Known for his role as Neil Winters on the CBS daytime soap opera The Young and the Restless from 1991 until his death in 2019, American actor Kristoff St. John (July 15, 1966 – February 3, 2019) won two Daytime Emmy Awards out of eleven nominations and ten NAACP Image Awards.
Not only did he play a young Alex Haley in the ABC miniseries Roots: The Next Generations, but he was also nominated for two Daytime Emmy Awards for his portrayal of Adam Marshall on the NBC soap opera Generations.
Kristoff St John Cause Of Death
Alcoholism contributed to Kristoff’s fatal cardiac condition. According to TMZ, the actor’s body was discovered in his San Fernando Valley home by a friend who had gone to check on him. No “foul play” is suspected, though one source suggests alcohol may have played a role.
Due to a long battle with mental illness, Kristoff’s son Julian took his own life in 2014. After threatening suicide with a gun in 2017, around the time his son’s death would have been commemorated, Kristoff was evaluated by a psychiatrist.
Mia, Kristoff’s ex-wife, told PEOPLE a year after his death that he was profoundly affected emotionally by the loss of their kid.
She said, “I don’t think — I know,” when asked by the media. Both of us suffered from severe depression and had suicidal thoughts, but he was far more pervasive because of the weight of guilt it carried.
Kristoff is survived by his kids and his fiancee, the Russian model Kseniya Olegovna Mikhaleva, whom he was set to marry in the fall of 2019.
In Memory of My Son, Kristoff St. John
Julian, his only child, was born in 1989. After struggling with mental illness for many years, he took his own life on November 23, 2014.
On January 21, 2019, St. John retweeted and also responded to a tweet about the loss of a child. The tweet reads: “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.” He responded: “Never a truer word was spoken. Thanks for posting this.”
Never a truer word was spoke. Thanks for posting this.
— Kristoff St John (@kristoffstjohn1) January 22, 2019
A Look At Kristoff’s Profession
St. John made his television debut in a starring role on the NBC Saturday morning sitcom Big John, Little John when he was just 10 years old, in 1976. In the 1979 ABC miniseries Roots: The Next Generations, St. John played the role of a young Alex Haley.
An early episode of The Cosby Show featured him as the boyfriend of Denise Huxtable, and he later had a tiny role as Booker Brown on the ABC sitcom Happy Days. The part of Charlie Richmond Jr. in the 1985 CBS sitcom Charlie & Co. was his first major acting job.
St. John’s breakout role as a soap star began with the character of Adam Marshall on the NBC soap opera Generations. After its termination in 1991, St. John invented the part of Neil Winters on The Young and the Restless, a position he maintained for 28 years.
During that time, no other African American actor made more guest appearances on the show. When he was nominated for a Daytime Emmy in 1992, he took home the trophy for Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series. He presided over CBS Soap Break on September 5, 1994.
St. John joined TV Guide Channel as a special host in 2005. He was nominated for a sixth time for a Daytime Emmy in 2007. For his performance, he received a nomination for Best Supporting Actor. For his work as an Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series in 2008, St. John earned his second Daytime Emmy.
St. John’s documentary A Man Called God, which he and his father Christopher St. John directed, premiered at the San Diego Black Film Festival in 2014. Not only did the film win at that event, but it also won at the American Documentary Film Festival and the Beverly Hills Film Festival.
On February 6, 2019, Kristoff made his last TV appearance as Neil.