General Hospital

General Hospital’s Kimberly McCullough Opens Up About Her Friend of More Than 30 Years: ‘Tyler Christopher Was Like a Big Brother to Me’

General Hospital’s Kimberly McCullough Opens Up About Her Friend of More Than 30 Years: ‘Tyler Christopher Was Like a Big Brother to Me’

GH's young Kimberly McCullough Robin and Tyler Christopher Nikolas headshot mashup

Credit: ABC/Courtesy of the Everett Collection (2) 

We never expected to lose yet another beloved member of the daytime world or the General Hospital family this year, but sadly, we’ve all been grappling with another loss since learning that Tyler Christopher passed away on October 31. We can’t imagine what his loved ones and family have been going through, nor how difficult it must be for his friends at General Hospital and across the daytime world.

It’s no surprise that the tributes started almost immediately, nor that Kimberly McCullough who has been friends with Christopher since some of Robin and Nikolas’ earliest days, had a poignant message to share. But while the sharing was, we hope, cathartic and comforting for McCullough, she also made clear in her Instagram post that she wanted to talk about her friend so that “those who are saddened by the passing of Tyler Christopher,” could find “a little joy and insight to who Tyler was.”

“Let me tell you about my friend, Tyler Christopher,” Robin’s longtime portrayer said in the post’s video. And over the course of nearly 20 Instagram stories, that’s exactly what she did. She shared a beautiful tribute, filled with joyful memories and laden with so much emotion it tore at our hearts.

For those who didn’t get a chance to see it before it expired, or those who want to keep her words in your hearts forever, read on below.


“I want to talk about Tyler Christopher, the person,” McCullough began. “If you’re a fan of his or even if you knew him personally, go on a walk with me.”

“I first met Tyler when I was about 16,” she recalled. “And as some of you may know, Nikolas and Robin had a very sweet friendship. But so did Kimberly and Tyler. We were a part of this acting class, which is where I met a lot of my really good friends, and we were also part of a friend group.”

“Once when I was going through a breakup, it was a really hard time in my life. I was extremely lonely and he apologized for not being there for me. And he said, ‘I hope you’ll forgive me.’ And it made me feel like I wasn’t crazy, that I was loved and that Tyler really was my friend.”

Tyler Christopher, Kimberly McCullough "General Hospital" Set The Prospect Studios ABC Studios Los Angeles 05/03/11 ©Paul Skipper/ 310-657-9661 Episode # 12322 U.S.Airdate 06/08/11

“I mean, what 20-something-year-old TV star at the height of his career says the words, ‘I hope you’ll forgive me?’” she marveled. “But that’s the kind of friendship we had. Tyler was like a big brother to me. And things were never romantic between us, which was great. It made our friendship that much sweeter and simpler.”

“The second thing I want to tell you,” McCullough continued, “is how Tyler always supported me when I wanted to make a transition into directing and how much that meant. It was like he could see it as clearly as I could. He would always say, ‘Yeah, go, go, go, go. Keep going, keep going. I know you’re gonna do it!’”

Since leaving General Hospital full-time, McCullough has moved behind the scenes as an accomplished director working on everything from The Conners and One Day At a Time to High School Music: The Musical: The Series. And Christopher stood by her every step of the way.

Tyler Christopher, Kimberly McCullough "Hey Day" Pilot Reading Written by Kimberly McCullough, Produced by Tyler Christopher Theatre 68 The NoHo Arts Center North Hollywood, CA 10/30/14 © Jill Johnson/ 310-657-9661

More: Jennifer Finnigan reflects on the late Matthew Perry’s matchmaking

“He even went so far as to put me up in his house in Austin, Texas while he was shooting a TV show,” she shared. “I was shadowing on an ABC Family show and he totally took care of me while I was there. He would even make coffee in the morning before I went to work and leave me a little note, like, ‘See you at work.’ It was just thoughtful.”

“The third thing I want to tell you,” McCullough added, “is about how freaking funny this dude is. I remember Finola [Hughes, Anna] came up to me one day after working with him and she was like, ‘I didn’t know he was so funny. Tyler is so clever. He just says this stuff under his breath and if you’re not listening very carefully, you’ll miss it.’”

“And I was like, ‘I know, I know! No one knows. He’s a freaking stand up comedian in the body of a prince.’”

“Tyler was so funny,” the actress went on, her voice warming at the memories. “He would tell these stories and my stomach would hurt so bad. I would cry like those cartoons where the tears shoot out of the side of your eyes.”

Finola Hughes, Tyler Christopher "General Hospital" Set The Prospect Studios ABC Studios 12/01/14 © Howard Wise/ 310-657-9661 Episode # 13210 U.S. Airdate 12/30/14

“So, I guess my point to all this,” McCullough explained, “is to tell you that even though Tyler had his own struggles, he found a way to be all of these things for me as a friend. He found a way to be empathetic, generous and had a way of just making me laugh like no one else could. We shared a love of hip hop and robust sound systems in our cars. We shared a love of dogs and we shared a love of finding the emotional truth in our craft.”

“And even though I’m super sad today,” she shared, her voice weighed down with emotion, ” I’m so grateful that I got to know someone like that and grateful that I got to have a good friend for over 30 years. Rest in peace, man.”

All we can say is that we’re so sorry for her loss, but it sounds like in the years that they were friends, there was no shortage of joy. Our hearts and our thoughts are with McCullough and all those grieving Christopher.

Take a moment to reflect on Nikolas’ late portrayer as you see what others in the daytime world had to say about their friend and co-star in our photo gallery below. 

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