Eric Braeden's Heartfelt Tribute To Billy Miller Brings Back Memories Of Another Lost Y&R Legend

Fans everywhere are reeling from the death of soap opera actor Billy Miller, who played Jason Morgan and Drew Cain on "General Hospital" from 2014 to 2019, and prior to that had a successful run as Billy Abbott on "The Young and the Restless" from 2008 to 2014. Several of his fellow actors have also offered public condolences, including former costar Eric Braeden (Victor Newman).

"We lost BILLY MILLER! It saddens me deeply! He was a very gifted actor!" Braeden posted on Twitter on Sept. 17. "Amelia (Victoria) and I took him to dinner one evening while he was in tough negotiations, and I remember telling him to reconsider, because rarely is an actor given a part that describes him almost perfectly, and to not make the mistake I had seen some actors make over my 60 years in the business, that they are indispensable!" Braeden further explained his cautionary advice to Miller was, "Once an actor thinks that or is told that by some sycophants, they step onto a slippery road ... usually to oblivion!"

Braeden also praised Miller for being a good actor and above all, a nice guy. "May he rest in peace and meet up with KRISTOFF in the BEYOND, 'the undiscovered country from whose bourn no Traveler returns' and tell each other jokes! They were both loved by their colleagues!" he wrote. Braeden's words reminded everyone of Kristoff St. John, who tragically died from heart disease on Feb. 3, 2019. St. John played Neil Winters on "Y&R," and the show was forced to write the character out.

Both Billy Miller and Kristoff St. John died prematurely

TMZ reported on Sept. 17 that soap opera actor Billy Miller died after allegedly dealing with manic depression. Similarly, Kristoff St. John also had "a history of alcohol abuse, bipolar disorder, and suicidal ideations," according to his coroner's report (via People). St. John had wrestled with the death of his son, Julian, and the report further stated that he had threatened to kill himself in 2019. Ultimately, St. John's death was ruled as heart disease which was made worse by alcohol abuse.

Shemar Moore played Malcolm Winters on "The Young and the Restless," the younger brother to St. John's Neil Winters. In the aftermath of St. John's death in 2019, Moore paid tribute to him on Instagram: "Mr KRISTOFF ST JOHN...There is no ME without YOU!!!!! You are MY BROTHER!!! I LOVE YOU!!! Sleep my dude ... REST IN PEACE ... I'll finish what YOU started!!! THANK YOU for YOUR HEART and TALENT!!!!!"

Likewise, former "General Hospital" costar Jon Lindstrom (Kevin Collins) honored Miller on Instagram: "Billy was gifted. He was also good-natured, smart, funny, and always impressed me as a great friend to those close to him ...  I always laughed when I was around him." As Miller's death reminds us of St. John's, we are also made woefully aware that mental health awareness and treatment options are extremely important.

If you or someone you know needs help with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.