Bad News Bears remake actress Sammi Kane Kraft killed in DUI car crash
Teenage actress Sammi Kane Kraft, whose real-life baseball skills landed her a role in the 2005 remake of Bad News Bears, died in a car accident on Tuesday aged just 20 years old.
Kraft was a passenger in a car that was speeding on a Los Angeles freeway in the early hours of Tuesday morning when it was involved in a crash with a larger vehicle. She was pronounced dead at hospital.
The driver of the car, Molly Kate Adams, 21, was treated for moderate injuries and arrested on suspicion of felony drunk driving, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Sammi Kane Kraft died on Tuesday aged 20, she will be best remembered for her role in the 2005 remake of Bad News Bears
Kraft, left, starred alongside Billy Bob Thornton in the remake of Bad News Bears
Kraft’s one movie role was playing hard-throwing fireballer Amanda Whurlitzer, the only girl member of a misfit baseball team.
It was a role close to Kraft’s childhood, she had no acting experience but her ability to throw a 75mph fastball convinced director Richard Linklater that she was right for the part. In the original 1976 film the role had been played by Tatum O’Neal.
'Amanda is such a character that you can't "out-Tatum" Tatum O'Neal, so we wanted to get a real girl who could do it,' said Linklater in a 2005 interview. 'I didn't want to keep cutting to some boy with a wig on who could throw.'
Kraft, who was just 13 years old when the film was released, brought her own personality to the role.
'I could never fill Tatum O'Neal's shoes, but I tried to make the role my own,' she told the New York Daily News in 2005. 'I added a bit of the New York in me. A little toughness, a little bit of smart-ass.
Kraft pictured at the premiere of Bad News Bears at the Ziegfeld Theatre, New York in 2005
In the remake, Billy Bob Thornton played Morris Buttermaker, a washed-up alcoholic minor-league baseball player. He coaches the Bears, a poor children's baseball team who start winning games once Kraft’s character Amanda Whurlitzer joins the team.
In recent years, Kraft had dabbled more in music than acting and had started a folk-country-rock band called Scary Girls.
She is survived by her parents, Shelly and Lulu Kane Kraft of Marina del Rey; brothers Fra