Sammi Kane Kraft, who starred as Amanda Whurlitzer in the 2005 remake of The Bad News Bears, died early Tuesday morning in a car crash when she was a passenger in an Audi that rear-ended a semi and then was struck by another car on Interstate 10. Her brother Frankie said she was pronounced dead at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. She was 20. According to the California Highway Patrol, the Audi driver, Molly Kate Adams, 21, had only moderate injuries and was arrested on suspicion of felony drunk driving. Singer-guitarist Kraft was just 13 when she was discovered playing ball on a baseball diamond in Los Angeles and was cast in the role originated by Tatum O’Neal in 1976. (Kraft threw a 75 MPH fastball at the casting call in Encino.) “I could never fill Tatum O’Neal’s shoes,” she told the New York Times in 2005, “but I tried to make the role my own. I added a bit of the New York in me. A little toughness, a little bit of smart-ass.” The Bad News Bears reboot was Kraft’s only movie.
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