As you may or may not have heard, Kristoff St. John passed away unexpectedly in his home on Sunday, February 3rd, 2019 at the age of 52 years old. Kristoff was born on July 15, 1966, in New York City. He had 3 children, Julian, Paris and Lola. His son died in 2014 at the age of 24 of suicide in a mental hospital. Kristoff began to succumb into depression since his son’s untimely passing which drove him to the breaking point.
Kristoff played many roles on television and film from Hangin with Mr Cooper, The Cosby show, Sister Sister, Happy Days, Suddenly Susan and for 28 years, he was called Neil Winters on the Soap Opera, CBS’ The Young and The Restless. He played in over 1600 episodes of the Y&R.
His sudden passing really hit everyone with shock and dismay, His family, Fiance, friends, co-stars, CBS, the fans of the show and Kristoff. This past week, his final episode aired with a tribute toward the ending of one of the episodes of Neil and Kristoff. A proper and thorough celebration of his life and commemorating the loss of a very iconic character will be written up and aired in April 2019. Episodes get filmed way in advanced about a month or so before. They will need time to write and create the storyline to close the chapter of Neil Winters. In respect to his character, they will not be replacing him and recasting him as another Neil Winters which is very incredibly amazing. He will always be the #1 Neil Winters.
The devastation has really hit home, and especially reading a lot of comments on social media platforms of heartbreak, shock, and of course a lot of tears, cries, and emotional fans, friends, co-stars, cast and crew who have written, and who have created videos and who have been interviewed about Kristoff. He was admired for his great personality, outlook on life, humbleness, and would spend the time to communicate with his fans on social media. He would brighten up a room, some of his co-stars wrote, and so many incredibly awesome things that have been said about him.
I remember when I woke up Monday morning on February 4th, 2019, I turn my phone on and begin reading my newsfeeds and being part of the many groups of the Y&R, and as well as news sites, I read that beloved Kristoff St. John has died at 52. I said this has got to be some sick celebrity death hoax joke that you always hear about. I said this cannot be. I thought to myself that I first didn’t believe it, then out of curiosity, I googled his name and there it was, it was real. It happened. It took me a few minutes to process what I had learned. I began to cry uncontrollably.
I went downstairs to tell my mother of who I watch Y&R with, and she also didn’t believe it until I showed her too. I am still shocked and cannot process this. His photos are everywhere now and the videos of his episodes and other appearances have been flooding my newsfeed this past week. I cannot believe that someone who I grew up with all these years of watching can pass away.
These people on soaps become part of your family and they come into your home to spend time with them for an hour or a half an hour of the day and you feel like its real, you feel like you are next door to them and a story is being put together. You feel like you become part of their lives. We fans devote a lot of time to watching and these people who have been on these shows for years are people who become part of you.
Kristoff and I became friends on Facebook many years ago. To that, I had messaged him about meeting him at Canada’s Wonderland amusement park in North of Toronto, and then he messaged me back a few days later and then Kristoff added me as a friend and we began our online friendship where he would never miss saying happy birthday to me. He was like that. He made time for his fans. When he added me, I got so excited and I told all my friends and family that Kristoff added me and we are talking. It was such a surreal moment.
Depression, loss and mental illness are real. Its evident on how our lives can change in an instant when something terrible happens and we don’t know how to cope with certain issues and sometimes for some people it sets them off. It is important to always be kind to everyone. We may not know the struggles a person faces behind closed doors.
We truly have no idea unless we have been in that person’s shoes, but then again we can never be in someone else’s shoes because everyone has different ways of dealing with grief, loss, depression and mental illness. Unfortunately, sometimes peoples actions mean for them to cross to the other side.
It is very important to always be helpful and to understand. It is really imperative to always listen. Sometimes people need a listening ear to pour your heart out and the struggles you face and to tell someone what you are feeling.
I’ll never forget his radiant smile, and I will remember his role on Y&R and his family, friends, fans, co-stars and crew and I will definitely miss him a lot. Rest in Peace Kristoff. You are now with Julian and Mrs Chancellor (Jeanne Cooper), Co-star with Kristoff on the Y&R. Fly high with your wings in heaven. We will never forget you and your legacy.