The fate of Kristoff St. John’s ‘Young and the Restless’ character Neil Winters revealed

Genoa City has lost one of its own. 

Tuesday’s episode of “The Young and the Restless” addressed the character of Neil Winters (played by the late Kristoff St. John), kicking off a storyline that will be a major plot point for the rest of the week.

St. John, who made his “Y&R” debut on the long-running soap in 1991, was found dead at his home in the Woodland Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles on Feb. 3. His passing, at 52, was the result of hypertrophic heart disease, according to an autopsy report obtained by USA TODAY in March. 

Early in the episode Lily (Christel Khalil) told Devon (Bryton James) that their “dad” was on his way to an event. (Lily’s biological father is actually Neil’s brother, Malcolm.)

Kristoff St. John as Neil Winters in a 2016 episode of "The Young and the Restless." (Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS)

Later, Devon became curious of Neil’s whereabouts.

“Last I heard he was recharging his battery at your place for the dance floor,” Lily told him.

“Yeah, I was hoping he’d be here by now, but he hasn’t responded to my messages or my texts,” Devon replied. 

“Well, you know how hard he sleeps,” Lily reasoned. “Just try him again.”

But as Devon reported, his call just went “straight to voicemail.” So he went looking for Neil.

“Wake up, it’s not a party till Neil Winters shows up,” Devon called out at his penthouse.

But something terrible had happened, as evidenced by Devon appearing again on camera with tears in his eyes. 

Devon returned to the event where he pulled Lily aside. Music played over inaudible dialog as Lily began to break down. 

Devon then began to tell other people of their loss at the party. 

Thursday and Friday, St. John’s onscreen brother Shemar Moore will return to his role of Malcolm for the first time since 2014.

Shemar Moore returns as Malcolm Winters for Neil's funeral. (Photo: Michael Yarish/CBS)

Moore was among several of St. John’s co-stars to open about their grief. 

“I’m raised an only child, but Kristoff is truly the closest thing to a brother and a brother’s love and a brother’s mentorship that I’ve ever known,” Moore told People magazine in February.

“Without Kristoff St. John, there’s no Neil Winters. Without Neil Winters, there’s no opportunity for Malcolm Winters. And without Malcolm Winters, there’s no Shemar Moore,” the “S.W.A.T.” star added. “And if Shemar Moore didn’t get my chance to try on ‘The Young and the Restless,’ then I don’t sit here today with let alone this career or this life.”

St. John's former colleagues Bryton James, left, Victoria Rowell and Christel Khalil will pay tribute in a special episode airing April 29. (Photo: Bill Inoshita/CBS)

Monday “Y&R” will honor St. John with a tribute show where his former colleagues will reflect on the departed actor. Moore and Victoria Rowell, who played Neil’s former wife Drucilla, are among the participants. The episode will also feature clips of St. John’s portrayal of Neil. 

The soap paid tribute to St. John on Feb. 8 with a short segment that left some viewers on Twitter feeling short-changed.

The tribute, which lasted about a minute, confused some expecting more of the show to be devoted to St. John. Others thought he deserved more. Though, not all were offended by the segment and complimented the send-off.

St. John’s last episode of the show aired on Feb. 6. 

Contributing: Jayme Deerwester

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