Actor Shemar Moore honored Kristoff St. John, who played his half-brother on The Young and the Restless, at the Daytime Emmy Awards on Sunday — remembering the late actor as big-hearted.
Moore took some time prior to presenting the award for Outstanding Drama Series to pay respects to St. John. Ironically, the award went to the long-running series The Young and the Restless, on which Moore played Malcolm Winters from 1994 to 2005.
“This year, we had to say goodbye to a good man, a great man, a special individual, Mr. Kristoff St. John,” said Moore.
“In my opinion, he is the most iconic, popular, thorough, professional, talented, big-hearted, generous African-American actor in soap opera history,” he added.
Moore went on to say how St. John opened the door for so many African-American actors, adding that he would not have the career he has now without working with St. John for almost 10 years — and being his friend for almost 20 years. Moore also said that St. John was more than a friend, as he was also an acting coach and therapist to him, Global News reported.
When speaking to the audience, Moore called St. John “the Denzel of Daytime” for his contributions — a moniker coined by Bryton James, who played Devon Hamilton in the soap opera, Fox News reported.
Moore also expressed gratitude for the cast and crew of The Young and the Restless for paying tribute to the late actor in the right manner.
“The tribute that aired this past week on The Young and the Restless that said goodbye to Kristoff and his character, Neil Winters, was so beautifully, beautifully done and I know Kristoff is proud of all of us.”
“Kristoff, we miss you, rest in peace, keep dancing, and we will never, ever forget you, my brother,” Moore said.
Moore brought the audience to their feet, Global News reported.
St. John played the role of Neil Winters on The Young and the Restless. He died in February of hypertrophic heart disease, according to Fox News. Other factors that contributed to his death included “myocardial bridging of left anterior descending coronary artery and the effects of ethanol,” Fox News said. He was 52 when he died. His death was ruled an accident by the Los Angeles county coroner.
Moore, 49, left the soap opera in 2005. He later found a home on another CBS series, Criminal Minds, for 12 years. Moore is currently starring in S.W.A.T. on CBS, portraying Sergeant Daniel “Hondo” Harrelson.