Metro Weekly

Jack Black on brother’s death from AIDS: “It was devastating”

"We all saw the deterioration. He was only 31."

Jack Black at Comic-Con International 2014, Credit: vagueonthehow / Flickr
Jack Black at Comic-Con International 2014, Credit: vagueonthehow / Flickr

Jack Black opened up about the effect his brother’s death has had on his life while promoting his new film, Goosebumps. Howard Black succumbed to AIDS in the late ’80s, something which his family has never quite moved on from.

“I have two gay siblings: my big sister, Rachel, and my big brother, Howard,” he told Parade magazine. “He was a big influence on me. 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.”

Black called Howard’s deterioration “devastating,” a sentiment shared by many of those who lost friends and loved ones to the AIDS crisis.

“[Death] didn’t happen quickly. We all saw the deterioration. He was only 31. So very young. We were robbed of something precious,” he continued. “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.”

Ultimately, his brother’s death has influenced Black’s parenting style with his two sons.

“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. “But losing a family member is the worst thing I could imagine.”

Black is no stranger to LGBT issues and has long supported marriage equality and earlier this year slamming Australia’s former Prime Minister Tony Abbott for his stance on marriage equality.

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