General Hospital star Stan Kirsch dead at 51; Mark Lawson shares touching tribute
Posted Thursday, January 16, 2020 10:51:52 AM
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Highlander and General Hospital actor Stan Kirsch (ex-Carl) died at the age of 51 after reportedly taking his own life in his Los Angeles home. The performer was also an acting coach who worked with Mark Lawson (Dustin Phillips, GH; ex-Brody Lovett, One Life to Live).

Actor Stan Kirsch, best known for playing Richie Ryan on the original Highlander series but also known for appearing as General Hospital's Carl in 1992, passed away over the weekend at the age of 51. The New York native reportedly died by suicide.

TMZ writes that Kirsh's wife, Kristyn Green, found her husband hanging in the bathroom of their Los Angeles home the morning of Saturday, June 11. Paramedics reportedly responded to the scene, where Kirsch was pronounced dead.

Green posted on social media about her husband's death, writing, "I want to thank everyone for the outpouring of love and support. I haven't been able to respond to all the texts, calls, emails -- but have read or listened to every single one of them. I feel surrounded by love and am forever grateful to each and every one of you."

Kirsch began his acting career at the tender age of four, appearing in Campbell's Soup commercials. One of his first adult acting roles was that of General Hospital's Carl in 1992. From there, he moved on to a starring role in Highlander from 1992 to 1998 and appeared in other shows like True Colors, Family Law, Jag, Invincible, and Friends, where he played one of Monica's dates.

Kirsch founded his own acting studio in 2008, called Stan Kirsch Studios. One of his students was current GH star Mark Lawson (Dustin Phillips), who took to social media with a lengthy, heartfelt tribute to his friend and former coach.

"Stan. I'm reeling...all the way back to my first year in Los Angeles. Had a roommate I didn't like. Was terrified to make a left on red. I needed the big break NOW so I could leave this terrifying town and go home and somehow work the Hollywood machine from there. I was in a Lesly Kahn Bootcamp class with another teacher and heard your voice coming into the Studios on Cole (that's how far back we go). I was star struck. I was the biggest goddamn nerd for Highlander. I couldn't even talk to you the first time I was introduced to you. And somehow I ended up in your Ongoing class."

Lawson continues, sharing that Kirsch helped him prepare for his first audition and continued to be his coach and champion, even after he booked his first major role as One Life to Live's Brody Lovett.

"Even my parents weren't as excited as you, my friend. You would coach me for nothing," Lawson's tribute states. "You were my first big brother here. I'll never forget that. And that's how you'll stay."

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Stan. I'm reeling...all the way back to my first year in Los Angeles. Had a roommate I didn't like. Was terrified to make a left on red. I needed the big break NOW so I could leave this terrifying town and go home and somehow work the Hollywood machine from there. I was in a Lesly Kahn Bootcamp class with another teacher and heard your voice coming into the Studios on Cole (that's how far back we go). I was star struck. I was the biggest goddamn nerd for Highlander. I couldn't even talk to you the first time I was introduced to you. And somehow I ended up in your Ongoing class. And man did you have your fucking hands full... Musical theater kid who had just finished a year of classical acting at LAMDA. I thought the the sweet flower of Hollywood would would lose her virtue to my voice, my movement, my gym ape physique. She didn't. You had to teach me nuance first. Stillness. "Do less. Do less." Whispered in my ear. I believed it. I started to find it. I can walk my closet right now and pull out the wardrobe I wore to the first job I booked. You told me to go sweaty. I did. Was playing a down and out boxer... My first job was a top of show guest star. They bought me for two weeks to learn a fight. I got to run the Art Museum steps in Philly. Even my parents weren't as excited as you, my friend. You would coach me for nothing. You even let me be your trainer for a minute. You were my first big brother here. I'll never forget that. And that's how you'll stay. But then what happened? Not a goddamn thing. I didn't work for four years. I was in class with you and so many of the people I shamefully have lost touch with when I announced "I'm done, guys. I'm quitting." And I did. But somehow I stayed. Somehow I always had a toe in. And a few years went by before I booked the greatest job I've had to date. Four years on a soap. I visited you every now and then when I was back in LA (the soap shot in New York). I was already that kid who would drop in on his teachers. His mentors. His heroes. When I returned for good, I got to see you in YOUR stUdio. Doing things YOUR way. I got to be your student again. You were brilliant. I miss you. #stankirsch

A post shared by Mark Lawson (@themarkmlawson) on

A statement on Kirsch's acting studio's Facebook page reads, "We tragically lost our beloved Stan Kirsch on January 11th. We will be closed for the next 2 weeks as we process and grieve. He was so loved and we are all just devastated. Thank you for your understanding and respecting our privacy during this incredibly difficult time."

Do you remember Stan Kirsch's brief 1992 role as GH's Carl? What do you think about the tribute that Mark Lawson wrote for his friend and former acting coach? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.

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