Nearly three months after the sudden and unexpected passing of beloved The Young & the Restless star Kristoff St. John, the soap opera is airing a special tribute storyline dealing with the loss of St. John and his character Neil Winters on the show.
On the Tuesday, April 23 episode of Y&R, Winters’ death was finally mentioned and on Wednesday, April 24, Dr. Nate Hastings revealed the cause of death.
“From everything I’ve seen and heard, it sounds like a massive stroke,” Dr. Hastings told Winters’ daughter, Lili Winters (played by Christel Khalil). “It’s possible he had high blood pressure and never even knew. That’s why they call it the silent killer.”
The series had Neil’s son Devon Hamilton, played by Bryton James, find his father, and the conclusion he had passed was depicted by Devon coming down the stairs crying. At the end of the episode, Devon shared the terrible news with other characters as they shared hugs and emotions.
Shortly after Kristoff St. John’s passing on February 3, CBS confirmed that a special tribute storyline for St. John and his character would be airing. Now that the passing has been addressed, several former Y&R stars who portrayed characters close to Neil Winters are returning to pay their respects and say goodbye. Actor Shemar Moore will be reprising his role as Neil’s brother Malcolm Winters, during two episodes that are airing Thursday, April 25 and Friday, April 26.
Additionally, the Monday, April 29 episode will be a special tribute to St. John as the cast members share memories of their longtime costar and friend and Y&R will share favorite Neil Winters moments from his 27 years on the series. It has been confirmed that Moore and Victoria Rowell (who played Neil’s longtime love, Drucilla Winters) will participate.
Following St. John’s passing, the Los Angeles County coroner’s office ruled his cause of death as “hypertrophic heart disease … and effects of ethanol,” which is heart disease exacerbated by alcohol use.