News of The Young and the Restless star Kristoff St. John’s untimely death rocked the soap opera world today, especially those actors and actresses who work or have worked at CBS Daytime. Perhaps the hardest hit by the heartbreaking news of the actor’s passing were those who worked most closely with him as Neil Winters’ family on the long-running daytime drama.
In 1991, St. John originated the role of Neil Winters, according to an Inquisitr report. Throughout the day as tributes to the actor poured out across social media, a portrait of a fun-loving man with a heart of gold who never hesitated to help out his co-stars quickly emerged. Those who knew him or followed him for a while on social media often saw that side of St. John.
The Winters family on Y&R includes Neil, who served at the family’s patriarch. Also in the first generation is Neil’s brother Malcolm Winters, portrayed by Shemar Moore from 1994–2005, 2014 and Darius McCrary from 2009-2011. Drucilla Winters, portrayed by Victoria Rowell from 1990 to 2000 and again from 2002-2007, is Neil’s late wife. Dru died after falling over a cliff with Sharon (Sharon Case).
The second generation of the family includes Lily Winters Ashby (Christel Khalil) who is Neil’s legal daughter, but the biological daughter of Dru and Malcolm. Lily is married to Cane Ashby (Daniel Goddard), and they have twins who make up the family’s third generation — Charlie (Noah Alexander Gerry) and Mattie (Lexie Stevenson). Rounding out the patriarch’s children are Devon Hamilton (Bryton James), Neil’s adopted son, and Moses Winters (Dax Randall), who is Neil’s son with Sofia Dupre (Julia Pace Mitchell).
Hilary Curtis (Mishael Morgan) first married Neil and then later his son Devon. On the show, she died last year when Morgan exited.
Christel Khalil shared a picture of herself with St. John along with James and Goddard. The foursome appeared to have a great time on the set of the show, which is how many images of the late actor and his co-stars look. She wrote a heartfelt message expressing her heartbreak over the immeasurable loss of such a good soul. For 17 years, she worked with St. John as his daughter on the show, and she said that he held the place of a father in her heart.
Goddard, who’s character Cane most recently received a tongue lashing from Neil on the show over mistreating Lily, also shared an incredibly found memory of St. John on Instagram that seemed to sum up their working relationship. The pair loved to make each other laugh, and Goddard described their time together as filled with “ridiculousness, pranks and practical jokes.” Bryton James filmed the clip.
WARNING, the clip below contains language that is not safe for work.
Mishael Morgan expressed her deep sense of loss on Instagram, and she credited both St. John as well as his Y&R character Neil for helping her become the woman she is today.
Lexie Stevenson, who portrays Neil’s granddaughter Mattie, took to her Instagram story to share her thoughts on this challenging day. The actress posted a picture of her on-screen grandpa and wrote, “You will be missed, Kristoff. You never ceased to make me laugh even when I was grumpy. I love you, and you will forever be my family.” Then Stevenson replied to her fans writing, “I am getting all of your messages. They do help, and I’m sorry for not responding. I personally do not deal with death very well in general, and I grieve best alone.”
The first Malcolm actor, Moore, called St. John the most iconic black man in daytime. Moore also counted the actor as his brother. In his heartfelt message, Moore sent out love and advice to the late actor’s family and loved ones as well as his co-stars.
The second Malcolm actor, McCrary also took to his Instagram story and used the hashtag #kristoffstjohnforever on several clips through the day.
Victoria Rowell, who portrayed Neil’s wife Dru, tweeted, “Ain’t no mountain high enough, to keep me from you, my beloved @kristoffstjohn1 —though denied for a decade, you never stopped requesting for us to be reunited @CBSDaytime @Sony pushing for #Diversity @YandR_CBS. True #BlackHistoryMonth #IDreamBlack history. Eternally I LOVE you.”
Throughout the day, Rowell also shared several pictures of herself and St. John both as their Y&R altar egos as well as themselves as friends at big events and proud moments including one with Rosa Parks at the NAACP Image Awards.
Child actor Dax Randall portrayed Neil’s son with Sofia Dupre (Julia Pace Mitchell). The boy’s monitored account posted a loving memory of the late actor.
Noah Alexander Gerry posted a sweet tribute to his on-screen grandpa via Instagram.
Bryton James, who runs Hamilton Winters Group with Neil on Y&R, took to Instagram with a vow to continue making St. John proud.
Earlier today, the Inquisitr reported that CBS, Sony, and the show wrote a joint message praising St. John’s work. He leaves behind daughters Paris St. John and Lola St. John.