ABOVE: PAUL WALKER IN OUR JUNE 2000 ISSUE, SHOT BY BRUCE WEBER.
Happy Monday! Here’s our compendium of pop-culture news you may have missed while you were doing more important things over the holiday weekend.
• Paul Walker, who first won our hearts as Freddie Prinze Jr.’s skeezy frenemy in She’s All That and opposite James Van der Beek in Varsity Blues, was killed in a car crash along with a friend. The car sped into a pole and burst into flames. Walker was 40 years old and on a break from filming the seventh Fast & Furious film. [CNN]
• Actress Maria Bello—you probably know her from Coyote Ugly or A History of Violence—revealed that she’s been in a long-term relationship with her best female friend in an essay for The New York Times. [NYT]
• New Zealand’s national airline unveiled a plane decorate with a giant image of the dragon Smaug from the second installment of the Hobbit trilogy. This was the first time fans saw Peter Jackson’s interpretation of the creature. [HuffPo]
• The Hunger Games: Catching Fire maintains the top spot in the weekend box office, grossing $74.5 million. Frozen jumped from 22nd place into second, pushing Thor: The Dark World into third. The movies grossed $66.7 million and $11.1 million, respectively. [BOM]
• Three new Salinger stories leaked online. While the author himself would have been enraged at this, we downloaded them as soon as they were available. [The Guardian]
• Will Ferrell surprised Bismarck, North Dakota with a Ron Burgundy broadcast. He appeared in full Anchorman attire and co-hosted the local newscast. Why North Dakota? Your guess is as good as ours. [P6]
• You can now take Lady Gaga home with you! In Tokyo she unveiled a line of life-sized dolls, complete with flamboyant outfits and messages and music that play from the dolls’ chests. [Billboard]