Belfast Telegraph

Jack Black: Losing big brother was devastating

Jack Black has opened up about his big brother Howard, who passed away from AIDs more than 25 years ago.

(Cover) - EN Showbiz - Actor Jack Black feels like his family was “robbed of something precious” when his brother died.

The School of Rock star lost his brother Howard more than 25 years ago to AIDS. His sibling was only 31 years old when he passed and decades on, the family are still reeling from their loss.

“Losing a family member is the worst thing I could imagine," he told Parade magazine. "I have two gay siblings: my big sister, Rachel, and my big brother, Howard. (Death) didn’t happen quickly. We all saw the deterioration. (He was) so very young. We were robbed of something precious. It was devastating. It was hard for all of us, but it was hardest for my mom when we lost Howard. She’s never really recovered."

The 46-year-old was 12 years younger than Howard. But despite the age gap the brothers had a lot in common and Howard introduced his younger sibling to things that he still loves today.

"He was a big influence on me,” he added. “He took me to my first rock concert. I was 11; he was 23. He was so vibrant, creative, amazing. He shaped my taste in music."

Jack’s teenage years were also troubled by drug abuse. The actor became addicted to cocaine when he was just 14 years old and his education suffered as a consequence.

“I remember just lots of turmoil from that time period,” he shared. “I was having a lot of troubles with cocaine... I was hanging out with some pretty rough characters. I was scared to go to school (because) one of them wanted to kill me. I wanted to get out of there.”

Thankfully Jack managed to get back on the right track and as well as a successful movie career he is happily married to wife Tanya. The couple have two sons Samuel, nine, and Thomas, seven, and the star admits he keeps a close watch on them.

“Sometimes I think maybe I’m a little bit of a helicopter dad hovering above my kids and making sure that they never are in harm’s way," he said.

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From Belfast Telegraph