Darren Criss is mourning the loss of his father, Charles William Criss Jr., who died Sunday morning after battling a heart condition. He was 78-years-old.
“Bill Chris has left the building,” the “American Crime Story” star wrote in a statement posted to Instagram on Tuesday. “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.”
He added, “Dad lived an extraordinary life.”
Criss, 33, recalled that his father was beloved by all who knew him.
“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,” the former “Glee” actor wrote.
“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.”
Criss also shared that his father was the ultimate family man and friend.
“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: devoted husband, an outstanding father, a loving grandparent,” Criss noted.
The actor said that he looked up to his father as a role model his entire life and felt his love until the very end.
“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 said.
Criss concluded the post writing — “I cherished him every day, and will forever.”
Following the post, several of his A-list friends offered their condolences, including comments from Ricky Martin, Steve Aoki, Josh Groban, Derek Hough and Matthew Morrison.