Hollywood actor Paul Walker, best known for his role in the hugely popular Fast and the Furious franchise, has died in a car accident in Los Angeles.

The actor, who was 40, was reported to be a passenger in the Porsche when it crashed in Santa Clarita, north of the city, on Saturday afternoon.

While local police have yet to release names of the two people killed in the crash, the actor’s representatives have confirmed he was one of the victims, saying he had been a

“It is with a truly heavy heart that we must confirm that Paul Walker passed away today in a tragic car accident while attending a charity event for his organisation Reach Out Worldwide,” his Facebook page read.

“He was a passenger in a friend’s car, in which both lost their lives. We appreciate your patience as we too are stunned and saddened beyond belief by this news.”

The statement added: “Thank you for keeping his family and friends in your prayers during this very difficult time. We will do our best to keep you apprised on where to send condolences.”

As news of his shocking death broke, tributes from his co-stars began to pour in, with Fast and The Furious co-star Vin Diesel among the first to express his grief.

“Brother I will miss you very much…I am absolutely speechless,” the actor said on Instagram. “Heaven has gained a new angel. Rest in peace.”

Meanwhile Dwayne Johnson – who recently starred alongside Walker in the seventh Fast and Furious movie, said: “All my strength, love & faith to the Walker family during this heartbreaking time.

“We find our strength in his light…love you brother.”

A statement released by Universal Pictures, which produces the hit franchise, said everyone at the studio was “heartbroken”.

Walker, who was born in California, began his career as a child  model before moving into acting as a teenager with roles in the likes of She’s All That and Pleasantville.

However it was The Fast and The Furious series which made his name, with Walker playing undercover agent Brian O’Conner in six of the seven fast-pace blockbusters.

The seventh film in the series is due for release in July 2014.

Walker’s other notable films included Varsity Blues, Brokedown Palace, Into The Blue, Eight Below and Flags Of Our Fathers.

He is due to return to screens later this month in Hours, a drama based around the events of Hurrican Katrina.

The actor is survived by a 15-year-old daughter, Meadow.