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Stan Kirsch, the actor best known for playing Richard "Richie" Ryan in the Highlander TV series from the 1990s, has died at the age of 51. The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s Office has ruled Kirsch's death a suicide.
News of the actor's passing was confirmed via a post on Kirsch's Facebook page. Kirsch had co-founded the acting studio Stan Kirsch Studios with his wife, Kristyn Green, more than a decade ago.
"Dear friends," reads the post. "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 (born Stanley Kirsch Jr. in July of 1968) had acted throughout the early 1990s but received his first major role in Highlander: The Series, which was based on the 1986 feature film of the same name. The character of Richie Ryan was an Immortal, a type of being who can live indefinitely. Highlander's small-screen adaptation ran for an impressive 119 episodes across six seasons between 1992 and 1998. Kirsch appeared in every single season.
"I saw the movie and I was vastly impressed, and I thought, 'Oh my god, I'm gonna be part of this world!'" Kirsch said during a podcast from two years ago. "And, and knowing that Christopher Lambert was gonna be in the pilot, that was incredible ... incredibly exciting. I mean, he ... as such a talented, unbelievable actor to watch right up close, and such a nice guy, on top of it. He was just great."
The Highlander Facebook page also penned a tribute to Kirsch, saying:
"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 ... 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."
Stan also appeared in projects like Friends, JAG, and Invincible.
(certain details via Deadline)