"Fast & Furious" actor and humanitarian Paul Walker, who was killed in a fiery solo car crash in Valencia on Saturday, was mourned by friends from the San Fernando Valley area Sunday as a kind soul with a carefree, fun-loving attitude.
Walker, who was born in Glendale and raised largely in nearby Sunland, and race car driver Roger Rodas were killed after Rodas lost control of a 2005 red Porsche and the car slammed into a light pole, hit a tree and exploded into flames, according to authorities and witnesses.
The two, who were good friends, died during a car show and toy drive held at a custom car shop in Valencia for Walker's Burbank-based organization Reach Out Worldwide, a nonprofit disaster relief organization the actor co-founded in 2010.
"I'm a doer, and whether it was the tsunami in Sri Lanka or the earthquake in Indonesia, I was always saying, I should be there; I should be helping out," Walker, 40, is quoted as saying on the nonprofit's website.
Walker rose to international stardom when he starred opposite Vin Diesel in the action film "Fast & Furious" and played the lead role in a number of subsequent action-adventure films, including "2 Fast 2 Furious" in 2003. In 2002, the blondish haired, blue-eyed actor was chosen by People Magazine as one of the "50 most beautiful people in the world."
Walker, who was raised a Mormon, began his career as a child model at the age of 2, and as a young adult took supporting roles in films including "She's All That" and "Varsity Blues." He also starred in the suspense drama, "Hours," which is set for release this month.
Walker was one of four children and attended Village Christian School in Sun Valley and graduated from its high school in 1991.
"The entire Village Christian School family is saddened by the loss of our alum Paul Walker," said Tom Konjoyan, head of schools at Village Christian Schools, in a written statement. "He represented his school well in his charitable pursuits and kindness to all who knew him."
Former schoolmate Davy Muxlow, who along with his younger brother, Andy, grew up with Walker, said he will most remember how "funny, fun and carefree" their close friend was.
"He was a real great, happy guy," Muxlow, 43, of Santa Clarita said. "He mellowed a little in his older age but he's still a funny, fun guy."
Walker had a passion for surfing and snowboarding and Muxlow and his brother would often savor riding the waves together.
"He loves the ocean. He loves surfing. He loves sharks. He loves everything about it," Muxlow said, still using the present tense to describe his friend.
Andy Muxlow, who said the two were best friends while growing up, said "he's just so likeable and really cares about others. He thinks about other people before himself most of the time."
Andy Muxlow, 40, of Kingsburg, Calif., said he had last spoken to Walker a few weeks ago when the actor called him while he was shooting "Fast & Furious 7" in Georgia. His daughter Meadow, 15, had recently relocated from Hawaii to California to live with her dad.
"He said 'I love my daughter and I don't want to miss out on her life and family and caring for her'" despite his hectic schedule, he said. "He was trying to see how he can be relocated more in the L.A. area" to better care for her.
Staff Writer Kelly Goff contributed to this report. ___