Paul Walker starred in before he was taken too soon:
1986: Professor Bennett in 'Monster in the Closet'
Just look at this little cutie! Monster in the Closet was Walker's film debut and it also starred John Carradine, Howard Duff and Fergie back before her Black Eyed Peas days when she was just Stacey Ferguson.
1985-1986: Todd Bryant in 'Highway to Heaven'
Following Monster in the Closet, Paul had a number of guest starring roles on TV shows such as Highway to Heaven, Throb, Charles in Charge, Who's the Boss, What a Dummy, The Young and the Restless and more!
1998: Skip Martin in 'Pleasantville'
Three years before he starred in The Fast and the Furious, Paul Walker proved he already knew how to look like a total babe while in a car in Pleasantville, alongside Reese Witherspoon and Tobey Maguire.
1999: Dean Sampson in 'She's All That'
In 1999 Paul followed up Pleasantville with an appearance in the teen comedy She's All That, where he played the best friend of the main character. Despite his character being a bit of a jerk, there was a shirtless beach scene, so teenage girls everywhere forgave him.
2001: Lewis Thomas in 'Joy Ride'
From heartthrob in teen comedies in 2001 Paul Walker transitioned into the world of thriller films with Joy Ride along with Leelee Sobieski and Steve Zahn. The three characters embarked on what was supposed to be a fun road trip, but after talking to a trucker on their CB radio it quickly turned scary when it turned out he was a psychotic killer.
2003: Chris Johnston in 'Timeline'
A personal favorite of mine, Timeline was the story of a group of archaeological students who became trapped in 14th Century France while on a rescue mission to save their professor. If seeing Paul Walker dressed in clothes of days past is something that might interest you then Timeline is a definite must see.
2005: Jared in 'Into the Blue'
After his foray into historical dramas Paul then starred in Into the Blue and answered the prayers of many teenage girls by being cast as a diver who didn't wear very much for the whole film. Into the Blue also starred Jessica Alba (something for everyone!) and followed the two, who found themselves in trouble with drug lords, after coming across a stash of illicit drugs in a sunken airplane.
2006: Jerry Shepard in 'Eight Below'
This film was not only great because it starred Paul Walker, but also because of the adorable cast of dogs who co-starred with him! In Eight Below, after being forced to leave his sledding dogs behind, Paul's character, Jerry, launches a rescue campaign for his lost friends and a remarkable tale of friendship and survival ensues.
2008: Ben Garvey in 'The Lazarus Project'
Walker's career took a turn for the serious when he starred in The Lazarus Project. The film followed Ben Garvey (Walker), a former criminal drawn back into a criminal endeavor and ultimately given the death penalty. However, he awakens from his lethal injection and finds himself living an inexplicable new life working at a psychiatric facility.
2010: John Rahway in 'Takers'
Paul followed up The Lazarus Project with the crime action film Takers. Takers had a huge ensemble crowd, and similarly to The Lazarus Project had a cast of bank robbers who had vowed to pull one last job, only to find themselves up against two detectives who are hot on their heels, and out for blood.
2013: Nolan Hayes in 'Hours'
This film is a true tear jerker, especially given that it was set during Hurricane Katrina, and was released just weeks after Paul Walker's death in 2013. The film followed Nolan Hayes as he struggled to keep his newborn baby alive in an abandoned hospital following the hurricane. Throughout the film he contends with bad weather, looters, faulty hospital equipment, hopelessness and overwhelming grief as he deals with the death of his wife, and the possibility that his daughter will not make it either.
2014: Damien Collier in 'Brick Mansions'
Brick Mansions was one of Paul Walker's last film projects (along with Furious 7). The film is set in 2018 in a dystopian Detroit and stars Walker as undercop Damien Collier. Collier had to navigate a dangerous neighborhood surrounded by a containment wall with the help of an ex-criminal in order to bring down a crime lord who was threatening to bring down the whole city.
Of course, despite all of these amazing films, it will forever be the Fast and Furious franchise which will immediately come to mind when people hear the name Paul Walker, and with such an amazing tribute at the end of Furious 7, I can't imagine Paul would mind one bit being forever associated with such a cool series of films: