‘Young and the Restless’ Actor Greg Rikaart Praises Former Co-Star Kristoff St. John

The Young and the Restless is one of the most popular and longest-running soap operas in television history.

Part of the appeal of the show is its dynamic characters, both heroic and villainous. Two of the characters that have helped build the show into the success it is today are Kevin Fisher (Greg Rikaart) and Neil Winters (Kristoff St. John).

The two were recently featured during the soap’s special theme weeks, which are a popular celebration of classic The Young and the Restless episodes and characters. On May 27, 2020, the show replayed an episode featuring Neil and Kevin during the soap operas Villains Week, which celebrated some of the most wicked fan-favorite characters of Genoa City. 

Who are Greg Rikaart and Kristoff St. John’s characters?

Greg Rikaart and Melissa Claire Egan
Greg Rikaart and Melissa Claire Egan | Cliff Lipson/CBS via Getty Images

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Rikaart plays the complicated character Kevin Fisher in The Young and the Restless. The troubled Kevin was introduced as an internet predator, but the character evolved and grew into a better person as time went on. Kevin struggled to stay out of trouble with the law throughout his time on the soap, committing a number of crimes.

His first major storyline involved an online relationship that evolved into a physical relationship with the underage Lily Winters (Christel Khalil). Lily also has a connection to Neil. For many years, it is believed that Lily is the daughter of Neil and his wife Drucilla (Victoria Rowell), but it is later revealed that Lily’s real father is Neil’s brother Malcolm (Shemar Moore).

This connection with the Winters family ensured that Rikaart and St. John were involved in a number of episodes and scenes together. St. John’s character Neil Winters is one of the most beloved characters in the show’s long history.

Winters first appeared in February 1991 and was involved in the show until St. John’s death in 2019. His portrayal of Neil was frequently mentioned as one of the strongest representations of an African-American man in soap opera history, and his work earned him two Daytime Emmy Awards.

Neil and his family are such an important part of the show, they received their own special week while The Young and the Restless replayed classic episodes due to the shutdown of new episode production. 

Rikaart and St. John’s Villains Week episode  

Due to the production stoppage of The Young and the Restless, which came as a result of COVID-19 precautions, the show has been filling time slots by replaying classic episodes of the long-running soap.

Some of the special theme weeks included episodes celebrating the Winters family, the great Katherine Chancellor (Jeanne Cooper), and a week featuring the show’s best villains, including Kevin Fisher. In the replayed episode featuring Kevin, the chaotic character uses alcohol to burn down Gina’s restaurant with Colleen Carlton (Tammin Sursok) locked in the freezer.

He does this because Colleen is getting in the way of his and Lily’s relationship and telling lies about him. The illegal relationship and dangerous behavior set the tone for Kevin’s destructive and evil tendencies, which were amplified by his jealousy and turned murderous. This rage and his various crimes made Kevin one of the strongest and most evil villains in the show’s long history. 

Rikaart’s live-tweet session and comments on St. John 

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During the throwback episode featuring Kevin, Neil, and Lily, the actor Rikaart participated in a live-tweet session about his memories and feelings he had about the show and his fellow actors.

The original episode aired October 10, 2003, making it an early appearance of Kevin. Rikaart was sure to mention how great both St. John and Lily were in performing their roles in the episode. Many devoted fans that followed along with the episode and live-tweet session expressed how much they missed St. John and his extremely popular character.

While Neil and Kevin clashed on-screen over Lily, the three seemed to be great friends based on Rikaart’s loving tweets. Long-time fans and his fellow The Young and the Restless cast members clearly miss the legendary St. John, who was active in the show until his tragic death in 2019.

Lily is still a central character on the show, and Kevin has not appeared since June 2019 but is rumored to return to the show soon.