An actor who once starred on popular Canadian school melodrama Degrassi Junior High has finally been ... Canada, rooming house in 2007, claims his ex-fiance Christina Boulard. We’re saddened by it. Associated With. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to, To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. She and Hope dated between 1998 and 2001 and were engaged until the relationship ended amicably. Neil Hope was born on September 24, 1972 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Breaking news - Degrassi Junior High star Neil Hope, aka Wheels, died in 2007. Menu. Boulard said the former star of Canada's groundbreaking Degrassi series died on 25 November 2007 of "natural causes" at the age of 35 but declined to … When they hadn’t heard from Hope, they called her. With files from the Canadian Press Download. Ex-fiance Christina Boulard said Hope's family spent years trying to track him down after hearing rumors of his passing several years ago, but only learned last month from police in Hamilton, Ontario, that he had died. That shocking revelation was made known to friends and family only this January — and became public Thursday. Boulard said the former star of Canada's groundbreaking "Degrassi" series died on Nov. 25, 2007, of "natural causes" at the age of 35 but declined to elaborate, only saying Hope was diabetic. Everybody wants something they’ll never give up, Everybody wants something, they’ll take your money and never give up. I still am.”, Little is known about how the intensely private Hope came to a sudden end, alone and unnoticed. “I was shocked,” said Boulard, fighting back tears as she talked to the Star. Boulard said she is organizing a private ceremony, with help from Amanda Stepto, who played Christine “Spike” Nelson on Degrassi, for friends to remember Hope. Hope also made a documentary about children of alcoholic parents, called The Darker Side. Boulard, who last saw Hope in 2002, said it was not unusual for him to cut ties with friends and family for sometimes a year at a time. !xoxox.”, Copyright owned or licensed by Toronto Star Newspapers Limited. The location of the grave is being kept private, Boulard said. Christina Boulard (1998–2001) Philip Neil Hope [2] (September 24, 1972 – November 25, 2007), known as Neil Hope , was a Canadian actor best known for playing Derek "Wheels" Wheeler on Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High in the 1980s and early 1990s. “He didn’t know any other life,” she said. He was engaged to Christina Boulard from 1998 to 2001. Neil Hope, the Degrassi actor (Wheels) who died in a Hamilton rooming house often surprised people with his financial state. Many former actors, who were mobbed in malls for their Degrassi fame, went on to successful careers, including Aubrey Graham, better known now as award-winning recording artist Drake. She remembers one dinner in particular, where the entire kitchen staff came out to ask for Hope’s autograph. Newspapers Limited, One Yonge Street, 4th floor, Toronto, ON, M5E 1E6. “He loved being known as ‘Wheels.’ ”. It developed a cult following, was picked up in the U.S. and is now watched the world over. Read our, I'm a print subscriber, link to my account, Read more about following topics and authors. TORONTO -- Actor Neil Hope, who starred as Derek "Wheels" Wheeler on the popular 1980s TV series "Degrassi Junior High" and had little contact with relatives and friends in his TORONTO - Former child star Neil Hope, who played Derek (Wheels) Wheeler on the long-running youth series "Degrassi," died alone in a Hamilton rooming house in 2007, said former fiancee Christina Boulard on Thursday, as details of the troubled actor's final years emerged. Boulard said she lost touch with Hope in 2002, but remained in contact with his family through Facebook. “He was smiling and joking with them and he signed everything,” she said. Christina Boulard, the actor's fiancée, released a statement on Thursday saying, "The family regrets to announce that Neil passed away in Hamilton, Ontario on November 25, 2007 of natural causes. Star Newspapers Limited and/or its licensors. Hope's ex-fiancee, Christina Boulard, said the family was told the former child actor died alone in a Hamilton rooming house of natural causes. To order copies of Boulard, who last saw Hope in 2002, said it was not unusual for him to cut ties with friends and family for sometimes a year at a time. Mr. Hope starred as a troubled teenager in the popular Canadian shows “Degrassi Junior High” and “Degrassi High” in the 1980s. by News Staff. Trivia. Switch gears. Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language. Many former actors, who were mobbed in malls for their Degrassi fame, went on to successful careers, including Aubrey Graham, better known now as award-winning recording artist Drake. Schuyler, the early Degrassi producer, became like a second mother to him on the set, many said. Neil Hope had dealt with the death of parents on Degrassi and in his personal life. Calling all HuffPost superfans! Click here to subscribe. For millions, Neil Hope was “Wheels” — the lovable, troubled onscreen teen with that feathered blond hair and huge glasses. Scoop a new vibe in the numbers and do today’s Daily Soduku. In his quiet off-screen life, Hope romanced Boulard. Ex-fiance Christina Boulard said Hope’s family spent years trying to track him down after hearing rumors of his passing several years ago, but only learned last month from police in Hamilton, Ontario, that he had died. ), “His life was not an easy one, but the time he spent with us was a shining example of determination, hard work and hopeful optimism and he is sorely missed.”. He was always friendly with the cast behind the scenes, Woods recalled. “That’s when we started to worry,” she said. [1] Ex-fiance Christina Boulard said Hope’s family spent years trying to track him down after hearing rumors of his passing several years ago, but only learned last month from police in Hamilton, Ontario, that he had died. Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted. Fans of actor Neil Hope, who played troubled teen Wheels on "Degrassi Junior High," are still wondering just how his death at age 35 could have gone unreported for years. Four years after the date of his death, it was revealed that he had died from a heart attack from not taking diabetes insulin on time, in November 2007 at the age of 35. We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner. With files from the Canadian Press Download. No answers forthcoming in case of 'Degrassi' star Neil Hope's unreported death. ... Christina Boulard… permissions/licensing, please go to: www.TorontoStarReprints.com. IMDb, the world's most popular and authoritative source for movie, TV and celebrity content. presentation-ready copies of Toronto Star content for distribution Ex-fiance Christina Boulard said Hope's family spent years trying to track him down after hearing rumors of his passing several years ago, but only learned last month from police in Hamilton, Ontario, that he had died. Boulard said she's furious because she can't understand why it took more than four years for police to contact Hope's family. Fans of the iconic Degrassi series are mourning the loss of Neil Hope, also known as Derek "Wheels" Wheeler, as news broke on Thursday that the former teen star has been dead for five years. We miss you soo much !!! Hope's fiancée, Christina Boulard, also released the following statement: "The family regrets to announce that Neil passed away in Hamilton, Ontario on November 25, 2007 of natural causes. US. But Hope met a very different end in that Hamilton rooming house, where local police found him dead, according to former fiancée Christina Boulard, 37. Boulard said the former star of Canada's groundbreaking "Degrassi" series died on Nov. 25, 2007, of "natural causes" at the age of 35 but declined to elaborate, only saying Hope was diabetic. And the sad news today is, he died four years ago. Mystery surrounds the death of a star of popular high-school drama Degrassi, that went undiscovered for five years. Born in Ontario to alcoholic parents, Hope took up acting at a young age, first as Griff on The Kids of Degrassi Street and then as Wheels on Degrassi Junior High. © Copyright 2021 The Globe and Mail Inc. All rights reserved. Boulard said the former star of Canada’s groundbreaking “Degrassi” series died on Nov. 25, 2007, of “natural causes” at the age of 35 but declined to elaborate, only saying Hope was diabetic. Boulard, who last saw Hope in 2002, said it was not unusual for him to … HIS name was Neil Hope, but you might have known him as Wheels. Movies. Some information in it may no longer be current. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests. Boulard said she is organizing a private ceremony, with help from Amanda Stepto, who played Christine “Spike” Nelson on Degrassi, for friends to remember Hope. “We’re all pretty shocked about the news. ... his ex-fiance Christina Boulard said on Friday. Now we all can be at peace. Dan Woods, who played Mr. Raditch, a teacher and later principal on the show, remembered meeting Hope when he was a teen on the set of Degrassi Junior High. Boulard, who last saw Hope in 2002, said it was not unusual for him to cut ties with friends and family for sometimes a year at a time. On the Degrassi series, he was a member of the fictional band Zit Remedy. Cohen said she did not know what that "confusion" might refer to. He died on November 25, 2007 in Hamilton, Ontario. From its original iteration as The Kids of Degrassi Street in 1979 to the still-running Degrassi: The Next Generation, the series is one of Canada’s prime television success stories. “He was the one that stayed as far away from the public eye afterwards as possible,” Boulard said. Give your brain a workout and do today’s Daily Cryptic Crossword. But Hope met a very different end in that Hamilton rooming house, where local police found him dead, according to former fiancée Christina Boulard, 37. Boulard met Hope when they were both working at a Money Mart in Hamilton. Christina Boulard, his fiance, posted on another Facebook group that a memorial service is planned for the actor. Boulard is planning a private memorial in June for Hope's old Degrassi colleagues and close friends in order to pay tribute to their fallen fellow actor and friend. News that Neil Hope, an actor from the acclaimed Canadian television show Degrassi Junior High, had died five years ago but whose death was only publicly confirmed on Thursday stunned even the producers of the show. In a way, they became his family and the set his home. Republication or distribution of this content is Entertainment; Fans of actor Neil Hope, who played troubled teen Wheels on “Degrassi Junior High,” are still wondering just how his death at age 35 could have gone unreported for years, even to his family and friends. Many former actors, who were mobbed in malls for their Degrassi fame, went on to successful careers, including Aubrey Graham, better known now as award-winning recording artist Drake. ... Christina Boulard, told The Canadian Press. "It did catch us completely unaware," says Stephanie Cohen, vice-president of marketing at communications at Epitome Pictures. His legacy showed on social media sites Thursday, as fans expressed shock at the sudden news of Hope’s death. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. "We have respected the privacy of the family by not saying anything until now, but our entire team is very emotional about his passing," he wrote. Christina Boulard, the actor's fiancée, released a statement on Thursday saying, "The family regrets to announce that Neil passed away in Hamilton, Ontario on November 25, 2007 of natural causes. Boulard said the former star of Canada's groundbreaking "Degrassi" series died on Nov. 25, 2007, of "natural causes" at the age of 35 but declined to elaborate, only saying Hope was diabetic. He received no residuals Fans of actor Neil Hope, who played troubled teen Wheels on Degrassi Junior High, are still wondering just how his death at age 35 could have gone unreported for years, even to his family and friends. Both he and Pat Mastroianni appeared on Degrassi … Fans of actor Neil Hope, who played troubled teen Wheels on "Degrassi Junior High," are still wondering just how his death at age 35 could have gone unreported for years. Boulard said the former star of Canada's groundbreaking "Degrassi" series died on Nov. 25, 2007, of "natural causes" at the age of 35 but declined to elaborate, only saying Hope was diabetic. A Facebook group called "Let's Bring The Real Neil Hope ("Wheels" from Degrassi) To Facebook" features a post from Jan. 12 of this year written by Hope's sister-in-law, Tracy Northrup Hope, saying that Hope died of natural causes on Nov. 25, 2007. Hope was 35 when he died. “I’ve gotta work,” she said he told her. Christina Boulard, his fiance, posted on another Facebook group that a memorial service is planned for the actor. Thank you for your patience. ... Degrassi was praised for its handling of tough social issues including teen pregnancy, sexual abuse and alcoholism. Posted Feb 17, 2012 2:16 pm EDT. Boulard said the police told Hope’s family they had a record of someone who had died but the names and birth date didn’t match up. Boulard, who last saw Hope in 2002, said it was not unusual for him to cut ties with friends and family for sometimes a year at a time. Degrassi producers Stephen Stohn and Linda Schuyler started hearing rumours of Hope's death two weeks ago, Cohen said. Nor does she know the specifics of the cause of Hope's death. Hope, who starred on Degrassi Junior High in the 1980s, was found dead in an Ontario rooming house in November 2007 but his family was just informed last month “That’s why he latched on to his Degrassi family so hard … They were his brothers and sisters.”. We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. No answers forthcoming in case of 'Degrassi' star Neil Hope's unreported death. He was an actor, known for Degrassi High (1987), Degrassi: The Next Generation (2001) and The Kids of Degrassi Street (1979). ... “Degrassi Junior High,” was acclaimed for its realistic portrayal of … Though he made a few guest appearances on episodes of Degrassi: The Next Generation, Hope went back to being a nobody. Boulard said the former star of Canada's groundbreaking "Degrassi" series died on Nov. 25, 2007, of "natural causes" at the age of 35 but declined to elaborate, only saying Hope was diabetic. Hope, who wore large glasses and had a blond curly mullet on Degrassi, played a troubled teen and in real life, Ms Boulard said he was plagued by his own problems. Ex-fiance Christina Boulard said Hope's family spent years trying to track him down after hearing rumors of his passing several years ago, but only learned last month from police in Hamilton, Ontario, that he had died. ... fiancée, Christina Boulard. To order He discussed his parents' alcoholism in a series called Degrassi Talks, in 1992, and also made a documentary about children of alcoholic parents, called The Darker Side. “Neil Hope,” “RIP Wheels” and “Zit Remedy” (the fictional band of which Hope’s character was a member) were all trending on Twitter in Canada Thursday. Neil Hope had dealt with the death of parents on Degrassi and in his personal life. Neil Hope, Actor: Degrassi Junior High. But finally, this January, police confirmed that it was indeed Hope who had died of “natural causes” in November 2007. rights reserved. To the public, the Toronto actor’s role as Derek Wheeler on the hit Degrassi TV series thrust him into the realm of celebrity, but in real life he died anonymously. To former castmates, producers, friends and relatives of the Degrassi celebrity, he was just Neil, quiet and bright-eyed. He last appeared on the Degrassi series in 2003 in an episode of Degrassi: The Next Generation. As his character was being eased out of the show in 1991 — “Wheels” pleads guilty to a drunk-driving death late in the series — Hope faded into the background too. Boulard said Hope’s brother Danny and his wife, Tracy, began hearing rumours of his death two or three years ago but they brushed it off. If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Four years after the date of his death, it was revealed that he had died from a heart attack from not taking diabetes insulin on time, in November 2007 at the age of 35. But two years went by and no one had heard from him. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Former Degrassi castmates began sharing the news of Hope’s death a couple of weeks ago, Woods said. to colleagues, clients or customers, or inquire about Fans of the iconic Degrassi series are mourning the loss of Neil Hope, also known as Derek "Wheels" Wheeler, as news broke on Thursday that the former teen star has been dead for five years. Boulard says that the star of the groundbreaking television series died from natural causes at the age of 35 but declined to elaborate, only saying Hope suffered from diabetes. Boulard said the former star of Canada’s groundbreaking “Degrassi’’ series died Nov. 25, 2007, of natural causes at 35 but declined to elaborate, saying only that Mr. Hope was diabetic. Hope was buried in March 2008. “Everybody falls on hard times,” Boulard said. That means: If you do not see your comment posted immediately it is being reviewed by our moderation team and may appear shortly. “Neil made an important contribution to our lives, to the lives of our television team, who are like a family to us, and indeed to the live of many Canadians and others around the world who were influenced by Neil and the roles he played,” said statement from executive producers Linda Schuyler and Stephen Stohn. Boulard said the former star of Canada's groundbreaking Degrassi series died on 25 November 2007 of "natural causes" at the age of 35 but declined to … He moved on to blue-collar jobs, including one at United Furniture Warehouse. “He was a quiet guy when we were off set, but full of energy, very bright-eyed,” Woods told the Star from California. This copy is for your personal non-commercial use only. “Wheels” made his last guest appearance on Degrassi in 2003 with former castmates Pat Mastroianni and Stefan Brogren, who play Joey Jeremiah and Archibald “Snake” Simpson — the original Degrassi trio who formed the fictional rock band the Zit Remedy. Boulard said she's furious because she can't understand why it took more than four years for police to contact Hope's family. IMDb, the world's most popular and authoritative source for movie, TV and celebrity content. He missed his cast family, even though he wasn’t great at keeping in touch, Boulard said. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Hope, who starred on Degrassi Junior High in the 1980s, was found dead in an Ontario rooming house in November 2007 but his family was just informed last month. All He was in a relationship with Christina Boulard from 1998-2001. (The coroner’s office was not immediately available to confirm the details.). “You can’t underestimate the phenomenon and how people believed in Wheels,” said former Star journalist Catherine Dunphy, who wrote two Degrassi books and conducted a Degrassi Talks interview with Hope. Police have confirmed to the Star that Hope was found dead on Nov. 25, 2007 in a Hamilton rooming house. Finally they contacted the police in Hamilton. But Hope met a very different end in that Hamilton rooming house, where local police found him dead, according to former fiancée Christina Boulard, 37. While she was annoyed at the intrusion, Hope took it all in stride. 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.". He would eventually go on to discuss his parents' alcoholism in a series called Degrassi Talks, in 1992. 351 King Street East, Suite 1600, Toronto, ON Canada, M5A 0N1, Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks, var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o? 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