Emmy-winning General Hospital, Days of our Lives star Tyler Christopher dead at 50

Posted Tuesday, October 31, 2023 7:21:38 PM
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Emmy-winning actor Tyler Christopher, known for roles on Days of our Lives and General Hospital, has died. He was 50.

The soap community is mourning the death of General Hospital and Days of our Lives star Tyler Christopher. The actor died October 31 from what is being called a "cardiac event."

News of Christopher's death was first reported by Paula Smith, the wife of Christopher's former General Hospital co-star Maurice Benard.

"It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of Tyler Christopher. Tyler passed away this morning following a cardiac event in his San Diego apartment," Smith said in an Instagram post on her husband's account. "Tyler was a truly talented individual that lit up the screen in every scene he performed and relished bringing joy to his loyal fans through his acting. Tyler was a sweet soul and wonderful friend to all of those who knew him. Tyler was an advocate for better mental health and substance use treatment who openly spoke about his struggles with bipolar depression and alcohol. We are beyond devastated by the loss of our dear friend and pray for his children and his father."

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Born Tyler Baker, Christopher grew up in Delaware, Ohio, the youngest of four children. Following graduation from high school, he attended Ohio Wesleyan University for two years before heading to California in hopes of pursuing an acting career. Although his initial effort proved to be a false start, he returned to Hollywood in 1995 and made the requisite rounds of auditions. His hard work and perseverance paid off, and he landed the role of Nikolas Cassadine on General Hospital.

Christopher left GH in 1999 to pursue other projects and quickly landed a recurring role on the popular primetime series Charmed. This was followed by a contract role on The Pretender. Guest-starring roles include Crossing Jordan, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, JAG, Family Law, Boomtown, The Twilight Zone, Felicity, and Angel, among others. In 2005, Christopher appeared in the Steven Spielberg-produced mini-series Into the West, where he starred as Jacob Wheeler, Jr.

Christopher eventually made two separate returns to Port Charles, the first from 2003 to 2011 and his most recent running from 2013 to 2016.

"I am heartbroken over the news of Tyler Christopher's passing. He was kind, an incredible actor, and dear friend, who was beloved by our GH family and fans of Nikolas Cassadine," General Hospital Executive Producer Frank Valentini said in a statement. "On behalf of everyone at General Hospital, our heartfelt sympathies go out to his loved ones during this difficult time."

Christopher joined the cast of Days of our Lives in 2018 in the wittily named role of Stefan O. DiMera. He exited the show the following year in what was originally called an "emergency recast." Christopher eventually took to social media to state that he was stepping away from the show permanently.

In 1998, Christopher received an Outstanding Younger Actor Daytime Emmy nomination. In 2005 and 2006, he received nominations in the Outstanding Supporting Actor category. In 2016, he won the Outstanding Lead Actor trophy at the Daytime Emmys. He was also nominated in 2004 for an NAACP Image Award.

In recent years, Christopher has publicly battled alcohol addiction. In May, Christopher was arrested at the Hollywood Burbank Airport for falling asleep at the airport, allegedly due to alcohol consumption.

Christopher had a similar arrest in 2019 when he fell asleep and urinated in the back of an Uber in Indiana. Christopher pled guilty to two counts of misdemeanor public intoxication and was ordered to pay a $440 fine. A judge denied requests from police that Christopher enter an alcohol treatment program. Requests that Christopher pay restitution to the Uber driver were also rejected.

Earlier this year, Christopher was the subject of an investigative report by Bloomberg Law exploring the alleged abuses by conservatorships. A lawsuit filed by Christopher claimed that his sister, Susan Asmo Baker, misspent $40,000 of his money while he was under a court-ordered guardianship that began in 2019.

In 2008, Christopher married former ESPN reporter Brienne Pedigo, but the pair reportedly divorced in 2021. The couple shares two children: Greysun James Christopher and Boheme Christopher.

This is the latest in a series of losses for the General Hospital family. In the past year, the show has lost nearly half a dozen current and past members, including Sonya Eddy, Annie Wersching, GH producer Nneka Garland, Jackie Zeman, and Billy Miller.

Do you have a favorite memory of Tyler Christopher? Would you like to share a message of condolence? We want to hear from you -- so drop your comments in the Comments section below, tweet about it on Twitter, share it on Facebook, or chat about it on our Message Boards.

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