5 of the most famous Degrassi grads

(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Nick Patch, The Canadian Press

TORONTO -- Some mighty famous faces roamed the halls of "Degrassi: The Next Generation" over its stunning 14 seasons.

With news that school's out on "Degrassi" -- which will end its long run next month -- The Canadian Press looked back at some of its most accomplished graduates:
 
Aubrey Graham 
Otherwise known, of course, as Drake, a cultural game-changer and the world's foremost purveyor of melancholy hip hop. For the first seven seasons of "Degrassi," Drake played Jimmy Brooks, an affluent cool-kid eventually confined to a wheelchair after a troubled classmate blasted him in the back with a handgun. His character flirted with a music career years before the real Drake would reel in 22 Grammy nominations and four No. 1 albums.

Nina Dobrev
The Toronto actress played teen mom Mia Jones during seasons 6 through 9, managing to pack a lifetime's worth of trauma in merely 35 episodes of work. One plotline saw Mia providing sex to boost her modelling career, while another saw the teen mourning her boyfriend, J.T. Yorke, after he was stabbed to death. Perhaps that prepared Dobrev for her signature role on the melodramatic hit "The Vampire Diaries," which recently wrapped its sixth season. Dobrev, 26, announced in April it would be her last.

Shenae Grimes-Beech
Over 40 episodes spread across seasons 4-8, Grimes-Beech's character, Darcy Edwards, also endured a tumultuous journey. A Christian and model school citizen, Edwards contracted chlamydia after being raped at a party and subsequently attempted suicide. Grimes-Beech -- who married British model Josh Beech in 2013 -- skipped off to Hollywood just as she wrapped "Degrassi" to star in the rebooted "90210," which lasted five seasons and 114 episodes.

Cassandra Steele
The two-part season 3 episode in which Steele's Manny Santos had an abortion (after being impregnated by Craig) aired in Canada in early 2004 -- but it wouldn't materialize in the U.S. until August 2006 when it was bundled in a series of cast favourites. When season 3 hit DVD, the box set trumpeted the inclusion of the "episode you can't see on TV." Steele followed "Degrassi" with a starring role on the critically respected "The L.A. Complex."

Jake Epstein
Epstein's Craig Manning was a bipolar rocker who developed the inventively named fictional bands U Got the Look and Downtown Sasquatch -- as well as a cocaine habit -- before last appearing in 2009's TV movie "Degrassi Goes Hollywood." Epstein immediately took his talents to the stage, starring in the touring "Green Day's American Idiot," the Broadway Carole King musical "Beautiful" and the notoriously ambitious "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark."