School of Rock is well known for catapulting Jack Black into being a leading man, but it was also an ensemble film with a host of young talent. It’s a sad day for the film’s cast, as Kevin Clark, one of the young stars of the 2003 film, has died at the age of 32. The former actor famously played the class’s drummer, Freddy “Spazzy McGee” Jones in the movie that has been adapted into a Broadway musical and Nickelodeon series, and Black has since honored his late costar on social media.
Since starring in School of Rock at the age of 12, Kevin Clark had become a musician in Chicago, Illinois, most recently finding himself part of the band Jess Bess and the Intentions. Clark was biking at 1:20 a.m. in the northwest side of the city when a Hyundai Sonata struck him. According to the Chicago Fire Department and the Cook County medical examiner’s office, Clark was taken to the Illinois Masonic Medical Center after the incident and pronounced dead at 2:04 a.m.
The woman driving the Hyundai that ended Kevin Clark’s life was reportedly 20 years old and has been issued citations for the biking accident. Clark’s mother shared to the Chicago Sun-Times that her son had just played his first live show with his latest music project over the weekend, and was “unbelievably fantastic and they would’ve gone somewhere.” Alison Clark also said kind words about her late son, sharing that he had “raw talent” and a “heart of gold.”
The 32-year-old will certainly be missed, and our condolences go out to the family, friends and colleagues of Kevin Clark as they grieve this surprising and tragic loss. Jack Black posted the following tribute to his fallen costar:
When Kevin Clark was cast in School of Rock, he had been playing the drums for years, reportedly “hitting pots and pans in the basement” from the age of three, per his mother. He did not have any experience with acting when he nabbed the role of Freddy “Spazzy McGee” Jones in the 2003 movie, and had not starred in other movies since, but his short stint in Hollywood certainly made an impression.
School of Rock became a big hit in October of 2003 and has since become a family comedy classic. Jack Black’s famed role as Dewey Finn is still thought of by many as the actor’s best role to date. The movie tells the story of Dewey becoming a substitute teacher at a private school class and bonding with the students through the creation of a rock band.
Going off Jack Black's Instagram post, it looks like the actors kept in touch over the years, as Black wrote of the devastating news and shared that Kevin Clark was a “beautiful soul” who contributed to some many “great memories.” As Black wrote, our hearts also go out to anyone who grew up loving Richard Linklater's School of Rock and Freddy “Spazzy McGee” Jones’ role.