School of Rock star dies in bike accident aged just 32

Thursday, 27th May 2021, 3:29 pm
Updated Thursday, 27th May 2021, 3:41 pm
Jack Black (back) with the child cast members (L-R) Robert Tsei, Kevin Clark, Miranda Cosgrove, Joey Gaydos, and Rivkah Reyes attend the gala screening for 'School of Rock' during the 2003 Toronto International Film Festival (Photo: Donald Weber/Getty Images)

Kevin Clark, who starred alongside Jack Black in the 2003 movie School of Rock, was killed in a bike accident on Wednesday (26 May), police have said. He was 32 years old.

Clark played drummer Freddy Jones in the film, and was killed when he was struck by a car while riding his bicycle along a Chicago street, just days after his real-life band’s debut performance.

Police said he was hit after running a red light in the city’s Avondale neighbourhood. Authorities said emergency responders found Clark partially under the car, and he was taken in critical condition to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Centre. He was pronounced dead a short time later.

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After starring in School of Rock, Clark continued pursuing drumming. Most recently, he played in the band Jess Bess & The Intentions, who performed at their first gig on  Saturday night (22 May) at the Legendary Wooden Nickel venue in Chicago.

In a tweet, Black called Clark’s death “devastating”, and said he was heartbroken. “Sending love to his family and the whole School of Rock community,” Black wrote.

School of Rock was Clark’s only movie role, which he said he landed by responding to an ad in a local newspaper looking for adolescents who can play drums, keyboards and guitar.

Rivkah Reyes, who played Katie in the movie, called Clark a “big-hearted, warm human.” She said Clark frequently attended her stand-up and sketch comedy shows at Second City.

Where are the School of Rock kids now?

School of Rock was released in October 2003 and was a box office hit, grossing $131 million (£93 million) worldwide on a $35 million budget (£25 million).

It starred Jack Black as struggling rock guitarist Dewey Finn – who is kicked out of his band and subsequently disguises himself as a substitute teacher at a prestigious school – alongside Joan Cusack, Mike White, and Sarah Silverman.

After witnessing the talent of his students, Dewey forms a band of fifth-graders to attempt to win the upcoming Battle of the Bands contest and pay off his overdue rent.

The film received positive reviews from critics, and held the title of highest grossing music-themed comedy of all time for over 10 year. It even spawned a stage musical adaptation, which opened on Broadway in late 2015.

According to Hollywood.com. Miranda Cosgrove is arguably the biggest star to come out the film. Cosgrove played band manager Summer, and has gone on to star in Nickelodeon shows like Drake & Josh and iCarly, and has also released records of her own music. She has a film career that includes voice credits for the Despicable Me films.

Brian Falduto played band stylist Billy, and went on to study Theatre and Arts, while also working for a variety of radio stations in events and promotions.

Joey Gaydos Jr. played lead guitarist Zack, and has remained musical since the film, releasing a solo album not long after the film’s release, and continuing to perform. He was arrested for driving under the influence while underage in 2009.

Bass guitarist Katie was played by Rivkah Reyes, who also continues to make music, uploading inventive mash-ups to her popular YouTube channel.

Robert Tsai – who played keyboardist Lawrence in the film – is another cast member who continued on a musical journey after the movie’s release. However, Tsai focuses on classical piano. having graduated from Dartmouth, and continues to perform in recitals and competitions.

The character of Tomika was a shy youngster who literally found her voice through her impressive singing, a set of pipes provided to her by actress Maryam Hassan, who continues to make music, which she releases under the name Trayce on her YouTube Channel.

Choir member Marta was played by Caitlin Hale, who has since earned a degree in Journalism and Public Relations, and lives in California where she is pursuing a career in entertainment.

A version of this article originally appeared on our sister title, NationalWorld