Kevin Clark, a Chicago musician who as a child actor portrayed drummer Freddy “Spazzy McGee” Jones in the 2003 film School of Rock, died Wednesday after he was struck and killed by a driver while biking in Chicago. Clark was 32.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Clark was biking in the Avondale neighborhood when he was struck by a Hyundai Sonata at 1:20 a.m. Wednesday; paramedics arrived at the scene and took Clark to nearby Illinois Masonic Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 2:04 a.m. The 20-year-old driver of the car was issued citations.
Despite having no acting experience, Clark — who began playing drums at the age of three — was cast in School of Rock when he was 12 years old, playing the role of the drummer Freddy in Jack Black’s student band. Nearly two decades after its release, the Richard Linklater-directed School of Rock remains a cult favorite, inspiring a short-lived television series and a stage musical.
While School of Rock was Clark’s lone acting credit, he continued to drum in bands around his native Chicago, including most recently Jess Bess and the Intentions, which played their first show Saturday.
“He’s just a raw talent. He’s got a heart of gold,” Kevin’s mother Allison Clark told the Chicago Sun-Times Wednesday, adding of her son’s School of Rock role, “He just kind of shined. He took it on right away, but he never really acted afterward.”