'Degrassi' Star Jahmil French Has Died

by Kevin Schattenkirk

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Tuesday March 2, 2021

Jahmil French
Jahmil French  (Source:E! News / Twitter)

Actor Jahmil French, who played Dave Turner in the popular Canadian teen series "Degrassi: The Next Generation," has died at age 29, People reports. No cause of death has been disclosed yet.

In a statement, a rep for French said, "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."

Joshua Safran, a screenwriter and producer who worked with French on Netfilx's "Soundtrack" in 2019, confirmed his friend's death on Twitter: "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."

Christina Milian, who also starred in "Soundtrack," commented on French's last Instagram post from January, "You will be missed. Rest peacefully King."

Melinda Shankar, who played Alli Bhandari, the love interest of French's character on "Degrassi," posted a series of photos with French, 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."

Their "Degrassi" relationship came to be referred to as "Bhandurner" by fans of the show. On Twitter, Shankar wrote in one tweet "Bhandurner forever in my heart" and in another "so grateful for the 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."

Several others also mourned French on social media:

Kevin Schattenkirk is an ethnomusicologist and pop music aficionado.

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