Actor Tyler Christopher, 50, died suddenly on Tuesday, October 31, in San Diego, California. His General Hospital co-star, Maurice Benard, announced the awful news on Instagram.
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“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. We are beyond devastated by the loss of our dear friend and pray for his children and his father.”
Christopher died of heart failure, but Benard emphasised in his piece that Christopher had a public history of mental health struggles, including alcoholism and bipolar depression.
I am heartbroken over the news of Tyler Christopher’s passing. He was kind, an incredible actor and a dear friend, who was beloved by our #GH family and fans of Nikolas Cassadine. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/c3kGVKmhrh— Frank Valentini (@valentinifrank) October 31, 2023
For over two decades, Tyler portrayed Nikolas Cassadine on the ABC soap opera General Hospital. In 2022, on Maurice Benard’s YouTube podcast State of Mind, Tyler claimed that he had been sacked from the programme owing to his alcohol problem.
Tyler Christopher appeared in ‘General Hospital’ between 1996 and 2016
Tyler Christopher featured in America’s longest-running soap opera General Hospital as Nikolas Cassadine during 1996-1999, 2003-2011, and 2013-2016. Between 2004 and 2005, he also portrayed Connor Bishop on the ABC medical drama.
Several organisations, including TV Guide, First Americans in the Arts, and the Daytime Emmys, recognised his work on the programme.
However, he was fired from the series in 2016. Soap Opera Digest at the time said that Tyler quit due to a disagreement with the show’s management about his salary.
The actual reason for Tyler Christopher’s departure from General Hospital was owing to his drug misuse, as he explained in an open discussion with Maurice Benard on the latter’s podcast State of Mind. What he said was:
“It crushed me because I took for granted the one thing, I love the most. It was devastating for a myriad of reasons. One, thing that I love the most was taken away. Two, I threw it away. Nobody took it away from me. I dropped it, okay?”
Christopher went on to explain how, after leaving General Hospital, he was hit with a sobering reality check that made him see that his alcoholism was responsible for the damage done to his pride and ego.
In the same interview, Tyler revealed that he had his first drink when he was only 9 years old. He also mentioned the three times he had a cardiac arrest due to alcoholism or alcohol withdrawal.
After the latter, he was placed under his sister’s medical guardianship since he needed an emergency craniotomy to save his life.
According to Marca, Christopher had more than one case of public intoxication and even had to face legal measures in 2019 and 2020, including an arrest at the Hollywood Burbank Airport, as per LA Times.
Exploring, in brief, the life and death of Tyler Christopher
The death of Tyler Christopher, 50, was confirmed on Tuesday by his co-star and friend Maurice Benard, who referred to him as “a sweet soul and wonderful friend” on Instagram and said that he died in Tyler’s San Diego flat.
“Tyler was a truly talented individual who lit up the screen in every scene he performed and relished bringing joy to his loyal fans through his acting… Tyler was an advocate for better mental health and substance use treatment who openly spoke about his struggles with bipolar depression and alcohol,” Bernard wrote.
The news was also confirmed to Page Six and CNN by Tyler’s representative Chi Muoi who also mourned the death of the actor.
“He was a very gifted actor, and more importantly, an amazing friend. My heart goes out to his friends and family who loved him so much.”
Tyler Christopher, a regular on General Hospital, also appeared on Days of Our Lives in the character of Stefan DiMera from 2018 to 2019.
Christopher is survived by his ex-wife, former ESPN car racing reporter Brienne Pedigo, and his children, Greysun James and Boheme. Their marriage lasted from 2008 till 2021.
Before that, from 2002 to 2004, Christopher was married to actress Eva Longoria. He dated actress Natalia Livingston and later became engaged to his General Hospital co-star Vanessa Marcil.