News broke on Thursday that actor Neil Hope, who achieved fame on the iconic Canadian after-school program Degrassi Junior High, Degrassi High and Degrassi: The Next Generation is dead — and has been for five years.
According to the Toronto Star, Hope died on Nov. 25, 2007, though news of his passing was only made public on Thursday (Feb. 16). Hope reportedly died in Hamilton at age 35.
Hope was born Sept. 24, 1972, in Toronto. His parents were alcoholics — his Degrassi character also struggled with alcoholism — and Hope was candid about his struggle with his parents’ addictions growing up, encouraging teens to speak up and seek help in a 1992 series called Degrassi Talked, which featured the show’s actors discussing issues such as safe sex and addiction. Hope himself struggled with alcohol addiction after the filming of the documentary The Dark Side, which focused on the death of his father.