Degrassi: The Next Generation Star Jahmil French Dead at Age 28: 'Truly One of a Kind'
Screenwriter Joshua Safran confirmed the news on Twitter Tuesday
Jahmil French, known for his role as Dave Turner in Canadian teen series Degrassi: The Next Generation, has died. He was 28.
"It is with a heavy heart that I confirm the passing of a dear friend and client Jahmil French," a rep for the actor said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE. "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."
Screenwriter and producer Joshua Safran, who worked with French on the Netflix series Soundtrack in 2019, also confirmed the "devastating news" on Twitter Tuesday. No additional details about French's death were made available.
"I can confirm my good friend, co-worker, and all around inspiration, Jahmil French, passed away yesterday," Safran wrote. "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."
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Several of French's former Degrassi costars also paid tribute to the Canadian actor on social media.
"@jahmilfrench you will always hold such a special place in my heart," Melinda Shankar wrote on Instagram alongside a series of photos of her and French over the years. "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."
On Degrassi, Shankar, 29, played Alli Bhandari, a love interest of French's character. Fans of the show came to refer to their relationship as "Bhandurner," which the actress referenced as she honored French.
"Bhandurner forever in my heart," she wrote in one of her Twitter tributes.
Cristine Prosperi (Imogen Moreno on Degrassi) added in her own Twitter post, "My heart is so heavy... Truly one of a kind. Rest In Peace."
"Still in shock," Chloe Rose tweeted, sharing several photos of French. "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."
Annie Clark tweeted a video of French dancing on stage, writing alongside it, "Heartbroken over the loss of our friend Jahmil French. This video is how I'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."
Another former Degrassi star, Jessica Tyler, posted a lengthy tribute to French on Twitter and Instagram.
"I, along with my cast mates, had the pleasure of working with Jahmil for several years," she wrote. "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."
"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," Tyler continued. "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."
"You are so loved Jahmil," the actress concluded. "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."
"I've honestly been at a loss for words since I heard the news," Degrassi's A.J. Saudin added on his own Instagram Story. "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," he continued. "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."