Neil Hope

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Neil Hope
Philip Neil Hope

(1972-09-24)September 24, 1972
DiedNovember 25, 2007(2007-11-25) (aged 35)
Years active1985–2003
Partner(s)Christina Boulard (1998–2001)

Philip Neil Hope[1] (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 had earlier played "Griff" in The Kids of Degrassi Street.[2]

Acting career[edit]

Hope's last television appearance was in a 2003 Degrassi: The Next Generation episode in which he reunited and reconciled with fellow members of the fictional band, "Zit Remedy".[3] Hope moved around Ontario, living in Windsor and then in Hamilton. Though he died in 2007 in a Hamilton rooming house, his family did not learn of his death until 2012.[4] Hope suffered from type 1 diabetes, the effects of which were aggravated by alcoholism and his failure to keep up with insulin injections to manage the disease. He died of a heart attack.[1]

Struggles with alcoholism[edit]

Hope was the child of alcoholics and struggled with the problem himself. 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.[5]

Death and eventual burial[edit]

Neil Hope died in November 2007 but was not buried until March 2008. Hope is buried at Woodland Cemetery located in Burlington, Ontario.


  1. ^ a b Daubs, Katie (February 28, 2012). "Degrassi's Wheels: The lost years of Neil Hope". Toronto Star. Retrieved February 28, 2012.
  2. ^ Paul Vitello (2012-02-27). "Neil Hope Is Dead at 35; Teenage Actor Whose Life Unraveled". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-03-02.
  3. ^ "Mystery surrounds 'Degrassi' actor's death, 5 years ago". CTV News. February 16, 2012. Retrieved February 17, 2012.
  4. ^ Pagliaro, Jennifer (February 16, 2012). "Degrassi star Neil Hope died in 2007, family only learned news last month". Toronto Star. Retrieved February 17, 2012.
  5. ^ McGinn, Dave (February 16, 2012). "Degrassi family mourns 'Wheels' actor Neil Hope". Globe and Mail;. Retrieved February 19, 2012.

External links[edit]