Tyler Christopher's Manager Fondly Recalls a 'Charmer' Who Had Been Dealing with 'Chaos' of Late (Exclusive)

Chi Lo tells PEOPLE about the early days of his 25-year friendship with the "passionate" 'General Hospital' star, who died unexpectedly at age 50 last month

<p>Leon Bennett/WireImage; John M. Heller/Getty </p>

Leon Bennett/WireImage; John M. Heller/Getty

Tyler Christopher's manager Chi Lo chooses to look back on the good times.

Lo knew the General Hospital star, who won an Emmy for his portrayal of Nikolas Cassadine, for 25 years before Christopher died unexpectedly on Oct. 31 at age 50.

“He discovered acting in his early 20s. He really loved, loved acting," Lo tells PEOPLE of the early days of their friendship back in 1998 when Christopher starred in his first film Catfish in Black Bean Sauce, which Lo directed.

“He was the best person who auditioned for the job. But I didn't want him, actually. We were very, very biased [againt] soap actors,” Lo admits. “But he was so good and he was so right for the role that I ended up casting him. He was a very dedicated actor.”

Lo notes, "To become an even better actor, he opened a theater with some friends and some of his best work was on stage.”

Related: Tyler Christopher's Daytime Family React to General Hospital Star's Sudden Death at 50: 'This Hits Hard'

<p>Matt Winkelmeyer/WireImage</p>

Matt Winkelmeyer/WireImage

Lo says he will always remember Christopher as “a great charmer, and I mean he had incredible looks. He's one of those people I would say God is an unfair man or an unfair God — that some people get so much and some people get very little. He had a lot.”

Still, Christopher had his own struggles, having grappled with addiction for most of his adult life.

He was arrested for public intoxication in May at the Hollywood Burbank Airport and was released on $250 bail. He was also previously arrested for public intoxication in 2019.

“This is a tough business," says Lo, who admits that sobriety had been a challenge for his friend in the last three or four years. "I don't think anyone's immune to what it can do to you."

Lo continues, “In reality, somewhere along the line, it's the alcohol speaking. But that's not really you. The real you is somewhere underneath there, and you're dealing with chaos. And then it's hard to be or remember to be ourselves.”

Related: Tyler Christopher Vowed Weeks Before Dying to Make 'Serious Changes' to Become a Better Father (Exclusive)

<p>Maarten de Boer/NBCUniversal via Getty Images</p>

Maarten de Boer/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

The days immediately following Christopher's death were challenging for Lo, who shares the Scorpio zodiac sign with his dear friend.

“A few old friends of ours called me up on the day that he passed," says Lo, "and we talked about Tyler."

Christopher died after a cardiac event on Oct. 31 — Lo’s birthday — and on Nov. 11, Christopher, who left behind two children, would’ve turned 51.

Related: Tyler Christopher's GH Brother Jonathan Jackson Shares the Thoughtful Gift That Also Made Him a Friend (Exclusive)

<p>Maarten de Boer/NBCUniversal via Getty</p>

Maarten de Boer/NBCUniversal via Getty

Now, Lo is moving forward by choosing to remember the best parts of his “sweet” friend.

“There's no funeraI,” he says. "I don't know if it's my survival mechanism or whatever it is, but I think that sometimes it's better to recognize and to think about the good things."

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, please contact the SAMHSA helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.

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