Prior to being cast as Liam Spencer on Bold and the Beautiful, Scott Clifton played Dillon Quartermaine on General Hospital. He didn’t have major storylines with the late Tyler Christopher, who played Nikolas, but clearly, he was a great admirer of the man’s acting prowess and talent. So was Tyler’s other GH co-star, current Days of our Lives star Stephen Nichols. Both men penned beautiful tributes to a man they admired.
Scott Clifton: Honoring Tyler Christopher
“I don’t know how or when the reality of this is going to hit me, but while I’m still numb let me say a few things about Tyler as an actor and as a man,” Clifton began a thoughtful and beautifully written Instagram post about Christopher who was reported dead earlier this week.
“Because of their nature, soaps can make an actor feel ‘stuck,'” Clifton says. “The repetition, the silly but necessary exposition, the absence of any real conclusion to a character arc, the foreknowledge that the first take without a boom shadow is the one the world will see immortalized—these truths about our job can often cultivate bad professional habits, and sometimes even cynicism.
Rising to the Challenge
“As an entertainment business, soaps are an impressively well-oiled machine,” the actor continues. “But as an art form, the incentives are all wrong. We forget to take risks, to have fun, to make strong choices, and worse, we stop wanting to give it everything we have in us to give.
“But not Tyler. Not for a second, ever,” Scott hastened to add. “I loved watching him work. God damn, I wish I could be on set with him one last time. Every moment he was on camera was organic, and surprising, and dangerous. If the camera got caught on a cable and the scene had to be done again, he’d give a different performance than before, even when the first was brilliant.
Scott Clifton: Who Tyler Christopher Truly Was
“Tyler was, by his own jovial admission, a ‘bro.'” Scott shares. “He loved his boys; he loved his parties; he loved his football and beer and fart jokes—which made it all the more paradoxical how exquisitely vulnerable he could be. The man had such precise, controlled access to his own pain, fear, love, and anger. I never knew whether to think of him as an artist or as a scientist.
“Many of his fans tragically only knew him as Nikolas Cassadine or Connor Bishop [Christopher’s dual role on GH],” Clifton says. “But Tyler was a genuine character actor. I loved going to see whatever small play he was doing in the local blackbox theater, because I never knew what I was in for—he created characters that were wholly unique in their physicality, speech, and tone. I’d find myself wanting to mimic his performance in the days and weeks hence.
A Fitting Name, Final Words
“Tyler named his dog Brando, after his hero [Marlon Brando],” Clifton says. “But permit me this heresy: he was better than Brando. He was better than most of us. And in the last few days, I’ve begun to think a lot about what the name ‘Christopher’ means to me. Thank you, Tyler. You earned your rest.”
Julie Berman, who played Lulu Spencer, Dillion’s girlfriend, and Nikolas’s sibling, was moved by Clifton’s post. “Scott. Your words are perfect. They make me cry,” Berman wrote in response. “Thank you for your beautiful observations I could never articulate as perfectly as this.”
Stephen Nichols Pays Tribute
The actor took to his official Instagram to share the words of what knowing Tyler Christopher meant to him. “This is something I was hoping I would not have to write about, another young man taken. A sweet-natured man. An Ohio boy like me. A man who had his demons — another thing we had in common. A young man I called son for the early part of our time together. Not this one!
“Tyler and I met when I visited his dressing room on the day he was about to camera test for the role of Nikolas Cassadine, my ‘son/nephew’ on General Hospital. We went over the scene a few times. He was very green and eager, and he had a kind of grace and a connection to the heart of the material that was special. I felt connected to him immediately. I can’t say enough about the beauty of Tyler Christopher’s work. He was an actor who was all instinct and spontaneity. It seemed effortless for him. I knew I wanted to work with him. I knew he would make me better.
“Our Journey on GH spanned around seven years. In the beginning, he asked for advice, and I offered Michael Chekov’s Book, To The Actor, which had inspired me when I was starting out.
“Tyler gave so much to every scene. We connected in a deep way and lifted each other up. I know he was proud of the work he did even though he continued to look to me for approval. I reassured him that he was ‘there’ and to keep doing what he was doing. I called him ‘Baby Brando’. He always laughed about that, but I wasn’t joking. I can only imagine how much more could have been.
“I know that over the years Tyler had addiction issues. I understood and told him so. We talked about it and checked in over the years but never really got deep into the subject of recovery. I regret that. When I asked how he was doing, he would generally say, ‘good…fine.’
“Some 20 years later, after several nominations, Tyler stood on that stage, with his Emmy in hand, and held up the book I had given him. I was thrilled for him, and so touched and honored that he had mentioned our early connection.” The actor had even more to say in the comments, which you can see below.