On Sunday (Feb. 3), actor Kristoff St. John was found dead in his Woodland Hills, Calif., home. An autopsy is underway, CNN reports, to determine the cause of death. The 52-year-old was widely known for his role as Neil Winters on CBS’ long-running soap opera The Young And The Restless. Since his passing, his peers have expressed their condolences, including his Y&R co-star, Victoria Rowell (Drucilla Winters).
In a statement, Rowell highlighted St. John’s most memorable gestures like protecting and amplifying the impact of African American actors on the show. “Kristoff was a joy. He lived for the day. He loved working in film, prime time and starring on The Young and the Restless. He cared about preserving the African American legacy on the show and not being pigeon-holed into a Black storyline,” Rowell said. “Obviously, we coveted the Black family on Y&R, but we also coveted that we were crossovers. Proud we pulled in a huge audience, and a huge Black, female audience. We understood the gravity of what we were responsible for and he took that very seriously. I shall forever cherish our private and professional time together. Now, is a time for reflection, to mourn his departure and celebrate his brilliance, permanently imprinted on my memory.”
In various reports, it was noted that St. John battled depression after his son Julian St. John committed suicide in 2014. Per TMZ, he entered a facility at UCLA in January to receive treatment. CNN also notes the actor liked a Twitter post on Jan. 24 that touches on the stages of grief a parent goes through after losing a child. “Grieving the loss of a child is a process. It begins on the day your child passes, and ends the day the parent joins them.”
On Friday (Feb. 8), The Young and the Restless will pay tribute to St. John as it airs his final episode.
To honor Kristoff St. John, #YR will air a special tribute to him during the show on Friday, Feb. 8. His final episode of The Young and the Restless will air tomorrow. Please join us in saying goodbye to a beloved member of the Y&R and @CBSDaytime family. ♥️ pic.twitter.com/HXTLQGrdWt
— Young and Restless (@YandR_CBS) February 5, 2019