Quindon Tarver, The Iconic Choir Boy From ‘Romeo + Juliet’, Has Died At Age 38

Sad news out of the entertainment world, with confirmation that Quindon Tarver, who portrayed the instantly iconic Choir Boy in Baz Luhrmann‘s culture-defining Romeo + Juliet, has been killed in a car crash. He was 38.

Tarver’s family confirmed his passing to The Daily Beast, with uncle Willie Tarver stating the singer and actor passed away in a single vehicle accident on the George H.W. Bush Turnpike in Dallas on Friday.

As a child actor, Tarver shot to fame thanks to his turn in big screen adaptation of Romeo + Juliet, which starred Leonardo Di Caprio and Claire Danes, both in career-making performances.

Tarver’s Choir Boy character served as the singer at Romeo and Juliet’s wedding scene, and his covers of When Doves Cry and Everybody’s Free helped propel the movie’s two soundtrack volumes into the global charts. The first volume peaked at number one here in Australia, while Volume Two topped out at second on the ARIA charts.

After Romeo + Juliet, Tarver released a solo album, Quindon, that also charted here in Australia. Later in his career he made appearances on seasons two and seven of American Idol as a contestant, but failed to progress past the Top 50 stage.

However, Quindon Tarver also spoke openly of behind-the-scenes struggles that derailed his career. In a 2017 interview with Double J, Tarver stated that he suffered sexual abuse and assault at the hands of a member of the music industry around the same time as Romeo + Juliet was being made. After speaking out about it, he revealed those with power in the industry began actively distancing themselves from him.

“When that took place, I shared it with one person that I thought I could trust and confide in. This person went back and said something to my management at that time and, immediately, I noticed that there was this distance. They wouldn’t answer the phone when I came out to LA,” Tarver stated at the time.

Quindon Tarver’s turn in Romeo + Juliet was inarguably one of the highpoints of a movie that grabbed the youth audience in a way that few movies of the era did. It not only propelled Di Caprio and Danes to superstardom, but established Luhrmann as a visionary director, and the soundtrack played a massive role in that.

May he rest in peace.