Walker's career began on the small screen, first with a commercial for Pampers when he was 2, and then with parts in shows such as "Highway to Heaven" and "Touched By An Angel."
His first few movie roles were as supporting characters in teen flicks, most notably in "Varsity Blues."
His career really took off when he was cast as undercover cop Brian O'Conner infiltrating a street-racing gang in 2001's "The Fast and the Furious."
The box-office success of the surprise summer hit yielded numerous sequels. And along with Vin Diesel, Walker was one of the franchise stalwarts.
At the time of his death, Walker was working on the seventh film of the franchise, due out next year.
On his verified Twitter account, Walker described himself as "outdoorsman, ocean addict, adrenaline junkie ... and I do some acting on the side."
Walker also is the star of "Hours," an independent film scheduled to be released December 13 about a father struggling to keep his newborn infant alive in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.
Twitter and other social media exploded with reactions to Walker's death.
"Completely numb and saddened to hear of the tragic death of Paul Walker," wrote one posted "Wow."
Hollywood condolences came from Will Smith, Jack Osbourne, DMX and others."No, @RealPaulWalker. No. No. No," tweeted actress Alyssa Milano. Walker guest-appeared with her in the 80s comedy, "Who's The Boss?" "Rest with the angels. You. Sweet boy. #beauty #love #RIP."
RIP Paul Walker