Darren Criss Mourns His Father's Death In Heartfelt Tribute

By Paris Close

April 28, 2020

Darren Criss is mourning the death of his father, Charles William Criss Jr.

In a heartfelt Instagram post shared Monday (April 27), the Glee alum announced his dad, better known as Bill, recently passed away after his longtime battle with a rare health condition.

Bill Criss has left the building. After many years of coping with a rare heart condition — which, true to his form, very few would have even been aware of — he finally checked out peacefully yesterday morning, surrounded by his loved ones,” Darren began his statement, including photos with him and Bill.

"Dad lived an extraordinary life,” Criss added. “Anyone who ever met Bill Criss adored him instantly. He could talk to anyone about anything. Well-read and well-traveled, he made the world a better place wherever he went."

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Charles William Criss, Jr. May 1941 - April 2020

A post shared by Darren Criss (@darrencriss) on

The 33-year-old continued: “He was as deliriously charming as he was relentlessly selfless; always putting other people first, making anybody who ever got into a conversation with him genuinely feel like they were the most incredible person in the room. And although he would have been the first to gracefully protest it, the simple truth is that he was in fact, every inch the exemplary man: a devoted husband, an outstanding father, a loving grandparent.”

Described as “a true gentleman through and through,” Criss fondly recalls spending “most of my life trying to be like him, wanting to see and do all the incredible things he did — and I'm so grateful he was around to see me actually pull a few off. … I cherished him every day, and will forever.”

Read Darren Criss' full tribute to his father above.

Photo: Getty Images

Darren Criss

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