Ruggiero joined the cast of Degrassi as fan-favorite Marco Del Rossi in 2002 after initially auditioning for Craig (“When in doubt kiss Craig?!”), becoming the show’s first gay character and taking part in one of the first LGBTQ+ kisses on Canadian television two years later.

After graduating from Degrassi, Ruggiero remained on the show for one season when they tried to follow some of the characters to college, and he returned in later seasons as a teacher. Full circle.

In 2008, Ruggiero came out, explaining Marco’s struggles to come to terms with his sexuality on the show often mirrored his own in real-life, with some of Marco’s scenes taken from his real conversations with family members. “Maybe it’s life imitating art, or maybe that’s what ‘Degrassi’ intended to do. I feel like I’m living proof of what the show wanted to accomplish,” Ruggiero, who is an LGBTQ+ activist, told eTalk Canada at the time. 

From 2008 until 2012, Ruggiero hosted the Canadian reality competition series The Next, and hosted his own web series, Straight Talk with Adamo Ruggiero, where he interviewed his former co-stars.

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