Philip Neil “Wheels” Hope

Philip Neil “Wheels” Hope

Toronto, Toronto Municipality, Ontario, Canada
Death 25 Nov 2007 (aged 35)
Hamilton, Hamilton Municipality, Ontario, Canada
Burial Hamilton, Hamilton Municipality, Ontario, Canada
Memorial ID 85073292 · View Source
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Degrassi star Neil ‘Wheels' Hope reported dead – five years later-

Actor Neil Hope, who played Derek "Wheels" Wheeler on the long-running Degrassi series, died five years ago, it was revealed publicly for the first time on Thursday.

At the request of his family, there was no public announcement in 2007 at the time of his death, according to Degrassi producers Linda Schuyler and Stephen Stohn. Hope was 35 at the time of his death.

"We have respected the privacy of the family by not saying anything until now, but our entire team is very emotional about his passing," Stohn said on his Twitter feed.

"Neil and his character Wheels in the early Degrassi deeply touched many lives."

Reports said Hope — who appeared on Degrassi: The Next Generation, Degrassi Junior High and The Kids of Degrassi Street — died Nov. 25, 2007 of natural causes.

Wheels struggled with alcoholism during the series and Hope spoke candidly about his parents' alcoholism and his own struggles with alcohol abuse.

He was involved in a 1992 series called Degrassi Talked, in which Degrassi actors encouraged teens to seek help with problems such as addiction and sexuality. He also made a documentary with co-stars Rebecca Haines and Bill Parrott called The Darker Side that focused on children with alcoholic parents.

"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 lives of the many Canadians and others around the world who were influenced by Neil and the roles he played, starting from the early days of The Kids of Degrassi Street," Schuyler and Stohn said Thursday in a joint statement.

"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," they added.

Hope was one of five children born to a Toronto family. He began acting at age nine. He lost a brother, Brian, to cancer.




  • Created by: Peterborough K
  • Added: 16 Feb 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 85073292
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Philip Neil “Wheels” Hope (24 Sep 1972–25 Nov 2007), Find A Grave Memorial no. 85073292, citing Woodland Cemetery, Hamilton, Hamilton Municipality, Ontario, Canada ; Maintained by Peterborough K (contributor 46537737) .