How ‘Young & the Restless’ Bids Farewell to Kristoff St. John & Neil Winters

Michael Yarish/CBS
Malcolm Winters (Shemar Moore) returns home to attend Neil's funeral

On April 23, the residents of Genoa City begin to learn the devastating news that Neil Winters (Kristoff St. John) has passed away, as The Young and the Restless writes in the February 3 death of St. John, who succumbed to hypertrophic heart disease after 28 years on the soap.

On Thursday, Neil’s funeral gives his TV family and friends a chance to say goodbye — including Shemar Moore (above), reprising his role as Neil’s brother, Malcolm, in a two-day arc.

“When you hear these eulogies, it’s heartbreaking and beautiful — a true celebration,” says Moore, who had to remember to speak Neil’s name, not that of his real-life mentor. “On April 6, 1994, at my callback, myself and five other guys did scenes with Kristoff. What I didn’t know till after I got the job was that [cocreator] Bill Bell had turned to Kristoff and said, ‘Who do you like?’ He said, ‘I want the scared kid in the baseball cap to play my younger brother.’ If he hadn’t picked me, I’d have a life — but not this one.”

Lily Ashby (Christel Khalil) delivers a eulogy at Neil’s funera (Michael Yarish/CBS)

Others returning to mourn the character include ex-wife Sofia (Julia Pace Mitchell), former love interests Ashley (Eileen Davidson) and Leslie (Angell Conwell), and colleague and friend Jill (Jess Walton).

Neil’s absence will be life-altering for loved ones such as daughter Lily (Christel Khalil) and son Devon (Bryton James). But, says head writer Josh Griffith, “the Winters family will survive and continue to be a central part of the Y&R fabric, made stronger by the emotional gifts and strength Neil left behind.”

Kristoff St. John in 2008 (Photo by Marc Bryan-Brown/WireImage)

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