Degrassi stars pay tribute to Jahmil French following the Toronto actor's death at age 28
Toronto-born actor Jahmil French, known for his roles on Degrassi: The Next Generation as well as Netflix's Soundtrack, has tragically passed away at the young age of 28.
French starred in Degrassi as the beloved Dave Turner, and the news of his sudden death was announced on social media Monday night.
Many of his Degrassi co-stars have since taken to Twitter to share tributes to the late Canadian actor, including Melinda Shankar — who played French's love interest Alli Bhandari on Degrassi.
Bhandurner forever in my heart. pic.twitter.com/aWLHzsGUkf— Melinda Shankar (@melindashankar) March 2, 2021
"So grateful for memories and deep convos with you, beautiful angel," she wrote in one of two tweets about the actor. "Blessed that we got to be part of a big dysfunctional family together. Thank you for sharing your gift with the world. I just hope you knew how loved you were."
Chloe Rose, who played Katie Matlin on Degrassi from 2011 to 2013, also shared a heartfelt message about French, saying he "always wanted to make people laugh and smile" and that he was "a true joy to be around."
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 ❤️ pic.twitter.com/6RewkjcFa1— Chloe Rose (@ChloeRose4) March 2, 2021
Toronto-born Cristine Prosperi, known for her role as Imogen Moreno in the series, meanwhile said he was "truly one of a kind."
My heart is so heavy.. Truly one of a kind. Rest In Peace 🕊 pic.twitter.com/vW31v2U5BL— Cristine Prosperi (@CrisProsperi) March 2, 2021
And a tweet from actor Munro Chambers, who played Elijah "Eli" Goldsworthy in the Canadian teen television series, calls French "one of the most gifted and effortless performers."
Jahmil was one of the most gifted and effortless perfomers I’ve ever met. His vibrant personality lit up the room. Rest easy my friend. ❤️— Munro Chambers (@The_Munro) March 2, 2021
Annie Clark, who played Fiona Coyne in the show, also shared an adorable video of French dancing and goofing around alongside her tribute.
Heartbroken over the loss of our friend Jahmil French. 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 💔 pic.twitter.com/hgKibZ1h1j— Annie Clark (@anniejclark) March 2, 2021
And the actor who played the role of Jake Martin, Justin Kelly, said he was constantly "in awe of his sheer talent."
Terribly sad to hear about Jahmil's passing. Whether I was his scene partner, or just a viewer, I was in awe of his sheer talent. A room was brighter because he was in it. A true performer, a great guy and a huge loss. #RestInPeace— Justin Kelly (@IsJustKelly) March 2, 2021
One of Degrassi's original cast members and the franchise's most long-standing character, Stefan Brogren (also known as Snake), likewise posted a tribute to French on Tuesday.
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. pic.twitter.com/ZbCyqNulkC— Stefan Brogren (@stefanbrogren) March 2, 2021
Many Degrassi fans have also been sharing a clip of a particularly emotional scene from the series on social media, with some saying it was French's best performance on the show.
This was far and away Jahmil’s best scene on Degrassi. The empathy and emotion he brought to Dave’s character was incredible.— James Alexander👨🏾💻 (@ScriptsByJames) March 2, 2021
To see a young, Black male character have an arc that overcame homophobia and transphobia was so important.
Jahmil French was a star. Gone way too soon. https://t.co/huFeuYdnIh
It's clear French touched so many during his short yet meaningful life, and he will be sorely missed by the Degrassi community and beyond.
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