Stan Kirsch, best known for his role as Richie Ryan on Highlander: The TV Series, died at his home in Los Angeles at the age of 51. His death was announced via Facebook from his studios and wife, Kristyn Green.
The L.A. County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the death a suicide. Green thanked fans for the outgoing support.
Tributes from “Highlander” Cast and Crew
During Kirsch’s time in Highlander, he appeared in the second most episodes behind star Adrian Paul, who played Duncan MacLeod. In the series, Richie was unique as an immortal since he hasn’t lived for hundreds of years like his peers. The Highlander official Facebook page posted a tribute to the actor:
“It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the passing of Stan Kirsch.
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.
Stan was at a disadvantage compared to other actors portraying immortals on the series. He was never able to have flashbacks from the 1800’s or discuss how things were ‘back in his day’. However, Stan turned this situation into an opportunity; providing one of the few portrayals on the show where a character gradually grew into a wise, skilled and self-assured individual from episode to episode. Stan even changed himself physically to show how Richie Ryan would survive in the world of the immortals.
Although Richie Ryan’s life was cut short on the show, there was little more to see; Richie Ryan had evolved into his own man, and it was Stan’s performance that made it true.
Beyond Highlander: The Series, Stan Kirsch was an accomplished acting coach. We have heard first-hand testimonials from many of his students; all of them having considered Stan an incredible teacher and a gift of a human being.
Every time we had the opportunity to catch up with Stan, he was nothing but kind, thoughtful and sincere. He was a warm presence that will be missed.”
For his part, Paul posted his own tribute to Kirsch on Facebook.
Starting out in commercials in the ‘70s, Kirsch made most of his career on television making appearances on series like Friends, JAG, and Invincible. He started his own acting studio with his wife, called Stan Kirsch Studio in 2008.
If you or a loved one are thinking about suicide and would like support, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Services are available 24/7.