Stan Kirsch, one of the stars of the TV series “Highlander,” has died at the age of 51. Kirsch was a renowned acting coach in LA. He is survived by his wife, Kristyn Green. Online records show that Kirsch died by suicide.
A brief statement on Kirsch’s Facebook page, which is also the hub for Kirsch’s acting studio, said that the renowned actor tragically passed away on January 11.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Kirsch Played the Role of Richie Ryan on ‘Highlander’
For six seasons, Kirsch played the role of Richie Ryan on the TV incarnation of the movie “Highlander.” Later, Kirsch contributed to the fan fiction book of short stories, “Highlander: An Evening at Joe’s.” Kirsch’s story was titled, “From the Grave.”
A tribute to Kirsch on the show’s official Facebook page read in part, “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.” One “Highlander” fans’ tribute to Kirsch described him as the show’s “bad boy.”
2. In May 1995, Kirsch Made a Memorable Appearance on ‘Friends’
In May 1995, Kirsch made a memorable appearance in a controversial episode of “Friends.” Kirsch played the part of Ethan, a man who is dating Monica. During the episode, Monica discovers that Ethan is only a senior in high school thus making their relationship illegal.
In a Cosmopolitan 2015 round-up of all of Monica, Rachel and Phoebe’s boyfriends during the show’s 10 years, Kirsch’s turn is referred to as a “storyline [that] probably wouldn’t fly on TV today (although, hello, Ezra Miller in Trainwreck), but it did seem funny at the time.”
3. Kirsch Ran His Acting College With His Wife, Kristyn Green
According to Kirsch’s profile on his acting school’s website, after being a child actor, Kirsch turned his attention to his schoolwork and graduated from Duke University with a degree in Political Science. On that page, Kirsch said that he runs his acting school with his wife. The couple opened the school in 2008 and since then have helped clients book “thousands” of roles.
Kristyn Green is an actor in her own right, having appeared in Debra Messing’s “The Starter Wife” on the USA Network. Following her husband’s tragic passing, Green wrote on her Facebook page, “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.” The couple was married on Valentine’s Day 2009, a year after they opened their acting school.
4. At the Age of 4, Kirsch Booked a Role on ‘General Hospital’
Kirsch said in an interview that he was raised in New York City and booked roles on “General Hospital” and a series of commercials for Campbell’s soup. Kirsch said that it was his parents who pushed him to get an education but that he gravitated back to acting.
Kirsch says in the interview, “My family was supportive, and I said, “You know, I think I’m gonna give this a shot.” After college I moved back to New York City, and I did a couple of Off-Off Broadway plays, I got my SAG card through an MCI commercial, and I met with an agent, and um, around the same time I auditioned for this ABC TV pilot, and I ended up getting it. And I went out to L.A. to shoot it, and I never went back. The pilot did not get picked up but I stayed in Los Angeles, and I was off and running! Haha!”
5. Kirsch’s Fans & Friends Have Taken to Social Media to Pay Tribute to the Late Actor
As news of Kirsch’s sad passing spread, fans and friends have taken to social media to pay tribute to the late actor. Here are some of the most poignant messages: