Former child actor Houston Tumlin, who famously played Will Ferrell’s son Walker in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, has died at 28 years old.
According to TMZ, Tumlin took his own life in his Alabama home on Tuesday afternoon by shooting himself in the head. As of now, investigators haven’t found a note, but his girlfriend was reportedly present in the house at the time of his death.
His role as Walker Bobby, the potty-mouthed son of Will Ferrell’s Ricky Bobby character, was Tumlin’s only acting credit. He starred alongside Grayson Russell in the 2006 comedy, who played Ricky’s other son Texas Ranger. Although the cast included A-listers like Ferrell, John C. Reilly, and Sacha Baron Cohen, Tumlin starred in many of the flick’s most memorable scenes, including the notoriously raunchy dinner table bit where he and his brother taunt their grandfather.
According to The Wrap, Tumlin was born on December 27th 1992 in Pell City, Alabama. He graduated from Victory’s Christian High School in 2011 and never returned to acting. As TMZ reports, Tumlin was serving in the Army’s 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell as recently as 2015, and he also took on other jobs such as repairing telephone lines.
Although the general public knows him from Talladega Nights, a fellow Army member named Geoff Carmichael tweeted a condolence that indicated Tumlin was a respected member of the military. “SGT Houston Tumlin came to me as PVT Tumlin,” he wrote. “He showed a lot of spirit, promise, positive energy and was (hands down) one of my best Soldiers in my company. Came ready to work.”
“Please check on each other,” he continued. “Get help if you need it. We need you.”
Anyone in need of help can reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1–800–273–8255.
SGT Houston Tumlin came to me as PVT Tumlin. He showed a lot of spirit, promise, positive energy and was (hands down) one of my best Soldiers in my company. Came ready to work.
— Geoff Carmichael (@geoffcarmichael) March 24, 2021