On February 9, 2019, The Young and the Restless star, Kristoff St. John, tragically passed away due to Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Recently The Young and the Restless (Y&R) aired the episodes to close out his character, Neil Winters, story on the show.
The five-episode arc started on Tuesday April 23rd, with Neil’s son, Devon, finding him unresponsive at his home. The episodes that have followed have been heart wrenching. The story has progressed from his death to the funeral and Y&R fans, as well as friends of the show, have been brought to tears daily. It’s difficult to distinguish what the writers of Y&R wrote and what the actors on the show have brought to these scenes. Actors that left Y&R came back to be a part of this memorial service including Shemar Moore, Victoria Rowell and Eileen Davidson. There were times that I knew, while the characters were written to mourn Neil, the actors were mourning Kristoff: these are real tears. Each major character on Y&R, participated in the memorial service for Neil, stating how much he touched their lives, how much he meant to them and how he worked to make the world a better place. Friday’s episode was a collection of memories mixed with clips from the show with St. John working with his TV family.
Neil’s death was attributed to a massive stroke, a death that maintains the dignity of the character. The doctor in the Winter’s family stated “He probably had high blood pressure and didn’t know it. That’s why it’s called the silent killer,” with Neil’s family stating that he seemed and looked healthy. This cause of death plays upon the fact that it is difficult to get men to go to see a doctor for yearly checkups or to evaluate any unusual symptoms they may be suffering. Orlando Health Hospital conducted a survey to determine why men don’t go, the results are enlightening to say the least.
The death of Neil Winters was a consequence of the passing of the Kristoff St. John, but the storyline is quite timely. Just this week acclaimed director John Singleton suffered a stroke and passed away. Life and Art meet in this moment, the character of Neil Winters (52) & director, John Singleton (51) are both relatively young, healthy men who’ve had strokes. Both men of means with health insurance, education and the money to afford preventative healthcare. The primary causes of strokes are high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and smoking; conditions with proper care don’t have to have this tragic outcome. Let me urge everyone who reads this article to schedule your yearly physical and know the signs of stroke, early detection raises the chances of survival and recovery.
I stopped watching daytime dramas almost a decade ago, when I did watch them I was fan of the ABC shows. Last week I made a point to watch The Young and Restless to honor their friend and colleague. This was done beautifully. All the episodes can be found on CBS.com or on CBS prime. If you have the time this is recommended viewing to celebrate this awesome actor.
Rest in Peace Neil Winters. Rest in Peace Kristoff St. John.