by Samantha Schnurr | Tue., Apr. 28, 2020 7:50 AM
Darren Criss is mourning the great loss of his beloved dad.
The Golden Globe winner took to social media on Monday evening to announce the death of his father, Charles William Criss, Jr., who passed away just ahead of his 79th birthday in May.
"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," the star shared on Instagram before further reflecting on the special man his father was.
"Dad lived an extraordinary life. 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. 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," Darren described. "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. He lived his days the same way he loved his friends and family—with an unwavering sense of composure, compassion, generosity, and humility."
The actor continued, "He was a true gentleman through and through, and was a constant source of joy and inspiration for me. I've spent 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. He was there for all the greatest moments of my life, which of course, he always dressed up for. His kind blue eyes, big laugh, and infamous warm smile could not have been a better representation of who he was to his core."
His famous son concluded, "I cherished him every day, and will forever."
The performer also shared a series of photos of his father and their family through the years, including his mom and dad at his wedding in 2019.
His Glee co-star Matthew Morrison also honored Darren's dad, commenting, "Man, what a king he was. I always felt seen when talking to him. So gentle, so kind, and so invested and proud of his children. The world needs more people like Bill Criss. Sorry for your loss, D. Love you."