Though Kristoff St. John and his The Young and the Restless character, Neil Winters, are no longer with us, they continue to hold a special place in the hearts of daytime fans. The CBS soap opera will be honoring the enduring connection to both with a tribute episode that remembers the late actor and Neil Winters in a unique way.
People reports that on Friday, May 28, Y&R will air a special hour in which Neil's children -- Lily (Christel Khalil), Devon (Bryton James), and Moses (Jacob Aaron Gaines) -- plan a walking tour in Genoa City that features sights and sounds from Neil's past. The emotional hour will also feature flashbacks from St. John's nearly three-decade run on Y&R.
Neil's nephew, Nate (Sean Dominic), will also participate in the walking tour, as will many of the beloved character's friends, including Victor (Eric Braeden), Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott), Jack (Peter Bergman), Nick (Joshua Morrow), and Ashley (Eileen Davidson).
Bryton James shared a post on Instagram about the upcoming tribute episode, writing, "Family always matters." (The caption was in honor of St. John and Neil, but it also alluded to James's history as a child star on the 90s sitcom Family Matters.)
Kristoff St. John died at the age of 52 on February 3, 2019. It was later determined that his death was accidental, having been caused by heart disease, which was exacerbated by alcohol use. His 24-year-old son, Julian, died by suicide four years earlier in 2014, following a lifelong battle with mental illness.
St. John's ex-wife, Mia St. John, announced in late 2019 that she was working on a memoir called Fighting for My Life that would tell the story of how the loss of the couple's son and Kristoff's sudden death led to her passion for spreading awareness about mental health.
"I've been in this fight for reform of our mental health system for so long," Mia shared. "Kristoff and I lost our son in a mental health facility that was found guilty of neglect. Then when I uncovered a lot of the facilities in LA County, I discovered that this was going on everywhere because there have been many deaths. My son wasn't the only one."
She continued, "When Kristoff lost his life, he was also neglected by the facility that he was put in. He was let go while still being suicidal. Then, my mission just completely skyrocketed. And I just want the public to be aware of what's happening."
Kristoff St. John took on the role of Neil Winters in 1991 and played the character until his death in 2019. He started acting as a young child in the sitcom series That's My Mama and went on to star in Charlie & Company, The Bad News Bears, and The San Pedro Beach Bums. St. John is also known for playing the title role of Young Alex Haley in Roots: The Next Generation, for which he won a Youth in Film award. For his work on Y&R, St. John won two Daytime Emmy awards and ten NAACP Image awards.
What do you think about Y&R honoring the memory of Kristoff St. John and Neil Winters with an episode dedicated to the beloved star and his soap character? What do you think about the writers' idea of airing a Genoa City walking tour that features sights and sounds from Neil's past? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.