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What The Degrassi: The Next Generation Cast Is Doing Today

Talk about a show that was never afraid to go to dark places –- legendary teen drama "Degrassi: The Next Generation" tackled just about every hot-button issue under the sun, including sexual assault, murder, teen pregnancy, abortion, suicide, coming out, self-harm, and anything else you could think of. As a result of constantly pushing the envelope with some genuinely realistic and compelling characters, "Degrassi: The Next Generation" aired for an incredible 14 seasons. The show ended in 2014, and its quasi-reboot, "Degrassi: Next Class," had its last episode back in 2017, leaving fans craving more.

Some fantastic news was delivered for long-waiting "Degrassi" fans when HBO Max announced a reboot set to launch in 2023. In honor of that fresh take on one of one the greatest teen shows ever, we wanted to take a look at some of the biggest stars of "Degrassi: The Next Generation," as well as a couple of lesser-known cast members, to see what they're all up to so many years after their time on the show came to an end. Here is what the "Degrassi: The Next Generation" cast is doing today.

Shenae Grimes-Beech left Degrassi to star in 90210 and has a popular YouTube channel

Starting on Degrassi in 2004 as Darcy Edwards, Shenae Grimes-Beech was a big part of the early success of "Degrassi." Grimes-Beech's character went through a lot of emotional turmoil, experiencing rape, depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts through her time on the show. Darcy showcased impressive strength and determination through great difficulties, which allowed her to be one of the more enduring characters in the show's history. Grimes-Beech appeared in five seasons and 40 episodes of the show before moving on to another hit show after she secured the role of Annie Wilson on the American reboot of "90210."

On top of her two big recurring roles, Grimes-Beech went on to have a successful career in television. She found a niche in TV movies, starring in "Picture This" alongside Ashley Tisdale and "True Confessions of a Hollywood Starlet" with JoJo and Valerie Bertinelli. She also had a great role in 2011's "Scream 4" as Trudy, a character in that film's in-universe slasher series "Stab."

Grimes-Beech seems to have left acting behind, with her last acting role coming back in 2018. US Weekly reported on her marriage Josh Beech back in 2013, and the two are still together, and recently welcomed their second child in August 2021. On top of being a busy mom, Grimes-Beech operates a successful YouTube channel, where she tackles topics like motherhood and pregnancy while having fun with her family. She occasionally references "Degrassi" too, bringing back old co-star Cassie Steele to react to some key "Degrassi" moments.

Nina Dobrev moved on to lead CW hit The Vampire Diaries

As teen mom Mia Jones, Nina Dobrev made an immediate impression on season 6 of "Degrassi: The Next Generation." Mia was a really interesting character on "Degrassi," and Dobrev's nuanced performance really helped the character shine as she went through emotional relationships with J.T. (Ryan Cooley) who was murdered, and Peter (Jamie Johnston), who she left to move to Paris to pursue a career as a model in Season 9.

The Canadian actress wasted no time looking for her next great role, landing the leading role in CW's popular "The Vampire Diaries," where Dobrev starred as Elena Gilbert for 134 episodes over six seasons. Dobrev has continued to have a very successful acting career, appearing in lots of films over the years, including "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," "Let's Be Cops," "xXx: Return of Xander Cage," "Flatliners," "Run This Town," and "Then Came You." She also had a lead role on the TV series "Fam." Dobrev is still a successful actress, recently appearing in Netflix's romantic comedy "Love Hard" in the lead role. Dobrev was also one of the performers in Drake's music video "I'm Upset," which Vulture notes acted as a sort of "Degrassi" reunion. Dobrev seemed to enjoy the experience and said, "it was really cool to get everybody together" on "Live with Kelly and Ryan."

Jake Epstein has remained a successful actor since exiting Degrassi

Jake Epstein played Craig Manning on "Degrassi: The Next Generation" for over 70 episodes and went through some real trials and tribulations through seven seasons of the show. Craig struggles with an abusive father and drug abuse while dealing with his bipolar diagnosis. Though Craig makes a lot of mistakes and ends up treating a lot of people poorly, Epstein always gave a great performance, and it was wonderful to see his character become a successful musician in the world of "Degrassi." Epstein even reprised his role for a couple of episodes of the reboot "Degrassi: Next Class," reappearing as a successful musician.

Epstein has managed to maintain a successful career as an actor into adulthood. After leaving "Degrassi" in 2009, Epstein had roles in "Murdoch Mysteries" and "Blood Pressure," as well as guest spots on shows like "Being Erica" and "My Babysitter's a Vampire." Epstein also found himself with recurring roles on two major television shows: he played Brian in "Suits" for 11 episodes and Chuck on "Designated Survivor" for 28 episodes.

The Canadian star also has managed the tricky feat of finding success in the theater. Epstein became Spider-Man in 2011 in "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" on Broadway and had roles in "Beautiful: The Carole King Musical" and "American Idiot," amongst others. Epstein continues to act, most recently starring as Alphonso in Netflix's "The Umbrella Academy."

Stacey Farber has remained a mainstay on television since her time on Degrassi

Goth girl Ellie, played by Stacey Farber, was a mainstay of "Degrassi: The Next Generation" from 2002 to 2009. Ellie had an impressive evolution on the show as struggling with an alcoholic mother and a distant father and suffering through self-harm in one of the show's most groundbreaking moments. Ellie grows into a quietly confident character that always helps everyone and ends up pursuing a successful career in journalism. Unlike Ellie, Farber continued to pursue her career in acting, and "Degrassi" was only the start of her impressive, well-rounded career.

After "Degrassi," Farber had the lead role as Jessie Hill in the series "18 to Life" and appeared in six episodes of "Cult" as E.J. She appeared in popular shows like "Rookie Blue" and "Chicago Justice," landing yet another recurring role in "Saving Hope" as Dr. Sydney Katz. Farber's star only continues to rise, and 2018 was an especially impressive year for the actress, as she had roles in major TV shows "Grace and Frankie," "UnREAL," and "Schitt's Creek," as well as being part of Drake's music video "I'm Upset."

Farber's story doesn't end there, as she's had big roles in "Diggstown," Superman and Lois," and the huge hit series "Virgin River," which was recently renewed for another two seasons. It's really difficult to transition from a child star to a successful adult actress, but that's something Farber has managed to do with considerable aplomb.

Melissa McIntyre left acting behind after her role on Degrassi

On "Degrassi: The Next Generation," Melissa McIntyre played Ashley Kerwin, one of the original cast members, performing in nearly 100 episodes from 2001 to 2008. Like many kids at Degrassi Community School, Ashley had her fair share of struggles, going from being one of the most popular kids in school to losing all her friends due to a drug problem. Ashely was quite cruel and conniving at times, but through her journey on "Degrassi," she became a well-rounded and developed individual who realized that genuine friendships were a lot more valuable than popularity.

Before her time on "Degrassi," McIntyre provided the voice of Cornflower on the 2000 animated series "Redwall," and during her stint on the show, she appeared in an episode of "Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye." After her time on "Degrassi: The Next Generation" came to a close, McIntyre put acting behind her, opting to get away from the cameras for a more private life. She did make a grand return to Degrassi Community School in Drake's music video "I'm Upset," which marked her first big appearance since 2008. McIntyre is somewhat active on Instagram, and in January 2022 she posted about her time on "Degrassi," and even took part in a virtual reunion for the show as part of GalaxyCon.

Raymond Ablack continues to get big roles in television

Raymond Ablack was a huge part of "Degrassi: The Next Generation" in its later seasons, appearing as Sav Bhandari from 2007 to 2011, appearing in nearly 100 episodes. Bhandari is a popular guy who comes into his groove when he becomes part of the band Studz with his friends, and his charming, effervescent persona made him one of the show's most delightful characters. Ablack reprised his role in "Degrassi: Next Class" for a couple of episodes in 2016.

Since his tenure on "Degrassi," Ablack hasn't shied away from the world of television and continues to star in prominent TV shows. He landed roles in "Defiance" and "Orphan Black" and played Gabriel in the Canadian web series "Teenagers." Ablack has also starred in a couple of big-time Netflix series, including "Narcos" in 2017, as well as "Maid" and "Ginny & Georgia" in 2021, and appears in every episode of the second season of "Ginny & Georgia." Ablack shows no signs of slowing down and even starred in the TV movies "Boyfriends of Christmas Past" and "The Wedding Ring" in 2021. It's wonderful to see that Ablack turned his time onto "Degrassi" into a flourishing tv career.

A.J. Saudin turned to the world of music after Degrassi

As the shy Connor DeLaurier, A.J. Saudin starred in "Degrassi: The Next Generation" from 2008 to 2015, featuring in over 100 episodes. Before appearing in the teen show, Saudin already had a pretty successful television career, recurring in shows like "Friends and Heroes" and "Da Kink in My Hair." The super-smart Connor was a lovely presence on the show, and his struggles with Asperger's were truly compelling, it was wonderful to watch his character develop over seven seasons of the show. In the show, Connor was part of The Three Tenners band, where he shone using music he created on his computer.

Perhaps it was a sign, as Saudin left the world of acting behind to work on a music career of his own. In 2016, The Huffington Post reported that he released his first single, "Sunset," quickly followed by "The Road." Saudin went on two release two EPs in 2017 with "Before I Met You" and "A Midsummer's Daydream," and featured in Drake's "I"m Upset" music video in 2018.

Dalmar Abuzeid left Degrassi to move on a successful career in television

First appearing as the immature and rather dorky Danny Van Zandt in 2004, Dalmar Abuzeid flourished in turning Danny into a responsible and clever young man over six seasons of "Degrassi: The Next Generation." He was also a bandmate of Sav (the two have remained great friends in real life) in Studz and ends up attending the prestigious Cornell University.

After falling in love with acting in "Degrassi: The Next Generation," Abuzeid continued to pursue acting and thankfully has been quite successful in following his dreams. Abuzeid had a recurring role as Jarmin on "Majority Rules!" and appeared in "Hemlock Grove," "Dark Matter," and "Republic of Doyle," as well as the blockbuster movie "Pompeii." He also starred in the childhood educational program "TVOkids Bookaneers" and several other shows, including "Shoot the Messenger," "Condor," "Pure," and "Crawford." 

Abuzeid was one of the many "Degrassi" alums to appear in Drake's music video for "I'm Upset," but the biggest moment in his career came with a guest role in "Anne with an E" as Sebastian Lacroix, appearing in 18 episodes. The role earned Abuzeid serious acclaim, and it earned him an ACTRA award for outstanding performance as well as a Canadian Screen Award.

Jake Goldsbie has transitioned to podcasting

One of the few characters to appear on the very first episode of "Degrassi: The Next Generation," Toby Isaacs was the geeky, computer-obsessed kid played by Jake Goldsbie. Goldsbie is credited on almost 100 episodes over the first eight seasons of the show, from 2001 to 2009. Before "Degrassi," Goldsbie had roles in the TV movie "Critical Choices" and "Black and Blue," as well as voice-acting roles in "Corduroy" and "Redwall." He continued to act in other shows while on "Degrassi," including appearances in "The Kid," "Prince Charming," "I Do, They Don't," and "Twitches."

After his time on the show came to an end in 2009, Goldsbie took a long break from acting, opting only for the occasional small role, such as his appearance in 2017's "Molly's Game," as well as parts in both "Mrs. America," and "Private Eyes" in 2020. Alongside the odd film and tv appearance, Goldsbie has found his greatest success in the world of podcasting and currently co-hosts StringerLab's "Sportsfeld," a comedy podcast that is a joyful look at the current world of sports. Though his character Toby never managed to, Goldsbie found love with his wife Cassie, whom he married in 2020.

Cassie Steele has found success as a voice actress and nearly became a Disney heroine

As iconic Manny Santos, Cassie Steele had plenty of legendary moments over the first nine seasons and starred in over 100 episodes from 2001 to 2009. Manny Santos did it all over her time on Degrassi, going through teen pregnancy and a glorious journey into feeling comfortable in her own body, all while having one of the show's great romances with Jay (Mike Lobel). Santos had huge dreams of becoming a musician and actress, which was reflected in Steele's real life, who continued to pursue her career in acting after "Degrassi."

After her run on the show, Steele struggled with bullying, revealing to E! News "People couldn't separate me from my character. I felt like I was being bullied a lot at parties growing up and even at the mall ... that was very difficult because I just wanted to make friends." Thankfully Steele shook off that difficult time and starred in several TV movies, including "Sorority Surrogate" and "The Dorm" in 2014, and "Twist of Fate" in 2016.

Steele's biggest role came in the sphere of voice acting, as she's starred as many characters in "Rick and Morty" over the show's five seasons. Steele almost shot into the stratosphere, as she signed on to star as the title character in Disney's "Raya and the Last Dragon." Unfortunately, Steele's dreams of being a Disney heroine were dashed, as she was replaced by Kelly Marie Tran, as reported by Independent, but Steele continues to act since being on "Degrassi"

Stephan James took a small role in the series and turned it into a big-time acting career

With so many people coming to Degrassi Community School, it's nearly impossible to keep track of just how many people performed on the show. In seasons 10 and 11 of "Degrassi: The Next Generation," one of those students was Julian, played by Stephan James. Appearing in 8 episodes between 2010 and 2012, Julian never really had storylines of his own but was generally seen hanging out with the cool kids at school.

James is proof that you don't always need a big role to jumpstart a successful career, as James is quickly on his way to becoming a major Hollywood star. In 2014, he landed a role as John Lewis in the Oscar-winning "Selma" and had a huge breakthrough in 2016, where he portrayed athlete Jesse Owen in 2016's "Race." Since then, James has continued to get roles in major projects, starred in Amazon's series "Homecoming," and even landed an Emmy nomination for his lead-role in Quibi's "#Freerayshawn." 

James' career is only just getting started, and after major roles in films like "If Beale Street Could Talk" and "21 Bridges," we can't wait to see where his star is headed next.

Aubrey Graham became international rap superstar Drake

That's right, global rap superstar Drake actually got his start on a Canadian teen soap opera! The artist was formerly known by his birth name, Aubrey Graham, and he began his career as an actor, appearing in guest spots in the Canadian series "Blue Murder" and "Soul Food," as well as the TV movie "Conviction." Graham got his big break playing Jimmy Brooks in "Degrassi: The Next Generation." Jimmy was the effortlessly likable basketball star at the school, and everyone seemed to idolize him. Tragically, Jimmy was shot in one of the show's most shocking moments and was paralyzed from the waist down. In some impressive foreshadowing, Jimmy turned his focus to rap music, which worked so well thanks to Drake's natural gifts.

In 2009, Drake left "Degrassi" as producers of the show told him he needed to choose the show or his music career, per Mashable. He chose wisely, as he's now one of the most recognizable names in music. Drake released his first album, "So Far Gone" in 2009, and has made 11 albums in total, including the critically acclaimed "Take Care," which won the Grammy for best rap album. Drake has won an additional three Grammys and racked up an impressive 47 nominations, regularly sells out arena tours, and has collaborated with superstars like Rihanna, Eminem, Lil Wayne, and more. 

Though the days of "Degrassi: The Next Generation" are far behind him, he still has fond memories of his time on the show, as evidenced by his amazing "I'm Upset" music video from 2018 which took place at Degrassi Community School and brought back tons of original cast members.