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‘General Hospital’ star Tyler Christopher has spoken candidly about mental health and substance abuse issues in recent years


Not long ago, Tyler Christopher, who died this week at the age of 50, was on stage to accept the Best Actor award at the Daytime Emmys.

It was in 2016 and after having played Nikolas Cassadine for 20 years in the soap opera General Hospital, he won the prize. The actor, beloved by the soap community, humbly said he wasn’t going to make his acceptance speech about himself but “about the people who got me here in the first place.” He thanked titans of the day Stephen Nichols (Stefan Cassadine), his mentor Tony Geary (Luke Spencer) and Genie Frances (Laura Spencer), among others, for accepting him on the show when he joined without acting credit and guided him to reward. -worthy performances.

While Christopher was nominated for another Daytime Emmy three years later, after leaving GH For Days of our lives where he played Stefan DiMera, the 2016 Emmy win was the pinnacle of his career. At the end of 2019, he was fired from both GH And Days because his alcoholism combined with his bipolar disorder had derailed his life.

His 2022 “State of Mind” interview with his GH his co-star Maurice Benard – who announced Christopher’s death on October 31, attributing it to a heart problem that occurred in his San Diego apartment – ​​opened up about his struggles in a powerful interview.

Christopher said his alcohol addiction began when he was 9 years old. During his early years GH, he was a functioning addict – although he suffered from self-doubt, as a distorted self-image is commonly experienced by those with bipolar disorder, berating himself for his performances despite receiving a total of five Emmy nominations over the years. Everything imploded in the late 2010s. His addiction led to him being kicked out of GH (in 2016) and Days (2019). Also in 2019, his second marriage to ESPN reporter Brienne Pedigo, with whom he shared two children, ended. He was arrested for public drunkenness. He stalled three times, twice from alcohol poisoning and once from withdrawal. During his withdrawal, he suffered delirium tremens, which led to a fall in which he hit his head on the edge of the bathtub and suffered head trauma. He underwent a craniotomy, with doctors drilling into his skull in four places to drain the blood. It saved his life, but he woke up with no memories. He couldn’t walk, eat or go to the bathroom. He was placed under medical guardianship under the care of his sister, under penalty of being placed under state guardianship. Christopher, who had manic episodes, later found himself homeless, living for a time in Los Angeles’ Skid Row. He revealed he was working on a book about his struggles with addiction and mental health.

“No one is responsible for everything that happened to me,” he told Benard.

Christopher was sober and undergoing mental health treatment when this interview took place and things seemed to be going in the right direction. A social media post on his birthday in November 2022 acknowledged that people didn’t think he would “make it to 50”, but he vowed: “The best is yet to come.” He continued to try to revive his career. He used his voice to advocate for mental health care. In May, he was arrested again for public drunkenness. Shortly after, he sued his sister, alleging conservatorship abuse.

Despite the downside of sobriety, he looked toward the future. In his last interview, which took place in September, Christopher said he was “waiting for the next project. I’m off daytime, so I’m not working every day. I’m in a new chapter of my life” . At a fan event that same month, he said he had been “six weeks sober.” He was also working to make “serious changes” to become a better father to 14-year-old Greysun and 8-year-old Boheme, whom he was only allowed to see three days a month.

Benard announced Christopher’s death on October 31. He called him “a truly talented person who lit up the screen in every scene he performed and loved to bring joy to his loyal fans through his acting.” Tyler was a gentle soul and a wonderful friend to all. those who knew him. »

He praised him for being “an advocate for better mental health and drug treatment” and for speaking openly “about his struggles with bipolar depression and alcohol.”

A look back at his career and his loves

Christopher, originally known by Tyler Baker, made his GH debut in 1996. His character was part of two of the series’ most famous families, the Cassadines and the Spencers. He was part of a popular love triangle with Jonathan Jackson’s Lucky and Rebecca Herbst’s Elizabeth.

GENERAL HOSPITAL - Rebecca Herbst (Elizabeth), Jonathan Jackson (Lucky) and Tyler Christopher (Nikolas) in a scene airing the week of June 14, 2010 on Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images Daytime's

Tyler Christoher, Rebecca Herbst and Jonathan Jackson have been part of a popular storyline for years and have appeared on countless soap magazine covers. (Greg Zabilski/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images) (Disney General Entertainment Competition)

He won the Soap Opera Digest Award for Best Newcomer in 1997.

His first Daytime Emmy nomination, for Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series, came in 1998.

He fell in love with his GH with co-star Vanessa Marcil and they were briefly engaged before splitting in 1999. They remained friends, with Marcil visiting her after her brain injury. She has posted numerous tributes since his death.

Vanessa Marcil and Tyler Christopher at the 15th Annual Soap Opera Digest Awards at the Universal Amphitheater in Universal City, California, United States.  (Photo by Jim Smeal/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)Vanessa Marcil and Tyler Christopher at the 15th Annual Soap Opera Digest Awards at the Universal Amphitheater in Universal City, California, United States.  (Photo by Jim Smeal/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

Vanessa Marcil and Tyler Christopher at the 1999 Soap Opera Digest Awards. (Jim Smeal/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images) (Ron Galella Collection via Getty)

Also in 1999 he left GH to seize prime time opportunities. He appeared on a Charm opposite Alyssa Milano, who remembered him as a “great actor and a “gentle, gentle soul” on Instagram. He also appeared on Felicity, Crossing the Jordan, The Twilight Zone, Angel, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation And To the west.

Christopher dated soap opera star Longoria and they married in 2002, but they divorced in 2004 after she rose to fame in Desperate housewives.

405514 27: Actress Eva Longoria and her husband Tyler Christopher arrive on May 17, 2002 for the 29th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards at the Madison Square Gardens Theater in New York City.  (Photo by Laurent Lucier/Getty Images)405514 27: Actress Eva Longoria and her husband Tyler Christopher arrive on May 17, 2002 for the 29th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards at the Madison Square Gardens Theater in New York City.  (Photo by Laurent Lucier/Getty Images)

Eva Longoria and Tyler Christopher at the 2002 Daytime Emmy Awards. (Laurence Lucier/Getty Images) (Laurence Lucier via Getty Images)

Christophe returned to GH in 2003.

In 2004, he began dating another co-star, Natalia Livingston, and they remained together until 2006.

NEW YORK - JUNE 6: Actors Natalia Livingston and Tyler Christopher attend the premiere of NEW YORK - JUNE 6: Actors Natalia Livingston and Tyler Christopher attend the premiere of

Natalia Livingston and Tyler Christopher attend the 2005 premiere To the west. (Peter Kramer/Getty Images) (Peter Kramer via Getty Images)

He received two more Daytime Emmy nominations in 2005 and 2006.

He married Pedigo in 2008. Their children were born in 2009 and 2015.

arrives at the 43rd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel on May 1, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.arrives at the 43rd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel on May 1, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.

Tyler Christopher and his second wife, Brienne Pedigo, at the 2016 annual Daytime Emmy Awards. (Getty Images) (Getty Images)

In 2011, he starred in the ABC Family series. The liar’s game – and the new role led to him being fired GH.

Two years later, he returned to GH – And The liar’s game was canceled shortly after.

Christopher won his Daytime Emmy in 2016. However, he was fired from the show shortly after, which he said was due to his addiction. Her last appearance in the series, after two decades, was in June 2016 and her role was recast.

In 2017, he was hired by Days play Stefan DiMera — another great role.

DAYS OF OUR LIVES -- Season: 53 -- Pictured: Tyler Christopher as Stefan DiMera -- (Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank)DAYS OF OUR LIVES -- Season: 53 -- Pictured: Tyler Christopher as Stefan DiMera -- (Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank)

Tyler Christopher joined the cast of Days of Our Lives in 2017. (Chris Haston/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank) (NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via)

He was nominated for a Daytime Emmy in 2019, but was fired the same year due to his addiction. “It’s been devastating for a multitude of reasons,” he told Benard of the back-to-back layoffs. “First, the thing I love most was taken away from me. Second, I threw it away. No one took it away from me… When I looked in the mirror, there was only ‘only one person to point the finger at.’

Since 2022, when he went public with his addiction, mental health issues and traumatic brain injury, he has appeared in six films, including three television films, including Murder, anyone? And Ice storm.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Treatment Referral Hotline at 800-662-HELP (4357).



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