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Tyler Christopher's terrifying battle with alcohol addiction led him to 'flatline' thrice before death at 50

2023-11-01 21:56
'General Hospital' alum Tyler Christopher in a tell-all interview in March 2022, had revealed his struggles with addiction and his bipolar disorder
Tyler Christopher's terrifying battle with alcohol addiction led him to 'flatline' thrice before death at 50

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA: ‘General Hospital’ alum Tyler Christopher, who died on Tuesday, October 31, at 50, had been open about his battles with alcohol addiction and bipolar disorder which plagued him for much of his life.

Christopher sat down with his ‘General Hospital’ co-star Maurice Bernard on his podcast ‘State of Mind’ to discuss his mental health issues in March 2022.

Tyler told Maurice that he understood that drinking has led him down a deadly path, saying, “At some point, you cannot survive it” and that “at some point, it will kill you - and it has.”

Christopher shared on the podcast that he had “flatlined” three times after alcohol-related incidents.

“Nobody knows that,” he said. “Three times I have flatlined, and they brought me back. Twice from poisoning, once from withdrawal.”

The American actor played the role of Nikolas Cassadine and appeared in over a thousand episodes of ‘General Hospital’ from 1996 to 2016.

For his work on the longtime running show, Tyler was nominated four times for the daytime Emmys, and in 2016, he won the award for 'Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series'.

During 2018 and 2019, he demonstrated his outstanding acting abilities by portraying the character of Stefan DiMera on 159 episodes of the popular and long-running soap opera 'Days of Our Lives'.

Tyler’s troubled past with intoxication

The late actor was arrested just six months ago at an LA airport for his second public intoxication charge in three years, highlighting his recent legal battles involving alcohol.

Christopher revealed on Bernard’s podcast that he was “crushed” when his alcohol problems impacted him professionally, leading to his departures from both high-profile soap operas he starred in.

“I took for granted the one thing I love the most,” he shared, “It was devastating for a myriad of reasons. One, the thing that I love the most was taken away. Two, I threw it away. Nobody took it away from me. I dropped it, okay?”

“Having to walk out those doors under that circumstance, was like, ‘Wow, this is for real, dude. This is for real.'”

Christopher realized after that introspection, that he had to accept responsibility for the negative impact his addiction has had on his life.

“My pride and ego were very quick to intervene – ‘Who can I blame for this?’ - and when I looked in the mirror, there was only one person to point the finger at,” he said.

In the tell-all podcast, Christopher opened up to Bernard recounting the first time he had consumed liquor when he was nine-years-old and in the third grade after one of his peers encouraged him to try vanilla extract to get high.

“Some idiot said, ‘There's alcohol in there; if you drink it, you'll get funny, silly,’”

“So what's the first thing I do when I go home? I go in the cabinet and my mom had vanilla extract from left to right.”

“And I took every one. And exactly what my friends told me would happen, happened. That's how it started, and it never stopped.”

Christopher shared on the same podcast how in late 2019 when he was dealing with his alcohol withdrawal, he had suffered further setbacks in his health as cracked the back of his skull when he fell and hit his head on a bathtub.

Christopher revealed that he underwent neurological rehab for four months to restore his faculties following his brush with death.

“The doctor told me, ‘You are never 100 percent going to be healed from this,'” Christopher expounded. “I still have side effects. I still get headaches; I've got the scars.”

He admitted in the 2022 interview that he was abstaining from alcohol as per the advice from his physician: “The doctor told me, ‘Compound the effect that you are also a recovering addict, if you decided to go back to that part of your life again, your brain can't handle it.'”

Tyler Christopher’s death at 50 came as a shock to friends

Tyler Christopher’s representative Chi Muoi Lo confirmed in a statement to CNN, that the actor died on Tuesday morning, October 31, 2023. He was 50 years old.

“This news was incredibly shocking, and I am devastated by his loss. 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 statement read.

Co-star Maurice Bernard also shared a tribute to the actor on Instagram following the tragic news of his passing.

“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."

The poignant tribute added, "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."

"Tyler was a sweet soul and wonderful friend to all of those who knew him. Tyler was an advocate for better mental health and substance use treatment who openly spoke about his struggles with bipolar depression and alcohol," it continued.

"We are beyond devastated by the loss of our dear friend and pray for his children and his father,” Bernard concuded.

Christopher was married twice, once to ‘Desperate Housewives’ star Eva Longoria from 2002 to 2004; and then to ESPN personality Brienne Pedigo from 2008 to 2021.

He and Pedigo had two children together, a son named Greysun James, 10, and a 4-year-old daughter, Boheme.

Some of Tyler Christopher's other television and film roles included ‘CSI: Crime Scene Investigation’, and the Paul Winfield dramedy ‘Catfish in Black Bean Sauce’, that he starred in earlier in his storied career.

He also appeared in the crime drama ‘No Turning Back’, ‘Face the Music’, ‘The Twilight Zone’, and the 2014 romantic drama ‘Beyond the Lights’.

In recent years, he has been featured in TV films such as 2023's ‘Ice Storm,’ and 2022’s ‘20.0 Megaquake’ and ‘Super Volcano’.

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