Nothing was more important than family for both Kristoff St. John and his The Young and the Restless character Neil Winters, and the upcoming on-screen tribute to the late actor will reflect that. Several prominent members of the Winters family are returning for Y&R's tribute to St. John, who passed away from heart disease on February 4.
EW reports that Shemar Moore (ex-Malcolm Winters), Victoria Rowell (ex-Drucilla Winters), and Mishael Morgan (ex-Hilary Curtis Hamilton) are all set to appear on Y&R to pay final respects to St. John, who originated the character of Neil Winters in 1991.
The Y&R plot line honoring St. John will begin on Tuesday, April 23, with Genoa City residents learning of the unexpected death of Neil. Family and friends gather to remember their beloved father, colleague, brother, and friend, with the story continuing through the remainder of the week.
Moore will reprise his role as Neil's brother for two episodes airing Thursday, April 25, and Friday, April 26, while Rowell and Morgan will appear as themselves in a special tribute episode scheduled for Monday, April 29. The latter episode will feature former and current cast members sharing memories of St. John and will also include clips of some of St. John's most memorable moments.
"We all miss Kristoff immensely and are understandably still in a bit of shock," says executive producer Anthony Morina to EW. "Our hope is that this storyline and tribute episode airing in April will honor the legendary character Kristoff helped create, and provide our audience with the opportunity to say a meaningful goodbye to Neil Winters."
Moore played the role of Malcolm Winters from 1994 to 2005 before going on to find primetime success on Criminal Minds and S.W.A.T.. His last appearance on Y&R was in September 2014, when he returned for a special storyline in which Neil lost his vision.
Rowell became an instant fan favorite when she took on the role of Neil's wife, Drucilla, in 1990. The actress, whose previous daytime experience included the 1988 recurring role of Nella Franklin on As the World Turns, left Y&R in 2007.
Morgan took on the role of Neil's wife Hilary Curtis in 2013. Fans of the CBS soap opera were devastated when she left the show in 2018, reportedly due to a breakdown of contract negotiations.
St. John joined the cast of The Young and the Restless in 1991 and immediately rose to major fame, winning the Outstanding Younger Actor award at the Daytime Emmys just one year into the role. He also took home a statue for Outstanding Supporting Actor in 2008 as well as multiple NAACP Image Awards. The actor's last appearance as Y&R's Neil Winters happened on February 6. The episode ended with the tribute, "In Loving Memory Of Our Dear Friend."
UPDATE (March 25, 2019): Angelica McDaniel, Executive Vice President Daytime Programs and Syndicated Program Development for CBS took to social media to explain why Tonya Lee Williams (ex-Olivia) would not be part of the tribute. "Unfortnately, Tonya is out of the country working on a project and wasn't able to join" the tribute.
What do you think about Shemar Moore, Victoria Rowell, and Mishael Morgan returning for Y&R's special tribute to Kristoff St. John? What do you think about the show dedicating a week of storyline to honor the late actor? We want to hear from you -- so drop your comments in the Comments section below, tweet about it on Twitter, share it on Facebook, or chat about it on our Message Boards.