Degrassi The Next Generation cast – Where are they now?

It’s been 20 years since “Degrassi: The Next Generation” debuted on Canada’s CTV back on Oct. 14, 2001. The teen drama — the fourth installment in the expansive “Degrassi” franchise, which kicked off back in 1979 — won countless fans during its 14-season run as it tackled a wide range of issues affecting teens of the time. In honor of its big anniversary, Wonderwall.com is taking a look back at several original cast members and how they’ve changed over the years.

Keep reading to catch up with the stars of “Degrassi: The Next Generation”…

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Miriam McDonald starred as high-achieving Emma Nelson on the first nine seasons of “Degrassi: The Next Generation.”

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After her time on “Degrassi” came to an end, Miriam McDonald popped up on episodes of “Lost Girl” and “Orphan Black.” She also had a small role in the 2014 action-horror film “Wolves,” returned to the role of Emma Nelson on a 2016 episode of “Degrassi: Next Class,” appeared in Drake’s “Degrassi”-themed music video for his 2018 hit “I’m Upset” and scored small roles in two holiday made-for-TV movies: the Hallmark Channel’s “A Veteran’s Christmas” in 2018 and SyFy’s “Letters to Satan Claus” in 2020.

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Drake, who was then known as Aubrey Graham, starred as rich kid Jimmy Brooks — who’s eventually paralyzed from the waist down — on the first seven seasons of “Degrassi: The Next Generation.”

Drake essentially left acting behind after his time on “Degrassi” came to an end in 2009 — the same year he dropped his first big single, “Best I Ever Had.” (He’s appeared in a few small acting roles here and there, though: Most notably, he voiced a mammoth named Ethan in 2012’s “Ice Age: Continental Drift.”) The following year, he released his debut studio album, “Thank Me Later.” His sixth studio album, “Certified Lover Boy,” arrived in September 2021 and quickly broke streaming records. The four-time Grammy winner also executive produces the hit HBO series “Euphoria,” launched his own record label, OVO Sound, as well as the OVO luxury streetwear line, and developed his own brand of spirits, Virginia Black Whiskey, as well as several other lucrative business ventures. Drake welcomed son Adonis with French artist Sophie Brussaux in October 2017. He’s been linked to a number of high-profile women over the years — from Jennifer Lopez and Rihanna to Kylie Jenner and Bella Hadid — but has been happily coupled up with Instagram model Johanna Leia since early 2021.

 

Sarah Barrable-Tishauer starred as overachiever Liberty Van Zandt on the first eight seasons of “Degrassi: The Next Generation.”

Sarah Barrable-Tishauer returned to the role of Liberty Van Zandt on a 2016 episode of “Degrassi: Next Class” and appeared in Drake’s “Degrassi”-themed music video for his 2018 hit “I’m Upset.” But aside from that, she’s essentially moved on from acting. She now works as a DJ (under the stage name Me Time) and event producer for music-based brand experiences. In mid-2020, she got engaged to her partner, a fellow DJ named Ryan, after four years of coupledom.

Shane Kippel starred as bully Spinner Mason on the first nine seasons of “Degrassi: The Next Generation.”

Shane Kippel returned to the role of Spinner Mason on two episodes of “Degrassi: Next Class” in 2016 and appeared in Drake’s “Degrassi”-themed music video for his 2018 hit “I’m Upset.” In 2020, Shane executive produced and starred in three short films. He’s also drummed for the rock bands Open Your Eyes and Dear Love. In July 2021, Shane celebrated his fifth anniversary with ballet instructor Esra Leia.

Cassandra Steel starred as Emma’s promiscuous best friend, Manny Santos, on the first nine seasons of “Degrassi: The Next Generation.”

After “Degrassi: The Next Generation,” Cassandra Steel starred on The CW’s short-lived 2012 drama “The L.A. Complex.” She also appeared in a handful of made-for-TV movies and popped up in Drake’s “Degrassi”-themed music video for his 2018 hit “I’m Upset.” Since 2014, she’s voiced two different recurring characters — Tammy and Tricia — on “Rick and Morty.” She’s also released two EPs and two singles since her time on “Degrassi” came to an end. In 2018, Cassie married “Andi Mack” actor Trent Garrett, but it wasn’t meant to be: They called it quits in 2020.

Melissa McIntyre starred as Jimmy’s off-and-on girlfriend, popular Ashley Kerwin, for the first seven seasons of “Degrassi: The Next Generation.”

Melissa McIntyre, who retired from acting after she left “Degrassi: The Next Generation,” popped up in Drake’s “Degrassi”-themed music video for his 2018 hit “I’m Upset.” After the clip debuted, she told The Niagara Falls Review, “I never in a million years thought I’d be in front of a camera again. I figured if I’m going to do anything it’s going to be stage work, so I said farewell to that part of my life. Or so I thought!” Since 2017, she’s worked as a beverage manager at a Toronto restaurant. Before that, she worked as a bartender and a server-performer at a restaurant where the waiters also serve as the evening’s entertainment.

Jake Goldsbie starred as Ashley’s nerdy step-brother, Toby Isaacs, on the first seven seasons of “Degrassi: The Next Generation.”

After his time on “Degrassi: The Next Generation” came to an end, Jake Goldsbie had a small role in the 2017 biopic “Molly’s Game,” popped up on episodes of “Mrs. America” and “Private Eyes” and appeared in Drake’s “Degrassi”-themed music video for his 2018 hit “I’m Upset.” He also studied theater at Concordia University in Montreal and currently hosts the sports-themed comedy podcast “Sportsfeld.” Jake married his long-term girlfriend on Nov. 17, 2020.

Ryan Cooley starred as class clown J.T. Yorke on the first six seasons of “Degrassi: The Next Generation.”

After Ryan Cooley left “Degrassi: The Next Generation” in 2007, he appeared on two episodes of “Degrassi: Minis,” popped up on a 2012 episode of “Lost Girl” and starred on the Canadian animated TV series “Oh No! It’s an Alien Invasion” in 2013. He then shifted gears dramatically: Since 2015, the University of Toronto grad has served as the vice president of operations at the Konrad Group, a digital innovation company. In February 2019, he got engaged to his long-term girlfriend, a woman named Stefanie. It’s unclear if they’ve tied the knot since then.

Lauren Collins starred as popular mean girl Paige Michalchuk on the first eight seasons of “Degrassi: The Next Generation.”

Lauren Collins returned to the role of Paige Michalchuk on a 2016 episode of “Degrassi: Next Class” and appeared in Drake’s “Degrassi”-themed music video for his 2018 hit “I’m Upset.” She also appeared in the 2011 “High School Musical” spinoff film “Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure,” had brief stints on “The Strain,” “The Hot Zone” and “Sex/Life” and popped up in “The Christmas Chronicles” and “Run This Town.” More recently, she appeared on a 2021 episode of “What We Do in the Shadows.” In October 2018, Lauren married actor Jonathan Malen. They welcomed son Charlie Sebastian in March 2020.

Adamo Ruggiero starred as Spinner’s best friend, Marco Del Rossi, who eventually comes out as gay, on the second through the eighth seasons of “Degrassi: The Next Generation.”

Adamo Ruggiero, who came out as gay amid his run on “Degrassi: The Next Generation,” returned to the role of Marco Del Rossi on a 2016 episode of “Degrassi: Next Class” and appeared in Drake’s “Degrassi”-themed music video for his 2018 hit “I’m Upset.” He also appeared in a handful of short films and in various theater productions. Since early 2018, the York University grad (he studied communications and film theory) has worked as a digital media producer at Corus Entertainment, a media production company.

Shenae Grimes starred as good girl Darcy Edwards on the fourth through seventh seasons of “Degrassi: The Next Generation.”

Shenae Grimes went on to star as Annie Wilson on “90210” from 2008 to 2013. She also appeared in “Scream 4” and “Empire State,” popped up on a 2017 episode of “iZombie” and starred in several Lifetime and Hallmark Channel made-for-TV movies. More recently, she starred on the short-lived 2018 police procedural “The Detail” and in the 2018 horror film “The Rake.” Shenae, who runs the website The Damn Thing, married musician Josh Beech in 2013. They welcomed daughter Bowie in 2018 and son Kingsley in August 2021.

























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