KRISTOFF ST. JOHN – The Death of a Soap Opera Star


I haven’t blogged about grief in a while, but had to write about this sad story of how that thing called “GRIEF” can cause such destruction and lead to death.

I can remember vividly watching soap operas with my mother and grandmother. One of the soaps watched was “The Young and the Restless.”
They watched others, such as “Days of Our Lives.”
These soaps were a daily part of many women and men’s lives and each person who glued themselves to the television had their favorite actor or actress.
I can remember when this tall, young, handsome actor came into the Young and the Restless back in the early 90s, playing the character, Neil Winters. His acting skills were on point and he never missed a beat as far as his lines were concerned, or at least what we could see.

St. John began playing Neil Winters, a cosmetics executive who struggled with infidelity, alcoholism and many other issues, on “The Young and the Restless” in 1991. He recently resumed this role in January, completing nearly 1,700episodes of the show.

St. John would go on to win two Daytime Emmy Awards during his long tenure on the CBS soap opera “The Young and the Restless,” which brought him fame and fortune and a star-studded cast of great friends that were more like family.

Born on July 15, 1966, in New York City and grew up in Bridgeport, Conn., and Los Angeles. His father, Christopher, was a producer, director, and actor; his mother, Maria, was an entertainer. Both parents inspired their son to enter show business.

Early Acting Years:

His television career started with an appearance on the sitcom “That’s My Mama” in 1975. He played a young Alex Haley in “Roots: The Next Generations” (1979) and had a recurring part on the television version of “The Bad News Bears,” on which his father also appeared. He was also seen on “Family Matters,” “Martin,” “A Different World,” “Diagnosis Murder”

Personal life:

St. John was married and divorced twice. He had a son, Julian (1989–2014) and a daughter, Paris Nicole (born 1992) with his first wife, boxer Mia St. John. Julian died by suicide on November 23, 2014, following a long history of mental illness. St. John was married to Allana Nadal from 2001 to 2007, and they had a daughter, Lola (born April 15, 2003). On August 31, 2018, he then eventually dated again and became engaged to Russian model Kseniya Olegovna Mikhaleva.

St. John was a vegan and animal rights advocate and appeared in two PETA ad campaigns.

St. John was at increased risk for several mental and physical issues due to the death of his son, Julian St. John, who died of an apparent suicide in 2014 while in a mental health facility. Kristoff St. John became a “suicide loss survivor,” part of an unwilling group of millions of Americans left behind by loved ones’ deaths, who take on a mantle of grief and often shame and guilt. It is not uncommon for those left behind after the death of a loved one to feel some form of guilt. At some point in time, they feel as though they should have been there to save their loved one, and unfortunately, the guilt sets in and takes hold of the survivor. His son, Julian, an artist who suffered from schizophrenia, depression and drug addiction, committed suicide by asphyxiating himself with a plastic bag at a mental health care facility in Long Beach, Calif., in 2014. Mr. St. John and wife, Mia, accused the staff of negligence, and filed a lawsuit against the facility and aired their grievances in an interview on the television show, “Entertainment Tonight.” Mia was also quoted as saying in a 2017 statement to Entertainment Tonight, “No parent should ever have to bury their child, and for those who do, it is a nightmare that haunts you forever.”
The lawsuit was settled in 2017.

On Jan. 21, St. John retweeted a tweet about the loss of a child that reads: “Grieving the loss of a child is a process. It begins on the day your child passes and ends the day the parent joins them.”
He also responded to the tweet, writing: “Never a truer word was spoken. Thanks for posting this.”

Sadly, Kristoff St. John was found dead on Sunday at the age of 52.
The cause of death has been deferred “pending an additional investigation” after an autopsy was completed Monday, according to the coroner’s official website.
Parents of suicide loss survivors, especially, may have lifelong needs as a result of their loss and be especially afflicted with feelings of guilt and responsibility, according to a 2012 article in the medical journal Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience.

Suicide Lifeline: If you or someone you know may be struggling with suicidal thoughts, you can call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) any time of day or night or chat online. Crisis Text Line provides free, 24/7, confidential support via text message to people in crisis when they dial 741741.

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