What The Cast Of Degrassi: The Next Generation Looks Like Today

Degrassi: The Next Generation was a phenomenon, spanning 14 seasons, 373 episodes, and literally hundreds of actors throughout its 15 year run. While some alumni of Degrassi High weren't exactly the most memorable, others have had a lasting effect on viewers, teaching them important lessons and imparting life advice they'll take with them forever.

Many of Degrassi's alumni have gone on to successful careers in front of and behind the camera, although some ran far, far away from show biz after leaving the series. We've tracked down some of Degrassi High's most memorable students to see where the actors who played them have ended up nowadays. 

Miriam McDonald

Miriam McDonald led Degrassi: The Next Generation as Emma, the daughter of Degrassi: Junior High's Spike. After the show concluded, McDonald kept acting (including making an appearance on Degrassi: Next Class), although only sporadically; she appeared in TV movies like She's Too Young and Poison Ivy: The Secret Society and guest starred on Lost Girl and Orphan Black. Nowadays, she seems to spend most of her time staying fit; she even ran a Tough Mudder in 2016 with her former Degrassi co-star Nina Dobrev. 

McDonald made a recent post on her Instagram explaining why she hasn't returned to acting, saying that the process of auditioning was just too stressful. McDonald said that part of this came because she forgot why she loved being an actress in the first place, adding that she no longer approached it with the "starry eyed dreaminess" she had before. However, she says she isn't ruling out a return in the future, so fingers crossed that we'll get to see her on screen again soon.

Cassie Steele

Degrassi's peppy Manny, Cassie Steele, kept acting after the series ended, earning a series regular spot on the CW series The L.A. Complex shortly after leaving Degrassi High. The series only ran for two seasons, but Steele, who showed off her pipes throughout her time on Degrassi, was able to use it to launch her music career, releasing EPs in 2012 and 2014, along with a few singles. 

Steele is still acting now, most recently appearing in the TV movie Shark Zombie; and, from her Instagram page, it seems like she's definitely living her best life, attending music festivals and frequently posting pictures alongside her loving boyfriend. She also has a few more film projects lined up for the coming years, including the drama Mississippi River Sharks and an untitled bank robbery thriller.

Lauren Collins

Lauren Collins played Degrassi High's resident mean girl Paige, but she's quick to prove to you that she's not that way in real life. Collins has had an active acting career following Degrassi, appearing in films like Charlie Bartlett, Picture This, and Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure and shows like The Kroll Show, Being Erica, Conviction, and The Strain, along with a stop by Degrassi: The Next Class. She also had two season stint as the host of the Canadian talk show 1 Girl 5 Gays.

Collins' ambitions seem to lie more behind the camera though, with the actress helping to write and star in the short Zero Recognition, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2014. She also produced the short Apart From Everything, a short starring Orphan Black's Tatiana Maslany, which was screened at the Toronto LGBT Film Festival in 2017, and worked as a producer on the short Lolz-ita. 


Drake was still going by Aubrey Graham when he starred as Jimmy Brooks on Degrassi. Since leaving the series, he has cemented his status as a music superstar by constantly breaking records and earning 27 Grammy nominations and three wins in the process. His most recent album, 2016's Views, spent 13 weeks on top of the Billboard 200 and became the first album ever to hit one billion streams on Apple Music.

Apparently, it was Drake's interest in music that got him "kicked off" Degrassi, with the rapper saying he would go to the studio until 4 or 5 a.m. and then show up the next day for shooting tired and worn out. He had to choose between acting and music and ended up choosing the latter, which seems to have worked out pretty well for him. He has, though, also acted since leaving Degrassi High, appearing in Ice Age: Continental Drift, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, and a number of different music videos for artists like Nicki Minaj and Rihanna. 

Shane Kippel

Former Degrassi bully Shane Kippel is wearing quite a few hats nowadays, continuing to act in things like Dog Pound and Combat Hospital, along with producing and writing his own projects. (He also reprised his role as Spinner on Degrassi: The Next Generation in 2014 and on Degrassi: Next Class in 2016.) Kippel is currently working on Greenmount, an upcoming stoner adventure comedy series that will co-star his fellow Degrassi alum Samantha Munro. 

According to Kippel's Instagram, he also keeps himself busy doing stand-up comedy and public speaking, along with playing drums in the band Dear Love, which is currently recording new music. Kippel hasn't just been keeping busy with acting, though— he's also a loving boyfriend who frequently posts pics of him and his gorgeous bae. 

​Sarah Barrable-Tishauer

Sarah Barrable-Tishauer played Degrassi High's braniac Liberty on the original series, and since then, she has used her real-life smarts to make a name for herself, graduating as the valedictorian from Concordia University, where she studied communications. She now works in the marketing world as an account manager at Behaviour. 

However, she doesn't just stop at her day job— Barrable-Tishauer is also an in-demand DJ who performs gigs and streams her music on SoundCloud. Barrable-Tishauer is also committed to making DJing more inclusive, working with Intersessions, a group looking to make safer spaces for women and LGBT people in the music world. 

​Adamo Ruggiero

Adamo Ruggiero joined Degrassi in its second season as Marco, a character who quickly became a fan favorite. After the show ended, Ruggiero hosted the Canadian reality competition series The Next Star for five seasons and appeared on Being Erica, Saving Hope, and MsLabelled. He also hosted his own web series, Straight Talk with Adamo Ruggiero, in which he had conversations with many of his former Degrassi co-stars. Ruggiero never strayed far from his Degrassi roots, though: he currently works as a digital media producer for Degrassi: Next Class' online presence. 

Ruggiero came out in 2006 and now frequently posts about LGBT pride on his social media. He says that it was hard for him playing an openly gay character but not being ready to come out himself, but he also says he's unsure if he would have been able to come out without his journey on the show. 

Nina Dobrev

Nina Dobrev played teen mom Mia Jones on Degrassi, on which the actress first showed the world her wonderful, heart-wrenching cry face. Her most notable role to date called pretty heavily on that crying and high school experience, with the actress taking on the lead role of Elena Gilbert (along with her many doppelgangers) on the long-running CW series The Vampire Diaries

Dobrev left the show after its sixth season to pursue other projects, and has since then had a very successful film career, appearing in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Let's Be Cops, The Final Girls, xXx: Return of Xander Cage, and the upcoming highly-anticipated Flatliners remake. She also frequently vacations with her gal pals and hangs out with her new pup, but she hasn't forgotten about where she got her start— she recently shared a sweet Degrassi throwback moment with Drake at the American Music Awards in 2016. 

Stacey Farber

Stacey Farber played the quiet goth Ellie on Degrassi, and, after the show, she continued down the acting path, starring in the one season series 18 to Life and the medical drama Saving Hope, along with guest starring roles on Cult, Rookie Blue, and, most recently, Chicago Justice. According to her Instagram, she also recently filmed a role for Schitt's Creek. Despite her busy schedule, Farber still found time to attend university, graduating from The New School in NYC and getting a bachelors in creative writing.  

Farber is also into fashion; she interned at NYLON, Allure, and Teen Vogue while in college, and later at a Toronto-based fashion magazine. Her LinkedIn lists her as a writer for a number of different websites throughout her career, with Farber currently serving as the editorial manager for Tradesy.com. 

Jake Goldsbie

Jake Goldsbie played Toby Isaacs on Degrassi, which remains one of his only acting roles to date. Since his time on the series ended, aside from appearing in an episode of Degrassi: Next Class, Goldsbie's only acting credit was an episode of Being Erica. However, Goldsbie hasn't strayed far from show biz; he co-founded Not Bad Pictures, at which he works as a producer and writer on upcoming television projects.

Goldsbie, who graduated from Concordia University with a BA in creative writing, has also written for sites like The A.V. Club and TheScore. He is an avid fan of Toronto sports; he hosts the podcast Sportsfeld and recently appeared in the Montreal theater scene in the play Bad Jews.

Daniel Clark

Like many of his fellow former co-stars, Degrassi's bad boy Daniel Clark didn't stray far from show biz after the show, although he has stuck mostly behind the camera. Clark attended New York University, from where he graduated with a bachelor of arts in political communication, focusing on the business side of the entertainment industry. During his time in college, he had an internship at The Rachel Maddow Show.

After graduation, Clark began working as a research consultant and later a digital news associate for ABC Television before joining Fusion as a producer for America with Jorge Ramos. He currently lives in Toronto and works as the managing director and co-owner for eFresh Meals and the executive director for Dissent Media Corp. 

Melissa McIntyre

Popular girl Ashley changed a lot throughout Degrassi, both inside and outside, with actress Melissa McIntyre frequently taking on new hairstyles for the character. This appears to be something she's a fan of in real life as well; she's gone for different colors and cuts throughout the years (and looks fabulous in all of them).

McIntyre stopped acting after Degrassi and has kept mostly out of the spotlight, but she has done some music; she's showed off her beautiful pipes in a few concerts and YouTube videos. She has also performed in some comedy shows

Ryan Cooley

If you are mentally prepared to think about J.T. Yorke, may he rest in peace, we can talk a bit about the actor who plays him, Ryan Cooley. Since his tragic demise on the series, Cooley has stayed mostly off camera, appearing in an episode of Lost Girl and lending his voice to Oh No! It's an Alien Invasion.

He's kept himself busy through work, though, serving as the vice president for the Konrad Group, a digital design and consulting firm. He graduated from the University of Toronto and previously served as the operations manager for TouchBistro. And yes, he also feels old whenever people mention how long it's been since J.T.'s death aired. 

Shenae Grimes

Like Nina Dobrev, Shenae Grimes had to use her high school experience from Degrassi for her most notable role after the series by starring in the popular CW drama 90210 for the entirety of its five season run. During that time, Grimes also picked up film projects like Picture This, Scream 4, Empire State, and Sugar.

Grimes has used her 90210 fame to set up a few reality gigs, appearing on episodes of The Hills, Punk'd, and America's Next Top Model. Since the popular series ended, she has kept mostly quiet, appearing in some television movies and guest starring on iZombie. Instead of acting, she has kept busy getting married to folk singer Josh Beech and working on her own music. She is next set to appear as a street smart detective on the upcoming Ion Television series The Detail. 

Jake Epstein

Jake Epstein played musician Craig Manning on Degrassi, and since the show ended, he has used his musical talents to launch his theater career. Epstein played the starring role of Melchior in the Spring Awakening national tour in 2009 before making his Broadway debut as an alternate for the lead role of Peter Parker in the ill-fated musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. His other roles include appearing in the first national tour of American Idiot and originating the role of Gerry Goffin in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. 

Epstein has also kept himself busy writing his own plays, starring in a staging of his Therefore Choose Life in Toronto in 2015. (Fun fact: he co-wrote the play with his mother, which is the sweetest thing ever.) Epstein's notable on screen roles after Degrassi include a recurring role on the Kiefer Sutherland drama Designated Survivor and appearances in films like Charming Christmas, Fall Out, 4th Man Out, and FANatic.

Andrea Lewis

Like many of her Degrassi peers, Andrea Lewis, who played Hazel, is also a talented musician, releasing an album in 2010 and a single in 2013. She also used her singing skills to land her a post-Degrassi role in Nickelodeon's answer to High School Musical, Spectacular!, and to win roles in musicals like Hairspray and Dream Girls.

Now, Lewis is a YouTube star, creating the series "Black Actress," which she writes and stars; the series is produced by the wildly popular Issa Rae and Tatyana Ali. Her personal channel has tens of thousands of subscribers and her videos regularly receive thousands of views. Her other notable on screen credits since Degrassi ended include guest starring roles on Warehouse 13 and The Number: The Reboot.