Canadian actor Jahmil French of 'Degrassi: The Next Generation' has died, says agent

·2 min read

TORONTO — Canadian actor Jahmil French of "Degrassi: The Next Generation" fame has died.

His agent, Gabrielle Kachman, confirmed the news to The Canadian Press through a statement.

Kachman did not provide details on his death but noted French "will be remembered by many for his passion for the arts, his commitment to his craft, and his vibrant personality."

French played high-school student Dave Turner on the Toronto-shot teen series "Degrassi: The Next Generation."

In a statement, "Degrassi: The Next Generation" co-creator and executive producer Linda Schuyler said she was "heartbroken" to hear the news Tuesday.

"Jahmil was an extraordinary talent and a bright light on and off the screen," Schuyler said. "He was a joy to work with on 'Degrassi: The Next Generation.'

"He brought an authenticity and burst of life to every scene he was in and infused his character 'Dave' with an airy lightness. Off screen Jahmil would always make me smile. He will be deeply missed.”

French's other credits include the Netflix series "Soundtrack," the Pop TV show "Let's Get Physical," and the Canadian film "Boost," for which he earned a 2018 Canadian Screen Award nomination for supporting actor.

According to various bios online, he was 29.

Fans and friends of the performer shared tributes on social media Tuesday, including fellow "Degrassi" alum Annie Clark, who tweeted she's "heartbroken over the loss." She also posted a video of him dancing on a stage, noting that's how she'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," Clark wrote.

Dylan Everett, who also acted on "Degrassi: The Next Generation," tweeted that French was "kind, funny, and talented."

"One of the first people I met on 'Degrassi,' he immediately made me feel welcome," Everett wrote. "He disarmed you with a smile and his confidence and energy was infectious. You’ll be missed, brother."

Toronto-based Salvatore Antonio tweeted French was a longtime acting student of his, his mentee and "a special human."

"He was fearless and brilliant in his pursuit, and I’m so sad we won’t get to see more of his gift," Antonio wrote.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2021.

Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press