As the world mourns the death of soap opera legend Kristoff St. John, one of the people who knew him best, his on-screen The Young and the Restless wife, Victoria Rowell, has released a poignant statement on his passing.

In a statement released to media outlets including Shadow and Act, Rowell stated: “Kristoff was a joy. He lived for the day. He loved working in film, prime time and starring on “The Young and the Restless.” He cared about preserving the African American legacy on the show and not being pigeon-holed into a Black storyline. Obviously, we coveted the Black family on ‘Y&R,’ but we also coveted that we were crossovers. Proud we pulled in a huge audience, and a huge Black, female audience. We understood the gravity of what we were responsible for and he took that very seriously.  I shall forever cherish our private and professional time together. Now, is a time for reflection, to mourn his departure and celebrate his brilliance, permanently imprinted on my memory.”

Rowell portrayed the iconic Drucilla Winters on Y&R from 1990-2000 and then again from 2002-2007. St. John portrayed the other half of their iconic supercouple, Neil Winters, from 1991 until his death. St. John’s last Y&R episode aired Wednesday.

As Rowell noted in her statement, if you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “home” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to



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