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Paul Walker stars in ‘Highway to Heaven’, 1986

Paul Walker has died. Car accident, ironically enough. He was 40. RIP

The first time I ever saw Paul was in 1986 on an episode of ‘Highway to Heaven’ with Michael Landon. He played a mentally handicapped little boy in the Special Olympics. After the boy is disowned by his biological parents, Jonathan orchestrates things with The Man Upstairs and connects the boy with a self-pitying quadriplegic lawyer and his barren wife. The threesome eventually learn how much they need each other, and they become a family. One of those sappy “count your blessings” tales that you hate to love.

The episode was a double banger, two hours long. Featured Josh Brolin as the older biological brother. It was a bit of a cult classic with me and my own brothers, inspiring countless adolescent impersonations.

It’s been quite a trip to see Paul blow up into the huge star that he became in the years that followed, and it’s rare to find somebody who remembers that classic Highway episode. Or even watched the show, for that matter.

The episode’s on YouTube in two parts. Enjoy.

Part 1:

Part 2:

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