Update 2/8: CBS and Sony released a statement announcing an upcoming storyline that will pay respects to Kristoff St. John. "The Young and the Restless will forever value the legacy of Kristoff St. John in his portrayal of Neil Winters. Beginning in late April, Y&R will feature a storyline that pays tribute to both Kristoff and his character," the statement read. Y&R will air a special tribute to Kristoff during the show on Friday, Feb. 8.
Update 2/5: CBS announced that Kristoff St. John's final episode of The Young and the Restless will air Wednesday, Feb. 6 at 12:30/11:30c.
Update 2/4 1:30 p.m. ET: Updated to include CBS and Sony's statement and tributes to St. John.
The Young and the Restless star Kristoff St. John has died, according to TMZ. He was found by a friend in his home in California's San Fernando Valley on Sunday, Feb. 3. He was 52. A police source said no foul play is suspected, and the death was being investigated as a possible alcohol overdose. According to People, the results of the autopsy have been deferred pending further results.
St. John played businessman Neil Winters on the CBS daytime soap opera from 1991 until his death. He was the longest-running black actor on the show and won 10 NAACP Awards for his performance. He was also nominated for 11 Daytime Emmys, winning twice, for Supporting Actor in 2008 and Younger Actor in 1992. He was a cast member on The Young and the Restless for nearly two-thirds of its 45-year run. He also appeared in the 1979 miniseries Roots: The Next Generations as young Alex Haley.
St. John was born July 15, 1966 in New York City. He was a vegan and an animal rights activist, twice appearing in PETA campaigns.
The St. John family has had tragic struggles with mental health issues in the past. St. John's son Julian took his own life in 2014. In 2017, St. John threatened to commit suicide and was placed on an involuntary hold for psychiatric evaluation. St. John's cause of death is not yet confirmed.
The CBS and Sony Pictures Television, the studio that produces The Young and the Restless, issued a joint statement to TV Guide on St. John's passing: "The news of Kristoff St. John's passing is heartbreaking. He was a very talented actor and an even better person. For those of us who were fortunate enough to work with him on The Young and the Restless for the last 27 years, he was a beloved friend whose smile and infectious laugh made every day on set a joy and made audiences love him. On behalf of the Y&R cast and crew, CBS and Sony Pictures Television, we offer our heartfelt sympathy to his family and loved ones, especially his two daughters, Paris and Lola."
Friends and colleagues of St. John posted remembrances on social media.
Vivica A. Fox, who co-starred with St. John on the groundbreaking NBC soap Generations as well as a yearlong arc on The Young and the Restless in the '90s and most recently in a 2017 TV movie called A Christmas Cruise, posted a throwback photo of the two of them.
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GM Dawlings! It is with a very heavy heart that I wake up this morning to hear about the passing of my good friend @KristoffStJohn who I started off my acting career with on the Soap Operas #Generations & #Young&TheRestless and recently #AChristmasCruise WOW! Kristoff I will soo miss u my brotha! U were a true gentleman 4sho! #GONETOSOON #RESTINPARADISE my friend! #Blessed #Respect 😢🤗🙇🏾♀️
Stunned and deeply saddened. Speechless. https://t.co/ZssqSHLApp— Kim Fields (@KimVFields) February 4, 2019
Actor Shavar Ross shared a photo of a young St. John with a memory of how they used to go out for the same parts when they were kids.
I'm truly sad this morning. Shocked about my friend, actor Kristoff St John. My audition buddy. Our fathers would always chat about the business well after our auditions, so we'd chat about stuff too. Kid stuff. pic.twitter.com/4WEiLv9z2w— Shavar Ross (@shavar) February 4, 2019
"Please join me in sending love and prayers for comfort to the family and friends of Kristoff St. John," Judge Greg Mathis wrote.
Actor Stan Shaw called him "a wonder kid, a great actor and an awesome man" and shared some photos from the set of Roots: The Next Generations.
This Breaks my Heart: "Young and the Restless" Star Kristoff St. John Sadly Found Dead.— Stan Shaw (@StanShaw1) February 4, 2019
Kristoff played my Grandson on Roots2, I love this kid. He was a wonder kid, a great actor and an awesome man. I'd spoken with him recently. I'm just devastated! #RIP Beautiful soul, miss you! pic.twitter.com/Vevsvqq38f
St. John's The Young and the Restless co-star Eric Braeden said he had "no words right now."
My good friend and colleague, MY BROTHA, KRISTOFF ST.JOHN , passed away!! No words right now!! pic.twitter.com/um3RVtQYPh— Eric Braeden (@EBraeden) February 4, 2019
Another co-star Sharon Case said "RIP, my friend."
Remembering Kristoff ST. John 🙏 RIP, my friend. pic.twitter.com/91fr7r3j5a— sharon case (@sharonlcase) February 4, 2019
His fiancée, model Kseniya Mikhaleva, wrote "How did it happen ??? How ??? Why did you leave so early ???? and left me alone ..... I can't believe."
TV Guide has reached out to representatives for St. John and CBS for comment.
(Disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of CBS Corporation)