The Young and the Restless star has reprised his role as St. John's brother Malcolm Winters for a four-episode tribute to the late actor, airing this week

By Robyn Merrett
April 26, 2019 09:43 PM

Shemar Moore is speaking out about one of the last texts he received from longtime friend Kristoff St. John before his death.

“I danced with him for 10 years and we’ve been brothers and so close for 20,” Moore, 49, said in a clip shared by The Talk.

“It’s sad to say goodbye, but we have to celebrate all that is good in his heart — his heart was huge for so many of us.”

The Criminal Minds alum went on to praise St. John for helping him with his career.

“Without him I honestly wouldn’t be in this business the way that I am — or maybe, not even at all. He picked me on April 6, 1994, he told creator William J. Bell that he wanted me to play his brother,” Moore said of his The Young and the Restless character Malcolm Winters, who was St. John’s character Neil Winters’ brother.

St. John had starred on the series since 1991.

“I used to tell him, ‘I look up to you. I learn from you. I want to be like you when I grow up,'” Moore explained before revealing what the late actor had said about him.

“I look up to you,” Moore said, reading the text from St. John. “You were a squeaky clean lil boy, with stars in your eyes.”

Credit: Shemar Moore/Instagram

“Now you are the center of an entire solar system,” St. John wrote to Moore.

“You have survived against the odds. In a business that doesn’t want us. You are exemplary. Far beyond any black star that has graced TV in the last 50 years… except Denzel [Washington] on St. Elsewhere. And even he, wasn’t the actor, who exuded sex and charisma like you.”

St. John concluded the touching note with “Keep pressing. Keep grinding. You are Shemar.”

“I’ve read that countless times,” Shemar said of the text.

“I’ve cried and cried a lot. I don’t want to cry anymore. I want to smile and laugh and remember him and never forget him and celebrate him for his goofy ways, talent and professionalism,” Shemar said.

Shemar also shared the text on Instagram.

Kristoff St. John and Shemar Moore
| Credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for NAACP

The actor further explained his unchanging love for St. John on Friday’s episode of The Talk, saying “[Kristoff] carried me through this career.”

“You know, I had to earn my way to develop this career, but he really got me started and embraced me and rooted for me and told me that anything was possible.”

Moore went on to share an inside joke that the pair laughed about, which later turned into a public display of humorous affection.

“And so because he carried me, our running joke was whenever we did public appearances, our entrance would always be me carrying him on my shoulders. And he would say, ‘Let me carry you.’ I’m like, ‘Nah, nah, nah. Your punk butt might drop me.’ This picture is from the last time that we appeared on this show,” he said about the photo of himself holding St. John on his shoulders during a previous appearance on The Talk. “That’s me and Kristoff. That’s on our entrance out here and I’m carrying him.”

Kristoff St. John and Shemar Moore
| Credit: Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images

Last month, PEOPLE confirmed that St. John died because of heart disease, which was exacerbated by alcohol use. The Los Angeles County coroner’s office listed his cause of death of “hypertrophic heart disease … and effects of ethanol.” His death was officially ruled an accident. He was 52.