Michelle Stafford reminisces over co-star she 'loved so much' before sudden death

Darcy Rafter October 3, 2022
Michelle Stafford reminisces over co-star she 'loved so much' before sudden death

The Young And The Restless’ Michelle Stafford (Phyllis Summers) recently shared a touching post devoted to her late friend and longtime Y&R co-star, Kristoff St. John. 

Kristoff portrayed Y&R’s Neil Winters since 1991 and had been a staple in the soap world since landing Adam Marshall’s role on the NBC daytime drama Generations in 1989.

In 2017, St. John was hospitalized, according to TMZ. A week before his death, Kristoff was admitted to a mental health facility, before being released on February 1.

A couple of days later, on February 3, 2019, Kristoff St John was tragically found dead at his Los Angeles home at just 52 years old. An autopsy attributes his death to hypertrophic heart disease and notes alcohol consumption may have also contributed.

In April 2019, The Young And The Restless aired a tribute episode in honor of Kristoff and his character. Since St.John’s sudden death, tributes have flooded social media as the talented actor clearly made a massive imprint on his fans, friends, family, and his craft.

Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for NATAS

Michelle Stafford reminisces over co-star she ‘loved so much’

In the touching yet heartbreaking Instagram post, Stafford writes of the throwback snap: “This just came up on my phone from 2016. ❤️ If we could turn back time…right?”

She continued, “I miss him every day at work.” The photo she shared was actually not from when she was on Y&R, instead, it was when she was on General Hospital and she recalls that she had “lost touch with some folks at YR during that time. Not in a bad way, it’s just what happens when you don’t see each other every day. You can lose touch. You really need to make the effort to stay connected.” 

One of the things Stafford adored about Kristoff is that he always made effort as “He made it a point to stay in touch with me. And I with him.”

Stafford concludes the message, ”I loved him so much. I love him so much. That will never ever change. Always and forever. I just wanted to share it with you all. ❤️ #23

Stafford’s tributes to St John following actor’s sudden death

Around the time of Kristoff’s tragic passing, Stafford posted a photo of herself and the late actor in a touching tribute. In the post, she reminisced on their friendship and shared: “I loved this man very very much and I miss him,” Stafford continued to state what she missed about him: “I miss him when I walk over to the Grove to get a tea and remember how I used to talk him into coming with me. I miss him when I walk up the stairs now to my dressing room past the room he had (which was directly under mine). I miss laughing with him.”

Stafford apologized to followers as she didn’t “want to bum anyone out by this post” but she had to share it because “Kristoff was a GREAT man”. She wrote that being back at the studio for YR makes her “just really really miss him.”

She then encouraged followers to “tell people you love them now” as she is glad she told him and she made sure she “told him every time we spoke.” Stafford was weary about keeping her post up as she didn’t “want to make you all sad… It’s just how I feel now,” thankfully the touching tribute is still up.

Stafford creates unbreakable bonds with all her co-stars

Michelle seems to have a great bond with all her co-stars. She has previously shared a cute text exchange with her on-screen son that shows how popular she is among the crew.

Stafford shared her message exchange with co-star Michael Graziadei where he explained to Stafford that he skipped going to a bar to watch a hockey game so he could watch it with his girlfriend and mom instead. It just so happens that the game they were watching was when the Boston Bruins lost the Stanley Cup to the St. Louis Blues a couple of years ago.

In her Instagram caption, Stafford wished Grazidei a happy birthday and wrote, “Years ago when they aged my son on #YR I was completely freaked out having never played a mother to a grown adult in my life. I quickly fell in love with the Grazzzz as did our entire cast.” 

The maternal figure continued: “He is beyond an outstanding actor. He is also an outstanding human. he is joy personified. It is my pleasure and the pleasure of every other cast member at #YR to have him back!!”

Graziadeiri replied in the comments, “I freaking adore you. You are too kind.” 

Have something to tell us about this article?
Let us know
Darcy is an experienced journalist passionate about celebrity culture and entertainment. After gaining a degree in Media and Communications at Goldsmiths University she has also become a social media specialist, always keeping informed on the latest trends. With almost five years of experience in media, her expertise is analysing platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. When she's not tracking the latest trending content, she’s watching films and eating lots of chocolate.