For anybody that grew up in the noughties, Paul Walker was the reason why you and your mates piled into your local cinema to check out the latest Fast & The Furious movie.

Every generation needs its action hero, from the Schwarzeneggers and Stallones to the Stathams and the Cages. Walker was the hero of the noughties. Without him, action cinema would have been rubbish.
 
Here’s why he was an absolute acting genius and he’s going to be sorely missed…
 
He kick-started one of the most successful movie franchises ever.
 
When Paul Walker took to the screen as undercover cop Brian O'Connor in the first Fast & The Furious movie way back in 2001, nobody realised just how big it would be. Least of all the critics, who generally panned the whole thing.

Six films on, with a seventh in the works, it’s the most successful series of films Universal have ever produced, and it was all carried by Paul.
 

He’s not just an action hero.

He might be best known for his roles in action flicks, but he was also an actor with real depth, as demonstrated in his most recent movie, Hours, based around the events of Hurricane Katrina.
 
He wasn’t a douche.

You read a lot about the so-called "nice guys of Hollywood", and it’s usually rubbish. Yet Paul Walker was genuinely ace and was never swayed by A-lister nonsense.
 
He was a man that did extensive work for various charities and was more comfortable surfing or driving around a race track than hanging around glitzy celeb parties.
 
In terms of actors, he was one of the old breed rarely seen in this day and age of reality TV stars and cynical photo opportunities.
 
He had a sense of humour.
 
He was well aware of the ridiculous notion of celebrity and massive stars that get too big for their boots and was more than happy to make light of it all – as demonstrated in this brilliant behind-the-scenes clip from the making of Fast & The Furious.

 

UPDATE 04.12.13  Following the untimely death of Walker last weekend, Coty - the maker of Davidoff Cool Water - has released the following statement:

"The Davidoff Cool Water team, who has worked closely with Paul Walker, is saddened to hear the news of his sudden death. As the face of Davidoff Cool Water, Paul contributed to the National Geographic Love the Ocean campaign, whose mission is to protect the ocean. His talent, generosity and passion for giving back was admirable. We send our deepest and most sincere condolences to Paul's family, friends, and fans around the world. We are working quickly to suspend all of our ads featuring Paul out of respect to his family and friends."