News of Kristoff St. John’s death rocked the daytime community to its core, especially among the cast of THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS where he had portrayed Neil Winters for decades. While Devon was Neil’s adopted son and Lily was technically Neil’s niece, he loved them both like his own children. And portrayers Bryton James and Christel Khalil loved St. John like their own father.
“As one of the lucky people to have experienced Kristoff’s spirit, love, and talent first-hand,” James expressed on Instagram, “I can only say thank you forever for loving me, guiding me, protecting me, and for teaching me every day how to choose to find the levity in life no matter what. I will never stop making you proud. I love you. My man…”
Like many, Khalil struggled to put her feelings into words but finally shared a heartfelt post to let everyone know what her castmate and dear friend meant to her. “I’ve been thinking for a while what to say,” she confessed. “How to express my love and gratitude for Kristoff in my life. I don’t know if I can ever fully express how my heart feels. I’m so heartbroken. I’m mad, sad, confused… but I understand. I’m thankful you’re not in pain anymore, such a deep pain that no one could understand. No parent should have to bury their child. I’m sorry you had to. I’m sorry you’ve been hurting so much.
“You were one of a kind,” Khalil continued. “I’ll never forget you were the first person who took me under your wing when I joined Y&R. You were the one who when I had my screen test, you helped me, made me feel connected and comfortable. I know part of the reason why I even got a role that changed my life forever is because of you. Your goofiness, openness, and genuine love and care you showed for other people was never overlooked. You treated me like your real daughter over the past 17 years. Between our deep conversations about religion to your goofy dad jokes, you’ve always had a special place in my heart. A place where a father should have been… I’m grateful I got to know you and share some of my most important moments of life with you. You will never be forgotten. I love you. I love you…”
Our thoughts are with everyone who knew and loved St. John during this terribly difficult time.
For more on your favorite Y&R stars, keep reading the CBS edition of Soaps In Depth magazine.