1

The last, lost years of Neil “Wheels” Hope


 

From the Toronto Star‘s Katie Daubs, a lovely, wrenching look at the post-Degrassi life of Neil Hope, whose death in 2007 only became public a few weeks ago:

Hope was, on the surface, an upbeat and personable guy but he struggled with bouts of depression and severe diabetes made worse by alcohol. He was a private man, and his final years were a mystery to many — a rarity in a digital age. It would take just over four years for his family to learn he was buried in an unmarked plot and even longer to learn the details of his final days.

Unlike his peers, Hope didn’t leave a paper trail of home purchases, car loans or a specified next of kin. There were just two unresolved GO train infractions totalling $354, a trail of acquaintances whose couches he slept on, and a group of people who loved him but were frustrated he wasn’t taking care of himself.

Hope, like the rest of the Degrassi cast, earned no residuals from the shows’ massive second life in worldwide syndication, Daubs reports:

Degrassi Jr. High and Degrassi High were non-union shows, and that, according to [Dan] Woods, [who played principal Raditch on the series] meant the money stopped coming in for the actors once the series ended.

Presumably that includes any royalties from his part in the massive Zit Remedy hit, ‘Everybody Wants Something’:


 
Filed under:

The last, lost years of Neil “Wheels” Hope

  1. I remember seeing some Degrassi reunion special from a number of years ago (before the Next Generation) and the cast members who got together at the end all mentioned how they never heard from Hope and that was typical of him.  It struck me as strange at the time and came back to me with the after-the-fact news of his death.

Sign in to comment.