A tribute to the late Kristoff St. John, who played Neil Winters, simply would not be the same without his former co-star Victoria Rowell (ex-Dru). After, CBS and The Young and the Restless extended an invitation to the Emmy-nominated actress, she didn’t hesitate to give them her answer.
Rowell accepted and she will join St. John’s friends and colleagues Christel Khalil (Lily), Shemar Moore (Malcolm), Mishael Morgan (ex-Hilary), and Bryton James (Devon) in a tribute episode to the beloved actor in which they’ll speak not as their characters, but as themselves.
In the first of a two-part interview, Rowell talks to Soap Hub about her reunion at YR and her memories of St. John.
Can you preview the Kristoff tribute episode?
I don’t know which clips will be used in the tribute, but one of my fondest memories of Kristoff is in the beginning when we created, collectively, [Neil and Dru’s relationship]. There was a real open spirit at YR to work collaboratively.
I had been scheduled to do a public appearance [in Antigua] and I pitched to CBS execs that we shoot Neil and Dru’s honeymoon there. We did and it ended up being historically popular.
What was it like returning to CBS for the tribute episode?
Very positive. It was wonderful to see Bryton and Christel and to meet Mishael Morgan and Daniel Goddard (Cane). It was beautiful, surreal. There was a certain feeling of laying down the sword all around. Peter Bergman (Jack) coming off stage and embracing me meant a lot.
Crew members came from different floors to hug me. Executives got to see that. I don’t think the crew tries to hug someone who’s been off the lot for 11 years if it’s not genuine.
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