MadameNoire Featured Video

Where Are They Now: The "Teen" Actors From "Lean On Me"

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty

Update: December 30, 2020

On December 29, Principal Joe Clark, the inspiration behind the 1989 film, Lean on Me, passed away at the age of 82 after a long battle with an unspecified illness. Clark, who became infamous for expelling 300 students in one day, retired from Newark, New Jersey’s Eastside High School the same year the movie was released and eventually settled in Gainesville, Florida, before his death. Here’s a look at where the memorable cast members of the movie loosely based on his life are now.

Lean on Me is a classic in the Black community.  In 1989, the world was introduced to the troubled Eastside High in Passaic County New Jersey.  The cameras went through the troubled halls of the high school that ran rampant with violence, drugs, and disrespectful teenagers.  Joe Clark/Crazy Joe/Bat Man stepped onto the scene, and though he initially came off as cantankerous, there was a method to his madness and he was able to help the students pass the minimum basic skills test.

Now, we all know that there are some powerhouses in this movie:  Morgan Freeman, Robert Guillaume, Regina Taylor, Beverly Todd and Michael Beach, but what about the teens that were the driving force in the movie?  Where are they now?  Well…

Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN