Kristoff St. John was found dead Sunday after one of his friends went to check on him at his home in the San Fernando Valley

By Jodi GuglielmiDave QuinnChristina Dugan and Julie Jordan
February 04, 2019 01:01 PM
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Hollywood is grieving the loss of the Young and the Restless actor Kristoff St. John.

St. John was found dead Sunday after one of his friends went to check on him at his home in the San Fernando Valley. Police and paramedics were alerted and responded to the house, where the actor was pronounced dead on the scene. He was 52.

After hearing the news, his Y&R costar Eileen Davidson released an exclusive statement to PEOPLE.

“An infinite number of hearts are broken because of the passing of Kristoff St. John,” wrote the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills alumna, 59. “Kristoff was a loving kind generous sweet hilarious gifted human. He left an indelible mark on all who were blessed to know him. I am so grateful to have been able to work with him and laugh with him. My deepest condolences go out to his family and especially his children, who I know he loves so much.”

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Kristoff St. John and Eileen Davidson on The Young and the Restless
| Credit: Sonja Flemming/CBS

Melody Thomas Scott, 62, also released a statement, saying, “We will desperately miss my dear friend, Kristoff. We all loved him so much. I’m brokenhearted.”

Bryton James, who plays Kristoff’s character’s son on the soap, told PEOPLE in a statement, “There are no words for my devastation. For the last 15 years, Kristoff St. John has been my other father, my friend and in the beginning, my reason for feeling as though I belonged in the Y&R family. He was an unbelievable example of strength, given what he endured over the course of his life. But most importantly, he taught us all every single day how to choose to have fun with life no matter what. I will miss him forever… His daughters Lola and Paris will always have me as family.”

Said Doug Davidson, 64,: “In my life journey I have come across only a few people that radiate pure love, Kristoff was one of those people. He was so selfless when it came to caring for others. He was smart, so insightful, and supportive of everything positive. His smile would light up a room and his presence was always welcome. I will miss him. I know in my heart he has found peace and we all have another angel watching over us. God bless his soul. My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.”

And Y&R‘s Angell Conwell, 35, told PEOPLE in an exclusive statement, “I truly hope that Kristoff knows how much he was loved and adored. His smile lit up any room. We shared so many laughs. Thank you for courageously trailblazing. Your talent, your humor and your compassionate heart will not soon be forgotten.”

Yvette Nicole Brown posted a lengthy tribute to her friend and former Y&R costar.

“I am still trying to process the news that this dear, dear man is gone. Forgive me if what I say here doesn’t come together just right, but I have to say something about @kristoffstjohn. He deserves as loving a tribute as my early morning sadness can muster,” she wrote. #KristoffStJohn was love. Just pure and simple: love. He was the kind of person you meet who you feel like you’ve known your entire life. He had a gift for making people feel instantly at ease. He could immediately diffuse any nervousness you had.”

Brown, 47, said she met St. John on her first day of filming The Young and the Restless.

“It could have been a scary, heavy moment. Kristoff made it LIGHT.
In my character, Lois’ subsequent visits to Genoa City, Kristoff was more of the same. Kind, encouraging, playful, fun and present. He saw me. He saw EVERYONE. He made time for everyone. He celebrated everyone. No matter who you were. He saw you.”

She concluded: “He was just GOOD. I am heartbroken to hear that he is gone. So heartbroken. #RIP dear heart.”

Vivica A. Fox expressed her condolences as well.

“It is with a very heavy heart that I wake up this morning to hear about the passing of my good friend @KristoffStJohn who I started off my acting career with on the Soap Operas #Generations & #Young&TheRestless and recently #AChristmasCruise WOW!” she wrote. “Kristoff I will soo miss u my brotha! U were a true gentleman 4sho!”

Along with the message, Fox, 54, shared a throwback photo of herself and St. John from their days on Generations.

Young and the Restless actress Alice Hunter wished St. John’s family “strength and healing.”

“My heart is with the family and loved ones of Kristoff St. John. Sending you strength and healing,” the 29-year-old wrote. “May he be met with the comforting arms of his beloved son and may their gentle souls rest together for eternity.”

St. John’s lawyer Mark Geragos tweeted a statement, writing: “Few men had the unique strength, courage & sensitivity that @kristoffstjohn1 lived every single minute of every day. He impacted everyone he met and millions who he inspired and in turn admired him. On behalf of @MiaStJohnBoxer & @TheStJohnFamily thank you for all of your love.”

The Los Angeles Police Department confirmed to PEOPLE that a death investigation took place at around 2:05 pm on Sunday for a possible alcohol overdose at the 2300 block of Morea Way.

He was pronounced dead at 4:02 pm, the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner confirmed.

St. John’s son Julian died by suicide in 2014 at the age of 24. His ex-wife (and Julian’s mother) Mia St. John went on to found the El Saber es Poder (Knowledge is Power) Foundation to battle mental illness.

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Kristoff St. John
| Credit: Gabe Ginsberg/Getty

In 2017, St. John, who has played Neil Winters on CBS’ The Young and the Restless since 1991, underwent psychiatric treatment after a reported scare regarding his mental health. According to TMZ, he threatened to kill himself with a gun and was placed under a 72-hour hold for psychiatric evaluation.

In a statement to Entertainment Tonight at the time, Mia blasted reports about the incident that led her ex to seek help.

“I want the world to know the truth about what is happening with Kristoff, because currently there is inaccurate, and fabricated information being reported by certain online outlets,” she said. “No parent should ever have to bury their child, and for those who do, it is a nightmare that haunts you forever. The death of our beloved son Julian has taken a toll on both of us. He is an actor and while he may appear whole on the outside, his heart is broken. As a society, we need to start taking mental health seriously and realize that no one is immune.”

St. John also shares daughter Paris with Mia, as well as daughter Lola with ex-wife Allana Nadal.

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Kristoff St. John and Kseniya Mikhaleva
| Credit: Kristoff St. John/Instagram

In September 2018, St. John announced his engagement to model Kseniya Mikhaleva.

Mikhaleva addressed his death early Monday morning, writing “So early…so early” on her Instagram Story with crying and heart emojis. “Why are you leave so early?” she wrote. “Why…you are always in my heart.”

She also posted a photo of the couple.

“How did it happen ??? How ??? Why did you leave so early ???? and left me alone ….. I can’t believe,” she captioned the post. “You were everything to me …. you were a loving father, a loving man …..how.”

St. John’s last activity on Twitter was on Jan. 21, when he retweeted a tweet about losing 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.”