“Young and Restless” star Kristoff St. John was found dead at age 52. Police suspect he may have died after an alcohol overdose.
On Wednesday, the late Kristoff St. John graced TV screens as “Young and the Restless” character Neil Winters for the last time. St. John, who died on Sunday, had played Winters on the long-running soap opera since 1991.
In his last episode, St. John as Winters is shown as a family man supporting his adopted son. “It’s your big night. I wouldn’t miss it, man,” Winters tells his son, Devon, a music executive who is promoting an exclusive performance.
“I’m proud of you, and I’m really glad I’m here to witness this next triumph in your life,” Winters tells Devon (Bryton James).
When Devon’s singer doesn’t show, St. John problem solves and suggests Devon’s sister, Ana, sing instead.
“We might be able to save this thing. Devon never specified who was singing tonight,” he tells Ana (Jamia Simone Nash), convincing her to help out Devon.
Devon and Winters share a warm moment at the end of the episode.
“She said she would never perform again,” Devon says after watching Ana shine.
“She did it for you,” St. John’s Winters replies. “Because that’s what family does.”
Fans and co-stars took to social media to mourn St. John and react to seeing him on “Y&R” for the last time.
“So heartbreaking and sad to know that this is going to be the last time that Neil and Kristoff St. John is on the show,” one fan wrote. “I still can’t believe it.”
“I am watching Y&R. Kristoff St. James is on as Neil,” another fan wrote. “I am so sad that he has died… The story line is going to be really depressing.”
“Y&R” co-star Daniel Goddard, who plays Cane Ashby on the soap opera posted a tribute photo urging fans to tune in: “My dear friends… today our beloved Kristoff St. John’s last episode of ‘The Young & the Restless’ airs… let’s honor this great man by retweeting & spreading the word & making this one of #yr ‘s highest rated episodes ever! #GoneButNeverForgotten #MyBrother”
CBS posted a photo of St. John that said “In loving memory of our dear friend.”
“aw, neil & devon. last time to see kristoff & bryton as father & son. bittersweet. #yr,” one viewer wrote.
Several viewers wrote that they were brought to tears by his last appearance on the show.
Ahead of the show, CBS encouraged fans to share pictures of St. John during the airing.
“To honor Kristoff St John, help us flood our timeline with photos of him during today’s airing of @YandR_CBS. Post your favorite photos of him, with him and for him today while you’re watching live or later on your DVR. #YR #picturesforKristoff RT to spread the word,” the CBS Daytime account tweeted.
The L.A. County Department of the Medical Examiner-Coroner Public Information Officer Sarah Ardalani said that St. John was pronounced dead at a home in Woodland Hills on Sunday. He was 52.
The actor’s cause of death has been deferred “pending additional investigation” after an autopsy was completed Monday, according to the coroner’s official website.
The long-running CBS daytime soap opera will also honor the late actor’s legacy with a special tribute during “Y&R” on Friday. St. John’s work on the show earned him nearly a dozen Daytime Emmy Award nominations and 10 NAACP Image Awards.
CBS Television Network and Sony Pictures Television, the studio that produces “Young and the Restless,” released a joint statement shortly after news of St. John’s death became public.
“The news of Kristoff St. John’s passing is heartbreaking. He was a very talented actor and an even better person,” they said in the statement. “For those of us who were fortunate enough to work with him on ‘The Young and the Restless’ for the last 27 years, he was a beloved friend whose smile and infectious laugh made every day on set a joy and made audiences love him. On behalf of the Y&R cast and crew, CBS and Sony Pictures Television, we offer our heartfelt sympathy to his family and loved ones, especially his two daughters, Paris and Lola.”
His “Young and the Restless” co-stars have also spoken out about his passing. Eric Braeden, who plays the menacing Victor Newman on the show, tweeted that he had “no words” after the death of his “brotha” on Monday. The longtime soap star expanded on his thoughts in an interview with People magazine.
Braeden explained how St. John was impacted by the loss of his son Julian, who died of an apparent suicide in 2014 while in a mental health facility.
“He was deeply, deeply caring about his son and deeply wounded by his son’s death,” Braeden told the outlet.
“I think we all sort of tiptoed around what obviously weighed most heavily on his heart and his soul – and that is the death of his son,” Braeden said. “How do you discuss something so fundamentally tragic as that with even a friend? You don’t want to touch that wound.”
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