Days after actor Kristoff St. John was found dead at his home in the San Fernando Valley, The Young and the Restless – the soap opera that was his acting home for almost three decades – is planning a months-long on-air tribute.
St. John, who died last Sunday at age 52, played character Neil Winters on the daytime show, which announced that it will introduce a storyline honoring him and his character beginning in April, CBS is reporting.
St. John played cosmetic company executive Winters since 1991, garnering nine Emmy nominations for his work. He took home 10 NAACP Image Awards over the years and won a daytime Emmy in 1992 for outstanding younger actor in a drama series.
CBS Television Network and Sony Pictures Television released a statement upon St. John’s death, lamenting the loss of a longtime friend.
“The news of Kristoff St. Joh’s passing is heartbreaking,” the statement read. “He was a very talented actor and an even better person. For those of us who were fortunate enough to work with him on The Young and the Restless for the last 27 years, he was a beloved friend whose smile and infectious laugh made every day on set a joy and made audiences love him.”
St. John was a native of New York City and the longest running Black actor in the history of The Young and the Restless, but he had also acted as a child on shows such as Happy Days and The Bad News Bears. As a teen, he appeared on The Cosby Show and later appeared on the soap opera Generations before his long-running role on The Young and the Restless.
In 2014, St. John’s son, Julian, 24, committed suicide and the actor publicly expressed guilt and regret over the death of the young man, who battled schizophrenia. Three years later, around the anniversary of his son’s death, St. John threatened to commit suicide. As reported by PEOPLE the cause of death has been deferred pending additional results.