Actor Stan Kirsch, best known for playing Richie Ryan on the original Highlander series, died last week, his wife Kristyn Green said. He was 51. Law enforcement sources told TMZ that Kirsh was found hanging in the bathroom of their Los Angeles home Saturday morning. Paramedics reportedly responded to the scene, where Kirsch was pronounced dead.
Green posted on social media about her husband's death, writing, "I want to thank everyone for the outpouring of love and support. I haven't been able to respond to all the texts, calls, emails — but have read or listened to every single one of them. I feel surrounded by love and am forever grateful to each and every one of you."
Along with Kirsch's six seasons on the 1990s series Highlander are a myriad of acting credits on shows like JAG, General Hospital and Friends, where he played one of Monica's (Courteney Cox) boyfriends. With both of them lying dramatically about their ages — Monica saying she was 22 and Kirsch's character saying he was a senior in college — they realized after it was too late that there was no taking back what they did.
A tribute on Kirsch's official Facebook page read, "Without Stan Kirsch, Highlander: The Series would have been far less. He brought a sense of humor, kindness and youthful enthusiasm to the character of Richie Ryan for six seasons."
A statement on Kirsch's studio's Facebook page reads, "We tragically lost our beloved Stan Kirsch on January 11th. We will be closed for the next 2 weeks as we process and grieve. He was so loved and we are all just devastated. Thank you for your understanding and respecting our privacy during this incredibly difficult time."
Kirsch's General Hospital co-star Mark Lawson shared a tribute to Kirsch, who was also Lawson's acting coach and mentor. "Stan. I'm reeling...all the way back to my first year in Los Angeles. Had a roommate I didn't like. Was terrified to make a left on red. I needed the big break NOW so I could leave this terrifying town and go home and somehow work the Hollywood machine from there," Lawson wrote on Instagram alongside a photo of Kirsch.
He continued, talking about how Kirsch prepared him for his first audition and then discussed how his coach would always be there for him even after he found work in New York City on One Life to Live.
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"You would coach me for nothing. You even let me be your trainer for a minute. You were my first big brother here. I'll never forget that. And that's how you'll stay."
Photo credit: Davis-Panzer Productions