The Cast Of Degrassi: The Next Generation: What They Looked Like Their First Episode And Now

Are you a Degrassi fan? Of course, you are, right? This super long-running Canadian series is one of the most popular teen shows ever, and thanks to the Netflix spin-off called Degrassi: Next Class, it's not going anywhere anytime soon. The original series, The Kids Of Degrassi Street, was on the air from 1979 to 1986, and after that, there was Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High. Before the Netflix version, Degrassi: The Next Generation was the most contemporary one, and it ran for 14 seasons and 387 episodes. Yup, that's definitely a lot of teen drama, angst, first love, friendship, and stories about every subject under the sun.

It's always fun to look back and see what the cast of one of your favorite TV shows looked like in the beginning and what they look like now. Since the cast of Degrassi: TNG was pretty young when they won the roles that brought them fame and success, it's safe to say that they look different today. Are you curious?! We are too which is why we rounded up some epic before and after pictures! Check out the cast of Degrassi: The Next Generation and what they looked like while on that show compared to now!


15 Miriam McDonald: Emma Nelson

Awww. Doesn't Miriam McDonald look so adorable in the photo on the left?! And doesn't she look amazing in the photo on the right? Yeah, she's definitely grown up a lot.... which makes sense since according to the Internet, she's 30 or 31 now. When she was given the role of Emma in the year 2000, she would have been around 12. Emma is a beloved character and was pretty much the voice of the show in the first season since she's the daughter of Spike, aka a super popular character from Degrassi back in the day.

Miriam has kept up her acting career and was on the show Lost Girl and also had an appearance on Orphan Black. She was also in one episode of Degrassi: Next Class and reprised her role as Emma, which was super fun for fans.

14 Shane Kippel: Gavin "Spinner" Mason

It's pretty cool how Shane looks basically exactly the same as he did back in the day, just a bit older... and maybe even cuter. Because, let's face it, he's really cute.

Spinner is another beloved character and definitely brought the drama to the high school hallways. He was a ladies' man for sure, dating both Paige and then Manny, and was also kind of a jerk at times since he wasn't supportive when his friend, Marco, came out of the closet. Ugh. Definitely not cool. Not cool at all. He wasn't the nicest person around but came of age the way that you're supposed to in a teen story and ended up falling in love with Emma. These days, Shane is a musician and plays drums in the band Dear Love.


13 Lauren Collins: Paige Michalchuk

Same gorgeous long blonde hair and same face, right? Lauren Collins really hasn't aged a day since she began playing the character Paige on Degrassi: The Next Generation, even though many years have passed (18 to be exact) since the show started in 2000. She just looks a bit more sophisticated and mature than she did back then.

Paige is basically a mean girl and isn't very nice to most of the other characters. She also goes through a whole bunch of struggles. Today, Lauren Collins is 31 and is still acting. She was on the comedy show The Kroll Show and has appeared in some Canadian shows such as Being Erica and The Best Years. Most recently, she was in four episodes of The Strain.

12 Cassie Steele: Manuela "Manny" Santos

Manny was the cutest girl ever, and the actress who played her, Cassie Steele, is a total knockout these days. You can totally see the resemblance between these two pictures, but she definitely grew up a lot in the years since Degrassi: TNG began.

Manny is BFFs with Emma and watching the two of them navigate high school was one of the best parts about the show's early episodes. Today, Cassie is 28 and is definitely still acting. She was on The Best YearsThe L.A. Complex, and Instant Star. She's also a singer and has put out two albums, How Much For Happy (2005) and Destructo Doll (2009), along with two EPs in 2012 and 2014. She also had the main role in a horror movie called The Dorm by MTV.


11 Melissa McIntyre: Ashley Kerwin

How awesome are Melissa's glasses in the photo on the right? Totally awesome, just like her. The actress is best known for playing Ashley on Degrassi: TNG and her character was one of the beautiful ones at the school (you know, the cool girls who always date the cool guys). There was always a lot of drama following her because other girls were green-eyed monsters about her popularity.

Today, Melissa is 31 years old, like many of her other former costars, and hasn't been acting since her role as Ashley ended back in 2008. Before this show, she was a show called Real Kids, Real Adventures and a miniseries called Redwall. You can follow her on Instagram -- she's got a really cool account and is very active on there.

10 Christina Schmidt: Terri MacGregor

Terri is a super relatable character on Degrassi: The Next Generation, right? She's a bit bigger than some of the other girls at school and, therefore, feels pretty crummy about herself. Basically, everyone can relate to that or at least feeling like you're somehow not good enough or as pretty enough as the other girls. Unfortunately, that's something that is all too common.

Christina was really adorable on the show, though, and today she's looking super gorgeous and glam. She's currently 30 years old and has been working as a model. She also has a really beautiful and inspiring website, Christina Loves This City, which is also her Instagram handle. You should definitely check out her blog and follow her on IG. She posts motivating quotes, fashionable photos, and yummy looking breakfasts.


9 Jake Goldsbie: Toby Isaacs

Who didn't love Toby?! He is super cute and sweet and just so innocent. He's the kind of guy that you definitely look back on and realize that you should have had a crush on him all along. But he was kind of dorky and so you had a thing for more popular boys instead. Toby's stepsister is popular girl Ashley and he struggles with eating disorders when he becomes a member of the wrestling team in the show's second season.

Today, Toby is 29 years old and definitely really good-looking. There's just no doubt about that. Acting doesn't seem to be his first love anymore and it seems like he's all about the sports. For a while, he had a sports podcast called Sportsfield and has been a sportswriter for The Score.

8 Ryan Cooley: James Tiberius "J.T." Yorke

Doesn't the photo on the left make you want to scream "Aw"? Ryan Cooley looks so adorable as J.T., who was Toby's best friend. Tragically, J.T. was killed and it was a super sad, difficult storyline. Another student killed him at a party, which was definitely a tough way to go. Apparently, fans thought that he wanted that to happen to his character, but it was what the writers and producers wanted to do. Ryan was okay with it because he had felt ready to move on.

Today, Ryan looks a lot like his younger self, just, well, older. Funny how that happens, right?! He's looking attractive and sophisticated. He has a drama degree from the University of Toronto and a few other roles to his name.


7 Daniel Clark: Sean Cameron

Daniel basically looks exactly the same today as he did when he was dating Emma on Degrassi: TNG... just even cuter if that's even possible.

Unlike the other cast members who are all Canadian, Sean is actually Canadian and American, since he was born in Chicago. He was also on Goosebumps which any millennial will be super excited to learn. Today, he's 32 years old, lives in Toronto and is still in the same industry: his career is working for a production company called Dissent Media Corporation. Fun fact: when he and Miriam MacDonald kissed on the show, it was the first time that she had kissed anyone. Yeah, you're probably thinking that's pretty awesome for your first kiss, right?! We should all be so lucky.

6 Sarah Barrable-Tishauer: Liberty Van Zandt

Liberty has a tough go of it at Degrassi, getting impregnated by J.T. and then having to deal with his untimely and tragic death. Definitely not a warm and sunny story arc for that character.

These days, Sarah has a really amazing Instagram account, and she's doing some super cool things with her post-Degrasslife. She seems to have left her acting days behind, but that's totally okay because everything else that she's doing is really inspiring. She's actually a DJ and also has a full-time job in marketing. Yup, really, really cool. Her Instagram bio reads, Marketing gal by day, bass witch by night. Bringing me time from the couch to the club." Yup, you definitely need to follow her on IG if you're not already.


5 Jake Epstein: Craig Manning

Jake looks exactly the same, doesn't he? Well, he looks older in the photo on the right than he does in the picture on the left of course but other than that he's got the same sweet and cute face.

Craig is known for being the object of a lot of the female characters' affection. He's also a musician. At the end of the series, it seems like he and Ellie are going to fall madly in love and stay that way, and that's definitely what fans wanted since there's nothing better than characters that you adore ending up together. Today, Jake is 31 years old. A super fun fact about him: he was involved in the Carole King musical Beautiful and created a character named Gerry Goffin. Pretty awesome.

4 Stacey Farber: Ellie Nash

If Stacey Farber looks familiar (besides the fact that she played Ellie on Degrassi, that's because she has a whole bunch of acting credits to her name. She has been on the TV shows UNRealSaving Hope, Grace and Frankie, and 18 To Life. Pretty cool.

Ellie is a character that was created for the second season of the show. When she starts attending Degrassi High, she's actually a goth, which might be hard for non-fans to believe. But it's totally true, even though, yup, she's got gorgeous red hair. She's got a massive thing for Craig and they start a relationship after a while. Today, Stacey is 30, and still acting, which is really awesome and inspiring. She has definitely done really well since her Degrassi days.


3 Andrea Lewis: Hazel Aden

There Andrea is with Drake back in the day, and she's just as gorgeous today as she was back then. It's really cool to see photos of Drake when he was on this show. That's something that never gets old for sure. There must be a lot of Drake fans who have discovered the show through him.

Hazel is good friends with Paige and, therefore, part of the popular crowd. Since her days on Degrassi, Andrea has been both acting and also pursuing a musical career. Today, Andrea's 32 years old and a singer (her album Float Away was released in 2005 in Canada) and still acting. She created her own webseries called Black Actress. She and Drake have been interviewed together since the show ended, and fans always love seeing them together.

2 Adamo Ruggiero: Marco Del Rossi

Adamo was adorable as Marco on the show and he's still looking pretty adorable these days. You can see the resemblance for sure, but now he's got shorter hair and a more manly appearance.

Marco is known for his coming out storyline and a horrible hate crime that he, unfortunately, has to experience. Adamo has been an actor since he was a kid and calls himself an "ex child actor" in his Instagram bio. He was in the TV show The Next Star. He was also in an episode of Being Erica and in the same episode of the Netflix show Degrassi: Next Class as some of his other costars. He's 31 now and is considered to be an inspiring gay icon thanks to his character.


1 Aubrey Graham/Drake: Jimmy Brooks

Yup, Drake was on Degrassi: The Next Generation. This is a super fun fact that not everyone knows (or that you knew and then forgot about, which happens to the best of us). When Drake was on the show, he used his real name, Aubrey Graham. He was in 145 episodes, so he was a big part of the cast. His character, Jimmy, was a rich sporty kid.

He left in 2007 because he wanted to become a rapper, and that's exactly what happened. He looks super young and adorable in the photo on the left and the photo on the right is what he looks like these days. Of course, Drake is totally a household name and people love his songs, from "Hotline Bling" to "One Dance" to "Take Care."


More in Entertainment