winters family members

Image: Howard Wise, Sean Smith/JPI

Young and Restless actors pay tribute to beloved co-star.

In the hours and days following Y&R actor Kristoff St. John’s death it’s not surprising some of the most emotional tributes came from the actors who played his family, the Winters and the Ashbys, on the soap opera. Soaps.com gathered the touching posts to share.

Victoria Rowell, who played Neil’s onscreen wife until her character’s presumed death after she went over a cliff, took to her Twitter account to acknowledge the connection she shared with St. John, and said, “Ain’t no mountain high enough, to keep me from you, my beloved @kristoffstjohn1 —though denied for a decade, you never stopped requesting for us to be reunited @CBSDaytime @Sony pushing for #Diversity @YandR_CBS. True #BlackHistoryMonth #IDreamBlack history. Eternally I LOVE you.” Later, in a statement released to the media, Rowell, stated, “Kristoff was a joy. He lived for the day. He loved working in film, prime time and starring on The Young and the Restless. He cared about preserving the African American legacy on the show and not being pigeon-holed into a Black storyline. Obviously, we coveted the Black family on Y&R, but we also coveted that we were crossovers. Proud we pulled in a huge audience, and a huge Black, female audience. We understood the gravity of what we were responsible for and he took that very seriously. I shall forever cherish our private and professional time together. Now, is a time for reflection, to mourn his departure and celebrate his brilliance, permanently imprinted on my memory.”

Christel Khalil has played Neil and Drucilla’s daughter Lily for 17 years. Lily’s biological dad was actually Neil’s brother, Malcolm, but Neil has been Lily’s father in every sense of the word. Khalil took some time to think of what she wanted to say, and shared a photo and lengthy post on Instagram, which in part said, “I’m so heartbroken. I’m mad, sad, confused…but I understand. I’m thankful you’re not in pain anymore, such a deep pain that no one could understand. No parent should have to bury their child, I’m sorry you had to. I’m sorry you’ve been hurting so much… You were one of a kind. I’ll never forget you were the first person who took me under your wing when I joined Y&R.” She went on to add, “You treated me like your real daughter over the past 17 years. Between our deep conversations about religion to your goofy dad jokes, you’ve always had a special place in my heart. A place where a father should have been…I’m grateful I got to know you and share some of my most important moments of life with you. You will never be forgotten. I love you. I love you…”

Bryton James plays Neil’s adopted son Devon on Y&R, and shared what were to be his final scenes with him as Neil helped save Devon’s special event at the Club. James posted a simple message on his Instagram account following St. John’s death, and stated, “As one of the lucky people to have experienced Kristoff’s spirit, love & talent first hand.. I can only say thank you forever for loving me, guiding me, protecting me, & for teaching me everyday how to choose to find the levity in life no matter what. I will never stop making you proud. I love you. My man.”

More: Eric Braeden remembers Kristoff St. John in emotional video

Neil’s onscreen son-in-law is played by Daniel Goddard, and the actor considered St. John to be a brother. His tribute began, “Kristoff you were a beautiful sweet sensitive soul full of love, compassion and kindness… but more than that you were my brother. I will never forget you and will never be the same now that you are gone…” He then recalled some fun they’d had together on set and ended with the words, “I miss you mate. I will always miss you. You were so loved. Rest my friend. You are now at peace.” In another post, Goddard asked fans to tune in to St. John’s last episode on Wednesday February 6.

Neil’s onscreen brother, Malcolm, was played by Shemar Moore, who left the role in 2014 but who dropped in for appearances from time-to-time, never losing the connection to his daytime home. Moore also considered St. John a brother and posted a video clip reacting to the sad and shocking death, along with the message, “Mr KRISTOFF ST JOHN….. There is no ME without YOU!!!!! You are MY BROTHER!!! I LOVE YOU!!! Sleep my dude…. REST IN PEACE… I’ll finish what YOU started!!! THANK YOU for YOUR HEART and TALENT!!!!!” In a subsequent post, the actor promised, “RIP……. “This ain’t goodbye Brother… Watch me make you proud!! We will be together again… I LOVE YOU Kristoff!!! Just go chill out and watch me carry YOUR torch.”

Another of Neil’s onscreen wives, and incidentally also his daughter-in-law, was played by actress Mishael Morgan, who portrayed Hilary Curtis. Morgan took to her Instagram to recall how St. John took her under his wing when she first started at Y&R, and ended her message with the sentiment, “You were bright and funny and truly, one of a kind. I will miss that infectious smile, that open heart and that beautiful spirit. Sending all of my love to your girls and your entire family. Thank you for letting me be a part of your incredible life, and for touching mine in so many ways. You will always be in my heart Stoff. Gone, but never, ever forgotten. Love you.”

Neil’s onscreen grandson, Charlie, is played by Noah Gerry, who shared a photo of St. John and a simple heartfelt message. He said, “We’re all gonna miss you. R.I.P.”

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I’ve been thinking for awhile what to say. How to express my love and gratitude for Kristoff in my life. I don’t know if I can ever fully express how my heart feels. I’m so heartbroken. I’m mad, sad, confused…but I understand. I’m thankful you’re not in pain anymore, such a deep pain that no one could understand. No parent should have to bury their child, I’m sorry you had to. I’m sorry you’ve been hurting so much… You were one of a kind. I’ll never forget you were the first person who took me under your wing when I joined Y&R. You were the one who when I had my screen test, you helped me, made me feel connected and comfortable. I know part of the reason why I even got a role that changed my life forever is because of you. Your goofiness, openness, and genuine love and care you showed for other people was never overlooked. You treated me like your real daughter over the past 17 years. Between our deep conversations about religion to your goofy dad jokes, you’ve always had a special place in my heart. A place where a father should have been…I’m grateful I got to know you and share some of my most important moments of life with you. You will never be forgotten. I love you. I love you…💔

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Kristoff you were a beautiful sweet sensitive soul full of love, compassion and kindness… but more than that you were my brother. I will never forget you and will never be the same now that you are gone… we spent our time together filled with ridiculousness, pranks and practical jokes because there were few things that we liked more than to make each other laugh. You remember this one? You had been putting vaseline on my dressing room door handle and toilet seat for days on end, and… I finally got you back by filling your new sneakers with hair conditioner! And of course Bryton was there to help capture the moment! I miss you mate. I will always miss you. You were so loved. Rest my friend. You are now at peace. 💔

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‬My dearest friends… today our beloved Kristoff St. John’s last episode of “The Young & the Restless” airs… let’s honor this great man by not only sharing & spreading the word to make this one of #yr ‘s highest rated episodes ever! But… also let’s show our love & honor his legacy by voting for him in the CBS Soaps in depth actors poll and making him the #1 actor! All you need to do is take just a minute to write his name down on a piece of paper as your favorite actor & mail it to: ‬CBS Readers' Poll c/o Soaps In Depth 270 Sylvan Ave Englewood Cliffs,NJ 07632 Thank you from the bottom of my ❤️!‪ #KristoffStJohn #GoneButNeverForgotten #MyBrother 😭‬#yr

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Oh the words. I don’t even know where to begin. Well, like many, I have know Neil Winters for most of my childhood. But when I grew up, I had the honour of meeting & working with Kristoff St. John. “July 15th!”, was the very first thing he said to me, because he found out that we shared a birthday. That was Kristoff, he always found a way to connect with you. He took me under his wing and instantly made me feel at home. In many ways, I am who I am, because of Neil and Kristoff. You inspired me, as a child and guided me, as a woman and I am forever grateful to have known you. You were bright and funny and truly, one of a kind. I will miss that infectious smile, that open heart and that beautiful spirt. Sending all of my love to your girls and your entire family. Thank you for letting me be a part of your incredible life, and for touching mine in so many ways. You will always be in my heart Stoff. Gone, but never, ever forgotten. Love you ❤️❤️❤️

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We’re all gonna miss you ❤️ R.I.P.

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