Degrassi star Jahmil French dies at 29
Degrassi: The Next Generation stars are paying tribute to the actor who played Dave Turner on the popular Canadian teen drama from 2009 to 2013.
Jahmil French, an actor known for his role on Degrassi: The Next Generation, died Monday of undisclosed causes. He was 29.
A representative for the actor confirmed his death in a statement to EW, writing, "It is with a heavy heart that I confirm the passing of a dear friend and client Jahmil French. He will be remembered by many for his passion for the arts, his commitment to his craft, and his vibrant personality. I ask that you keep his family and friends in your thoughts and prayers at this difficult time."
French played Dave Turner on the Canadian teen drama from 2009 to 2013, with his other credits including Netflix's Soundtrack, the Pop TV series Let's Get Physical, and the 2017 film Boost, for which he received a Canadian Screen Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
Soundtrack creator Joshua Safran previously confirmed French's death on Twitter Tuesday after multiple reports of his passing, writing, "I can confirm my good friend, co-worker, and all around inspiration, Jahmil French, passed away yesterday. Only posting because I see the story getting out there. I will have more to say about him later. Right now we're all just processing this devastating news."
Many of the actor's costars also paid tribute on social media. "You will always hold such a special place in my heart," Degrassi star Melinda Shankar, who played Dave's girlfriend Ali, wrote on Instagram. "Thank you for being one of the most talented, compassionate, kindest, funniest friends I have. You were so loved. Sharing some of my fav pics over the years to highlight his bright light. I'll miss our dance offs."
"Heartbroken over the loss of our friend Jahmil French," wrote Annie Clark, who played Fiona on Degrassi, alongside a video of French dancing. "This video is how I'll always think of him. So full of energy and fun. He was always dancing. A true talent and a great friend. We will all miss you so much Jahmil."
In a statement on her Instagram story, Jessica Tyler (Degrassi's Jenna) wrote, "I, along with my cast mates, had the pleasure of working with Jahmil for several years. And though it was work, it never felt that way.... Though not all of us have kept in close contact since Degrassi ended — and not for any reason other than the simple fact that time and life go on — at the end of the day, we are a family. Always have been, always will be.
"You are so loved, Jahmil," she added. "My heart goes out to you and your family. Rest in Peace. Your kindness and bright light will not be forgotten."
Multi-era Degrassi star and producer Stefan Brogren (Snake) also paid tribute to the late actor, tweeting he was "sick with the news of Jahmil's passing."
"He performed Dave with such sensitivity and thoughtfulness and could make me laugh so easily. It was a pleasure to work with him and he will be missed. This is a real loss. Rest In Peace."