Shemar Moore cries as he pays tribute to his late ‘brother’ Kristoff St. John

If there’s one thing celebrities have the opportunity to do, it’s inspire. They inspire fans around the world, so when they’re in the spotlight, it’s important for them to try to serve as good role models, especially for our youth.

One prime example of a celebrity role model who helped pave the wave for countless young actors, in particular inspiring black actors, was Kristoff St. John — best remembered for his long-standing role as Neil Winters on popular American soap opera The Young and the Restless.

Sadly, in early February, Kristoff was discovered dead at his home in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, leaving a giant void behind — and those who loved him most in tears of sadness and disbelief.

Kristoff was beloved by many — and certainly by The Young and The Restless co-star Shemar Moore, who is now mourning his ‘brother’s’ loss with tremendous sadness.

“I lost my brother yesterday,” Shemar wrote on social media following Kristoff’s dearg. “I’ve never had a brother, but you were my brother. You showed me the way. You were my mentor, my inspiration. You showed me what true talent was. You showed me what humility was. I love you. I hate this. I love you, but I’m going to celebrate all your good.”

Inspiring Others

Shemar and Kristoff played brothers on The Young and The Restless as Neil and Malcolm Winters, starring together between 1994 to 2005, and again in 2014.

Now Shemar is crediting Kristoff for helping pave the way for countless black actors, including himself.

“Without Kristoff St. John, there’s no Neil Winters. Without Neil Winters, there’s no opportunity for Malcolm Winters. And without Malcolm Winters, there’s no Shemar Moore. And if Shemar Moore didn’t get my chance to try on The Young & the Restless, then I don’t sit here today with let alone this career or this life. Not in this way. I told him in the beginning because he embraced me the way he embraced me is the only reason that I have the life and career that I have.”

“He opened doors for me and many,” Shemar added. “He opened doors for people who don’t even realize he opened doors, but he did. He opened doors, and he was so committed to his craft. He always wanted to be better. He wanted to touch people, and he did.”

Kristoff is indeed noted for being a hardworking and dedicated actor, receiving Daytime Emmy Awards in 1992 and 2008 as well as raking in several award nominations over the years for his role as Neil Winters on The Young and the Restless. He died much too soon at just 52 years of age.

Gone Too Soon

Police have stated a possible alcohol overdose as cause of Kristoff’s death. Kristoff left behind his fiance, Kseniya Miklaleva. The couple had recently gotten engaged after dating for less than a year. Kseniya later expressed her heartbreaking shock on Instagram.

“How did it happen ??? How ??? Why did you leave so early ???? and left me alone ….. I can’t believe,” she wrote. “You were everything to me …. you were a loving father, a loving man,…..how love?? we should be doing a lot of things in future……”

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New Year with my love ???????❤️ @ksumik

A post shared by Kristoff St. John (@kristoffstjohn) on

CBS also took to social media to express their sadness at this great loss and express their condolences to all of Kristoff’s loved ones.

“‪With the heaviest of hearts, we say goodbye to our friend and CBS Daytime family member, the incomparable, Kristoff St. John,” the network wrote on Instagram.

Did you also watch Kristoff on The Young and The Restless throughout the tears? Share to honor this great actor’s memory and legacy.