Stan Kirsch dead: ‘Highlander’ actor has died at 51.
Stan Kirsch, an actor who played the Immortal Richie Ryan for five seasons on the 1990s syndicated hit fantasy drama Highlander: The Series, died Jan. 11 at his home in Los Angeles. He was 51.
Kirsch died by suicide caused by hanging, according to the L.A. County Medical Examiner’s Office.
His death was announced on the Facebook page of Stan Kirsch Studios, the Los Angeles acting studio he founded with his wife Kristyn Green in 2008. Green subsequently confirmed Kirsch’s death in a Facebook post thanking well-wishers (“I feel surrounded by love and am forever grateful to each and every one of you,” she wrote.)
In addition to his five-season role Highlander role (he later returned for a series finale appearance), Kirsch made appearances on JAG, Invincible, Family Law and, in perhaps his most memorable guest starring role, Friends.
In the 1995 Friends episode “The One With The Ick Factor,” Kirsch played Ethan, Monica’s underage boyfriend (the high school senior had lied to Courteney Cox’s character about his age until after they’d had sex.)
Kirsch got his start in show business as a child actor in a 1972 Campbell’s Soup commercial, and 20 years later, after graduating from Duke University, was cast in an unsold TV pilot and on ABC’s General Hospital.
Kirsch’s signature role soon followed when he was cast on the first season of Highlander; he played the often comic role of the youthful Immortal Richie Ryan for five seasons, and returned in the sixth season series finale.
The official Highlander Facebook page posted a tribute to Kirsch last night, stating, 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.”