In an emotional video taped yesterday on the set of “The Talk,” in conjunction with his appearance on the series alongside Christel Khalil (Lily Winters Ashby), Bryton James (Devon Hamilton) and Victoria Rowell (ex-Drucilla Winters) which aired today, “S.W.A.T.” star Shemar Moore shared details of how the late Kristoff St. John (Neil Winters) helped him land the gig to portray Malcolm Winters, Neil’s younger brother, and talks of the special ways in which the two embraced their successes.
“Kristoff St. John…my brother, my friend, my mentor, sometimes my therapist. He took a chance on me. He’s the reason that I have this career. That’s not just something nice to say. He’s the reason that I have this career,” begins Moore in the nearly four-minute clip. “On April 6, 1994, William Bell, the creator of ‘The Young and the Restless,’ may he rest in peace…after my audition, William Bell asked Kristoff who he wanted to play his brother. And Kristoff said, ‘I want the scared kid in the baseball hat backwards, with the sunglasses on cause he’s nervous. He’s scared, he’s not very good right now, but he’s got it in him. And I know he can do it.’ And if he hadn’t taken a chance on me on April 6, 1994, if he hadn’t picked me, I would’ve never gotten a chance at this career.”
Continuing, Moore says, “And then after I got the job, he embraced me, he taught me, he carried me. When I was scared, he hugged me. When I did well, he let me know. He was proud of me. He rooted for me. And once I got my confidence, me and Kristoff St. John…we danced. We danced for ten years and we shook the world. We were brothers on TV and we were brothers in real-life. He’ll never be forgotten. He’ll always be appreciated. He is the most iconic, in my opinion, the most iconic, popular, thorough, professional, talented African American soap star in history. Bryton James from ‘The Young and the Restless’ says it much simpler, ‘He is the Denzel of daytime.’ He’s my brother. Kristoff, I love you. I’ll never forget you. I’ll see you up in heaven one day and we’ll dance some more. Much love.”
In addition to Moore’s comments in the video above, during “The Talk” Victoria Rowell reveals how St. John “always protected me” from the earliest days of their working together.
“I just want to say, being here is family, this is family… this is incredible for all of us [Shemar Moore, Christel Khalil and Bryton James] to be here. And also, I want to just remind everyone that the fan family is also mourning at this time,” said the actress and writer of “The Young and the Ruthless.” She adds, “There was an instant connection… from the start, it was effortless to work with him [St. John]. He was very serious about his work, I could see that instantly. And I was very nervous, like Shemar [Moore], because it was my first love interest on television…And he just made it fun and he just always protected me. And as a woman in entertainment, it meant so much to me that for fourteen years my TV husband was just always respectful and loving.”
You can watch the clip in its entirety below.
Below is a framed copy of the script from the Thursday, April 25 funeral episodes of “The Young and the Restless” where Malcolm eulogizes the late Neil Winters, who was discovered to have passed on Tuesday, April 23. Shemar Moore shared the frame on the April 26 episode of “The Talk.”
“This hangs in my office in my home and these words here are the actual script, the actual eulogy from today’s episode of ‘The Young and the Restless,’” said Moore, referring to the Thursday, April 25 funeral episode for St. John’s character, Neil Winters. “And so I just thought it was so beautiful. And I have to give kudos to the head writer of ‘The Young and the Restless’ Josh Griffith. I met him on the day that we were shooting the tribute and I said, I don’t know who actually wrote this, but you must have been hiding in my house…word for word, it was eerie because it was as if I wrote it. Every word was something I would say to Kristoff.”
On Monday, April 29, CBS will air a special tribute episode dedicated to St. John wherein current and former cast members from the daytime drama series remember the actor from moments shared throughout the more than 28 years in which he brought his “A” game to Genoa City day after day.