Kristoff St. John
St. John, Kristoff 1966–
Kristoff St. John 1966–
Kristoff St. John is part of an ensemble cast of one of the most highly rated daytime dramas, The Young and the Rest-less, which airs weekdays on CBS. St. John plays Neil Winters, an advertising executive, husband, and father. An actor since his childhood days, St. John has appeared in a number of television films, sitcoms, and dramas, but over two million fans tune in daily to follow the story of the Winters quartet on Y&R, a show that has become the most-watched soap opera among African American viewers.
Born Christoff St. John in 1966 in New York City, the actor is the son of parents who were both experienced stage and screen performers. His father, Christopher, appeared in Shaft, the early 1970s Richard Roundtree film, and went on to a career as a director; mother Maria St. John was a graduate of London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. St. John made his first television appearance at the age of seven in a show called That’s My Mama, and in 1974 appeared in an episode of the popular ABC-TV sitcom Happy Days. He grew up in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and Los Angeles.
St. John’s first feature film appearance was tearjerker boxing movie, The Champ, in 1979, for which he still used the original spelling of his name. He attended Calabasas and Nordhoff High Schools, and began studying acting in Los Angeles at several workshops, including the famed Actor’s Studio. He continued to win steady work in television, playing a young Alex Haley in a 1979 minis-eries, Roots: The Next Generations, as well as small-screen projects like An Innocent Love and The At-lanta Child Murders. In 1985, he appeared in NBC’s Charlie &Company opposite comedian Flip Wilson and singer Gladys Knight. Over the next decade, he was frequently cast in guest appearances on top-rated shows like Cosby, A Different World, Living Single, Family Matters, and Pensacola. He was also offered recurring parts on Hangin’ with Mr Cooper, Martin, and Diagnosis Murder.
In 1989, St. John was cast as Adam Marshall in an NBC soap opera, Generations. He earned two Emmy nominations as best supporting actor for his work. That success helped him land the role of Neil Winters on another daytime drama, The Young and the Restless, early in 1991. Since 1989, Y&R has been the highest-rated daytime drama among African Americans, and
Born July 15, 1966, in New York, NY; son of Christopher (an actor and director) and Maria (an actor) St. John; married once (marriage ended): children: Julian, Paris (daughter). Education: Studied acting in Los Angeles.
Career: Began acting career as Christoff St.john on an episode of the ABC-TV sitcom Happy Days in 1974; first feature film appearance was The Champ (also as Christoff St. John), 1979; went on to guest on television shows such as A Different World. Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper, and Diagnosis Murder; other television film appearances include Roots: The N’ext Generations, 1979, BeulahLand, 1980, and Finish tine, 1989.
Awards: Daytime Emmy, Outstanding Younger Actor in a daytime drama series, 1992, for his role as Neil Winters on The Young and the Restless; NAACP Image Award, 1996, for Outstanding Actor in a Daytime Drama Series.
Addresses: Office— Attention: Kristoff St, John, Bell-Phillip Television, 7800 Beverly Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90036.
his character was slated to become part of a quartet of black characters who would prove extremely popular with the Y&R following. With six permanent residents of Genoa City, the fictional Midwestern city in which the daytime drama is set, the actors are the largest contingent of African American characters in daytime drama.
St. John’s Winters was, initially, the stereotypical nice guy—an ambitious young man who begins working in the mailroom of an advertising agency, and soon rises through the ranks to an executive level. “Neil is so agreeable,” St. John told Essence writer Deborah Gregory back in 1995. “It’s much more interesting for an actor to play a character who has a dark, angry or combative side.” Winters soon meets Drucilla Barber, a character played by Victoria Rowell, who is both streetwise and beautiful; initially they do not seem a likely pair. “Wondering if those two were ever going to come together was a lot of fun,” St. John told Essence’s Gregory. “At least now we are one of the few Black supercouples on the soaps with a continuous story line.”
In the Y&R world, Drucilla has a sister, Olivia, played by Tonya Lee Williams. Her on-screen husband is another popular male actor, Shemar Moore. The quartet’s racy romantic troubles provide the show’s 2.3 million viewers with vicarious excitement. Moore plays Neil’s formerly wild younger brother, Malcolm; the two had a troubled relationship growing up in Chicago, and Neil was dismayed when Malcolm arrived in Genoa City for a reconciliation. Drucilla, however, encouraged them to patch things up, and even helped Malcolm launch a lucrative career as a freelance photographer through her connections as a model.
Malcolm, true to Neil’s presumptions about his brother’s morals, soon found himself falling for Drucilla, who was now married to Neil. Malcolm visited her one day when she was sick and a double dose of cold medication had made her groggy; she embraced him, thinking it was Neil. Later, she became pregnant, and was unsure who the father of their child, Lily, really was. Meanwhile, Drucilla’s sister, Olivia, lost her husband, and she and Malcolm became romantically involved. Yet Olivia—a doctor—harbored secret feelings for Neil. In time, Neil and Drucilla’s marriage ended, and he became involved with Olivia. Throughout all these sibling and spousal conflicts, St. John’s character has shed some of his nice-guy image, and speaks far more frankly.
“The four of us have a dynamic quality, we complement one another well,” Tonya Lee Williams told Jet. “My and Victoria’s characters are different, but together they spark. The same is true for Malcolm and Kristoff’s characters. And the four of us together are buzzing.” St. John consistently earns Daytime Emmy nominations as outstanding actor in a daytime drama series, but took the statue home only once, in 1992, for his Winters role. He is, however, a perennial winner in the same category for the NAACP Image Awards.
As a Y&R cast member, St. John has helped the daytime drama achieve impressive ratings numbers among African American viewers; the show is also popular with audiences in South Africa, Kenya, Jamaica, and other Caribbean nations. Some celebrities have even admitted their passion for tuning in to the travails of the Winters family, among them Aretha Franklin and Whoopi Goldberg.
St. John’s decade-plus career in the daytime drama inspired him to create a web site, http://www.soapstarworld.com, which features gossip and insider information on all the network soaps. The father of two, St. John is also the principal in his own production company, Moonboy, which in the early 1990s developed and directed a pilot that became the CBS Soap Break. The actor produced and hosted several of the episodes. Through Moonboy, St. John hopes to produce a screenplay that he wrote, Café America.
Ebony, October 1992, p. 50.
Essence, September 1995, p. 78.
Jet, April 6, 1998, pp. 53–54.
St. John, Kristoff 1966– (Christoff St. John)
ST. JOHN, Kristoff 1966–
(Christoff St. John)
Born July 15, 1966, in New York, NY; son of Christopher (an actor and director) and Maria (an actress) St. John; married Mia Richardson, 1991 (divorced, 1995); married Allana Nadal (a model), November 24, 2001; children: (first marriage) Julian, Paris (daughter); (second marriage) Lola. Education: Studied acting at Actors Studio, Los Angeles, at Virgil Frye Workshop, and at Tony Morina Workshop. Avocational Interests: Writing screenplays, playing the guitar, watching movies, creating board games.
Addresses: Agent —Metropolitan Talent Agency, 4526 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90010.
Career: Actor and producer. Moonboy, Inc. (production company), founder, producer, and director. Volunteer for children's causes.
Awards, Honors: Young Artist Award nomination, Young Artist Foundation, best young actor starring in a new television series, 1986, for Charlie & Co.; Daytime Emmy Award nomination, outstanding younger actor in a drama series, 1991, and another Emmy Award nomination, both for Generations; Daytime Emmy Award, outstanding younger actor in a drama series, 1992, Daytime Emmy Award nomination, outstanding younger actor in a drama series, 1993, Soap Opera Digest Award nomination, outstanding younger leading actor, 1993, Image awards, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), outstanding actor in a daytime drama series, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2003, and 2004, Image Award nominations, outstanding actor in a daytime drama series, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, and 2002, Daytime Emmy Award nominations, outstanding supporting actor in a drama series, 1999 and 2000, and Soap Opera Digest Award nomination, outstanding supporting actor, 2003, all for The Young and the Restless.
Television Appearances; Series:
Big John, Little John, NBC, 1976–1977.
(As Christoff St. John) Ralphie, The San Pedro Beach Bums, ABC, 1977.
Ahmad Abdul Rahim, The Bad News Bears, CBS, 1979–1980.
Charlie Richmond, Jr., Charlie & Co., CBS, 1985–1986.
Adam Marshall, Generations, NBC, 1989–1991.
Neil Winters, The Young and the Restless (also known as Y&R ), CBS, 1991—.
Eric, a recurring role, Hangin' with Mr. Cooper, ABC, 1994–1995.
Appeared as a panelist, Match Game, syndicated.
Television Appearances; Miniseries:
(As Christoff St. John) Alex Haley as a boy, Roots: The Next Generations (also known as Roots II ), ABC, 1979.
Young Roman, Beulah Land, NBC, 1980.
Sheldon Kemp, The Atlanta Child Murders, CBS, 1985.
Television Appearances; Movies:
The Ordeal of Patty Hearst, ABC, 1979.
Danny Burton, Sister, Sister, NBC, 1982.
An Innocent Love (also known as One Starry Night ), CBS, 1982.
Tito Landreau, Finish Line, TNT, 1989.
Television Appearances; Specials:
The Richard Pryor Special?, NBC, 1977.
First the Egg, ABC, 1985.
50 Years of Soaps: An All–Star Celebration, CBS, 1994.
Host, CBS Soap Break, CBS, series of specials between 1994 and 1996.
The American Red Cross Celebrates Real Life Miracles, CBS, 1998.
Television Appearances; Awards Presentations:
The 16th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, NBC, 1989.
The 17th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, ABC, 1990.
Presenter, The 18th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, CBS, 1991.
Presenter, The 19th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, NBC, 1992.
Presenter, Soap Opera Digest Awards, NBC, 1992.
Presenter, The Ninth Annual Soap Opera Awards, NBC, 1993.
Presenter, The 22nd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, NBC, 1995.
Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards, syndicated, 1996.
Host, Soap Opera Update Awards, Lifetime, 1997.
Presenter, The 24th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, ABC, 1997.
Presenter, The 14th Annual Soap Opera Awards, NBC, 1998.
Seventh Annual Prism Awards, FX Channel, 2003.
Third Annual BET Awards, Black Entertainment Television, 2003.
The 35th Annual NAACP Image Awards, Fox, 2004.
Television Appearances; Episodic:
That's My Mama, ABC, 1974.
Brooker Brown, "Football Frolics," Happy Days, ABC, 1976.
Linc, "The Bushwhackers," Wonder Woman (also known as The New Adventures of Wonder Woman ), ABC, 1977.
David James, "How Ugly Is He?," The Cosby Show, NBC, 1984.
David James (in archive footage), "Looking Back: Part 2," The Cosby Show, NBC, 1987.
E. Z. Brooks, "Advise and Descent," A Different World, NBC, 1988.
Sammy Garrett, "Flashdance with Death," Diagnosis Murder, CBS, 1994.
Thad, "It Never Entered My Mind," Jake and the Fatman, CBS, 1994.
Guest host, Soul Train, syndicated, 1994 and 1996.
Himself, "Death in the Daytime," Diagnosis Murder, CBS, 1995.
Darnell Jackson, "Winds of Change: Parts 1 & 2," The Crew, Fox, 1996.
Fred Livingston, "Kicked to the Curb," Martin, Fox, 1996.
Morris, "Break Yourself, Fool," The Jamie Foxx Show, The WB, 1997.
Norwood, "Reconcilable Differences," Living Single, Fox, 1997.
D'Andre Moore, "Throw Urkel from the Train," Family Matters, CBS, 1998.
Maravich, "Trials and Tribulations," Pensacola: Wings of Gold, syndicated, 1998.
Patrick, "The Apartment Hunt," Suddenly Susan, NBC, 1998.
Charles Pressman, "The Girl Most Likely to…," For Your Love, The WB, 1999.
Joe, "Performance Anxiety," Get Real, Fox, 1999.
Kyle Welles, "There's No I in Team," Arli$$, HBO, 2002.
Himself, Intimate Portrait: Gladys Knight, Lifetime, 2003.
Himself, The Wayne Brady Show (multiple episodes), syndicated, 2004.
Also appeared in episodes of other series, including The Howie Mandel Show, syndicated; The Keenen Ivory Wayans Show, syndicated; Leeza, NBC and UPN; Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, syndicated; The Magic Hour, Fox; The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, NBC; The Tony Orlando and Dawn Show, CBS; Vibe, syndicated; and What's Happening Now!!, syndicated.
Television Appearances; Pilots:
(As Christoff St. John) Ralphie, The San Pedro Bums, ABC, 1977.
Host, Soap World: A Day in the Life of Scott and Melissa Reeves, 1993.
(And director) Soap World: A Day in the Life of Scott and Melissa Reeves (pilot for CBS Soap Break; also known as Soap World ), 1993.
CBS Soap Break, CBS, series of specials between 1994 and 1996.
Top of the Heap, Fanfare Films, 1972.
(As Christoff St. John) Sonny, The Champ, Metro– Goldwyn–Mayer, 1979.
Victor Dubois, Pandora's Box (also known as Trois 2: Pandora's Box ), Columbia/TriStar, 2002.
Also appeared in Avatarmania.
Kick Butt! (fitness video), 1997.
Director, producer, and host of the video series Backstage Pass to the 25th and 26th Annual Daytime Emmys; appeared in the video series The TKO Workout; director and producer of the video TKO America (Training Kids of America); also affiliated with the video Kick Butt II.
Author of the screenplay Cafe America, Moonboy, Inc.
Wrote the videos Backstage Pass to the 25th and 26th Annual Daytime Emmys and TKO America (Training Kids of America).
Contemporary Black Biography, Volume 25, Gale, 2000.
Soap Opera Digest, November 14, 2000, pp. 34–36.
Young and Restless Online, http://www.soapcentral.com/y&r, April 22, 2004.