The first time audiences really set their eyes on Paul Walker
was in the 1998 dramedy “Pleasantville
,” about two siblings (Reese Witherspoon and Tobey Maguire) transported inside a 1950s sitcom. The world they encounter is a cookie-cutter, black-and-white suburb straight out of “The Donna Reed Show
,” and Walker played the handsome high school love interest for Witherspoon. With his hair slicked back and Ken doll dimples, Walker, 24 at the time, brought to mind a young Tab Hunter
. His character was meant to be a squeaky-clean boy next door, but he didn’t stay that way. On a drive-in movie theater date, Witherspoon lunges at him and he experiences a sexual awakening.
Walker, who died on Saturday at 40 in a car crash in Valencia, Calif., was the dreamboat of choice for a generation of girls (and some boys) raised on “Saved by the Bell
” and the WB Network. It’s no coincidence