Neil Hope, the actor who played the troubled character Derek “Wheels” Wheeler in the popular Degrassi television show, has apparently been dead for five years. The bizarre news was first reported by Toronto.com. Hope died of “natural causes” in Hamilton, ON, in November 2007 at age 35.
It is not clear how or why is the news of Hope’s death only being released now. In a statement, Hope’s fiancee, Christina Boulard, said only that “there was some confusion regarding his passing that they do not wish to go public with, which is why they are only announcing his death now to the public and the media.”
Global News is quoting a tweet by Stephen Stohn, Executive Producer of Degrassi: The Next Generation, saying, “We have respected the privacy of the family by not saying anything until now, but our entire team is very emotional about his passing.”