It’s a sad, sad day for Degrassi fans.
Jahmil French, known for his role as Dave Turner on the hit TV series Degrassi: The Next Generation, has died at the age of 29. Screenwriter and producer Joshua Safran, who worked with the actor on the Netflix series Soundtrack, confirmed the “devastating news” on Twitter Tuesday. He said:
“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.”
No cause of death has yet to be revealed. Following the tragic news, many of French’s friends and co-stars took to social media to express their grief over his passing. Christina Milian, who starred alongside the Canadian in Soundtrack, commented on his most recent Instagram post from January, writing:
“You will be missed. Rest peacefully King.”
French’s Degrassi co-star Annie Clark also shared a touching tribute, alongside photos and videos of the two of them and the cast together.
“Heartbroken over the loss of our friend Jahmil French. We started on Degrassi the same year and I’ll never forget the day I met him. Jahmil was so full of energy and absolute joy to be around.”
The 28-year-old continued:
“The video on the last slide is how I always think of him. He was such a special person and I’m so grateful for the memories we made. I still can’t believe it. Gone way too soon. He will be so missed by us all”
Another of his former colleagues, Melinda Shankar, took to Twitter, expressing:
“So grateful for memories and deep convos with you, beautiful angel. 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.”
As fans of the show know, Melinda played Alli Bhandari, who later became a love interest of French’s character. Viewers affectionately referred to their couple name as “Bhandurner.” In another tribute, she acknowledged it, saying:
“Bhandurner forever in my heart.”
Shankar then posted to Instagram a series of photos of her and French throughout the years.
“@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.”
Christine Prosperi, also of Degrassi fame, posted a bunch of photos of herself and French, adding:
“My heart is so heavy… Truly one of a kind. Rest In Peace.”
Cast member Chloe Rose tweeted:
“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.”
Degrassi star Jessica Tyler posted a lengthy message in honor of French on Twitter and Instagram, saying:
“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. We grew up together, all of us. There are so many memories to look back on.”
The 27-year-old musician continued:
“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.”
Tyler concluded the gut-wrenching message with:
“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.”
Luke Bilyk, who played French’s best friend Drew Torres on the show, posted a series of snapshots with the actor.
“This moment will live in my mind forever. A beautiful soul, thank you for the years of memories and laughter. You’re a light my brother and I’m so happy we got to experience this crazy life together. I’ll always remember you dancing down the halls of the green room. Rest In Peace”
Plus, series alum, A.J. Saudin, added on his Insta Story:
“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. 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.”
Our hearts go out to Jahmil’s friends and family during this difficult time.
[Image via Jahmil French/Instagram]