Degrassi Stars Pay Tribute to Jahmil French After His Death: "You Were So Loved"
The cast of Degrassi: The Next Generation is remembering the late Jahmil French. On March 2, the 29-year-old actor's rep confirmed his death in a statement to People 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."
Jahmil was best known for playing Dave Turner on the Canadian teen series. Shortly after death was confirmed, a handful of his former costars shared tributes on social media. "You will always hold such a special place in my heart," wrote Melinda Shankar, who played one of his love interests on the show. "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. #Bhandurner forever." See more tributes from the cast ahead.
Melinda, who played Alli, shared photos of her and Jahmil from the series, writing: "@jahmilfrench you will always hold such a special place in my heart. 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. #Bhandurner forever."
Annie, who played Fiona, shared a video of Jahmil dancing on Twitter alongside a heartfelt note about the actor.
Jessica, who played Jenna, posted a lengthy tribute on Twitter alongside a photo of Jahmil. "I, along with my cast mates, had the pleasure of working with Jahmil for several years," she wrote. "And though it was work, it never felt that way. We grew up together, all of us. There are so many memories to look back on.
"Though not all of us have kept in case contact since Degrassi ended — and not for any reason other than the simple fact that time and life go on 0 at the end of the day, we are a family. Always have been, always will be. We are bound together, forever, by the unique experience we call, Degrassi. A place that many of us would call home to this day.
"You are so loved Jahmil. My heart goes out to you and your family. Rest in Peace. Your kindness and bright light will not be forgotten. Much love to you, my friend."
Sarah, who played Becky, posted a photo of her and Jahmil on Twitter.
Chloe, who played Katie, shared a tribute on Twitter, writing: "Still in shock. Jahmil will be missed. He was an integral part of the Degrassi family and certainly a huge part of my degrassi days. He always wanted to make people laugh and smile, a true joy to be around. Rest in Peace."
Munro, who played Eli on the series, shared a tribute on Twitter.
Cristine, who played Imogen, shared a handful of throwback photos from filming, writing, "My heart is so heavy... Truly one of a kind. Rest In Peace."
Dylan, who played Campbell on the series, paid tribute on Twitter.
A.J., who played Connor on the show, shared a post on his Instagram Stories, writing: "I've honestly been at a loss for words since I heard the news. This doesn't feel real. Jahmil, was one of the most talented actors I've ever worked with. One of the funniest kindest people I ever met," he continued. "The life of the party, every room he would walk into he would always be dancing and making people laugh and smile. Too many good memories. Thank you Jahmil. Rest in Peace King."
Justin, who played Jake on the show, posted a tribute on Twitter.
Jordan, who played Adam Torres, wrote on Twitter: "A sad day for the Degrassi family. With a heavy heart I thank you for all the times you made me laugh, taught me dance moves, and gave me confidence as Adam. Thinking of all the memories we shared on and off of set."
Stefan, who played Archie "Snake" Simpson, wrote on Twitter: "I'm 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."
Sam, who played K.C., remembered Jahmil on Twitter, writing: "Jahmil had such talent and charisma that it would have been intimidating were he not also a real gentleman. He would show up to my house-parties with a crew of dancers and they would elevate the mood immediately. When life got messy he would handle himself with grace and levity. He was precocious. And his love for music (and dance) was contagious. He showed me Section 80 by Kendrick Lamar, made me appreciate Drake's Houston sound... Wish I'd gotten the chance to catch up with him one more time, hear where his mind/dreams were at."
Aislinn, who played Clare, paid tribute on Twitter. "In a year full of grief, it's hard to comprehend how there can be room for more," she wrote. "And yet. Jahmil French was an incredible person, so full of talent and passion for his work. He lit up a room with his energy and dance moves. An easy smile and a natural charisma. He will be so missed. My heart is broken. I feel strange, announcing these things I wish I had told him more often. Reached out more often. The regret is acute. He deserved his flowers when he was here. I hope he knew how much love & admiration there was for him in this world."