General Hospital star Tyler Christopher has died at the age of 50, according to his costar.
The show’s Maurice Benard said on Instagram Tuesday: ‘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.
Christopher was married to Desperate Housewives alum Eva Longoria from 2002 to 2004.
‘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,’ Benard said on the social media site. ‘Tyler was a sweet soul and wonderful friend to all of those who knew him.’
Benard said that his late colleague ‘was an advocate for better mental health and substance use treatment who openly spoke about his struggles with bipolar depression and alcohol,’ adding, ‘We are beyond devastated by the loss of our dear friend and pray for his children and his father.’
Christopher’s representative Chi Muoi Lo also confirmed the actor’s death in a statement to CNN.
‘This news was incredibly shocking, and I am devastated by his loss,’ the actor’s rep said. ‘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.’
The actor played the role of Nikolas Cassadine on 1,153 episodes of General Hospital from 1996 to 2016. For his work on the series, he earned four daytime Emmy nominations and in 2016, he won the award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.
In the years following, he portrayed Stefan DiMera on 159 episodes of another stalwart soap in Days of Our Lives, from 2018 to 2019.
In his personal life, Christopher was twice married: to Longoria, and to one-time ESPN personality Brienne Pedigo from 2008 thru 2021.
He and Pedigo welcomed two children – a son Greysun James, 10, and a 4-year-old daughter, Boheme.
The actor had been plagued by legal problems involving alcohol in recent years: He was arrested six months ago after passing out drunk at an LA airport, which marked his second public intoxication arrest in three years.
Christopher was found on the floor fast asleep at Burbank Airport in Los Angeles on May 26, when police were alerted to the snoozing soap star and woke him, according to TMZ.