Shemar Moore pays tribute to Kristoff St. John on The Young and the Restless

Image: Howard Wise/JPI

Young and the Restless alum pays tribute to his on and off-screen brother.

Shemar Moore is currently airing as Malcolm Winters in the tribute episodes to Neil Winters and his portrayer Kristoff St. John on The Young and the Restless. It’s the role that started his career and where he developed a tight friendship with his onscreen brother. Soaps.com has gathered some quotes from a recent interview Moore gave to Soap Opera Digest about St. John and what the man meant to him.

The last time Moored talked to St. John was via text on January 17. The S.W.A.T. actor relayed that St. John was optimistic about a documentary series he was working on but was feeling a little negative about The Young and the Restless, as he wanted to do more. Though Moore offered words of encouragement, he said, “I didn’t realize he was in such a dark place. I knew he was going through things, the passing of his son, and I knew he was frustrated. But if I had known, I could’ve done more. I should’ve done more. I should’ve reached out.”

Moore was grateful for the opportunity to return for St. John’s tribute episodes on The Young and the Restless because, “I wanted the fans to know, I want the world to know, how much this man meant to me because I wouldn’t have this life if it wasn’t for Kristoff. And that’s not just being poetic. It’s true.”

After being hired to play Malcolm Winters on the CBS soap in 1994, Moore learned the late Bill Bell asked St. John (who auditioned with the actors up for the role) who he liked for the part. St. John reportedly told Bell, “I want the scared kid in the baseball hat … because he doesn’t quite know what he’s doing, but he’s got good instincts and I know he can do it.” Therefore, Moore has always thanked St. John for his career. “I will never forget where I came from. I will never forget where I started. But if Kristoff did not take the scared kid in a baseball hat turned backward, I wouldn’t have this life.” While he credits St. John for his professional life, personally Moore said, “He and I were brothers off screen, maybe not blood-related but we truly had a relationship like brothers. It was magical. It was beautiful.”

More: Kristoff St. John tribute video promo

As for returning to The Young and the Restless, Moore shared that it was nice to go back where he started. “I hated that it was under these circumstances, as we all did, but what was so beautiful about that day is we all honored each other, we all hugged, but we all knew why we were there.” Moore believes that St. John would now tell him, “No more crying,” just like Malcolm said at Neil’s eulogy. “There were a lot of tears, but now there’s no more crying because Kristoff wouldn’t want that.”

Instead, Moore said he’s carrying St. John on his shoulders as he did in real life. He has a framed picture of Kristoff on his shoulders and the two-page monologue that he delivered in the tribute episode in his office where it will remain for the rest of his life. “Every time I do a scene or go on a talk show I say, ‘This is for you, Kristoff. I hope I make you proud.’ And then I go forward and I do what I gotta do.”