Michael Easton Says He Was Holding “One Life to Live” Costar Kamar de los Reyes' Hand When He Died

De los Reyes died at age 56 on Dec. 24, 2023 after being diagnosed with cancer

<p>michael easton/facebook</p> Kamar de los Reyes (Left), Michael Easton.

michael easton/facebook

Kamar de los Reyes (Left), Michael Easton.

Michael Easton was by his best friend and One Life to Live costar Kamar de los Reyes' side when he died.

While speaking at the May 16 Daytime Stands Up: A Benefit for Stand Up to Cancer - We All Have a Story live stream event, Easton, 57, paid tribute to de los Reyes, who died at age 56 on Dec. 24, 2023 after being diagnosed with cancer.

Easton recalled, “I was holding his hand when he passed, and he was surrounded by family and friends. There was so much love around him. I mean, he touched so many lives," adding that his memorial took place in the "biggest room at Forest Lawn [in Los Angeles]" and they still "couldn’t fit everybody in."

"There was people stretched out all the way to outside. People showed that hadn’t seen him in 20 years. That was the effect. So many of the One Life cast members came and cast from All American,” Easton said, referencing the TV series de los Reyes starred in as Coach Montes from 2022 until his death.

<p>Barry King/Alamy</p> Michael Easton (Left) and Kamar de los Reyes pictured in 1994.

Barry King/Alamy

Michael Easton (Left) and Kamar de los Reyes pictured in 1994.

Related: One Life To Live star Kamar de los Reyes Dead at 56

Easton played John McBain alongside de los Reyes' character Antonio Vega in One Life to Live. The drama ran for 21 seasons from 1968 through 2013. De los Reyes starred in the show from 1995 to 2009, while Easton was on it from 1999 until 2012.

The actors' friendship actually began when they starred in the 1990 action thriller Coldfire together.

"It was a 30-year friendship with Kamar. We did our first movie together in 1990. I was scared and I was quiet, and I was instantly drawn to his bravado and his sense of himself. Kamar was larger than life," Easton shared.

"He was the best man at my wedding, and I'm godfather to his son Michael. His loss was profound on all of us," he added.

Remembering his best friend, Easton went on, “There hasn’t been a day gone by that I haven’t thought of him and his family and what he brought to this world, and the contributions he made, not only to this acting community."

<p>Steve Fenn /American Broadcasting Companies via Getty</p> Kamar de los Reyes (Left), Michael Easton on 'One Life to Live'

Steve Fenn /American Broadcasting Companies via Getty

Kamar de los Reyes (Left), Michael Easton on 'One Life to Live'

Related: One Life to Live Executive Producer Opens Up About ‘Tremendous Loss’ of Amanda Elizabeth Davies: ‘I Am Saddened’ (Exclusive)

Easton also revealed that de los Reyes worked up until two weeks before his death, and would always talk about "healing" instead of being sick.

“Extraordinarily enough, he went to work two weeks before he passed at All American," Easton recalled.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer​​, from celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. 

"He was fierce to the end. He never talked about being sick. Even though the odds were stacked from the very beginning, and it’s still really hard for me to talk about, but I was in awe of his strength and his resolve. I would’ve shut down long before he did," he continued.

De los Reyes is survived by his wife, actress Sherri Saum, and his sons, Caylen from a previous relationship, and twins Michael and John, whom he shared with Saum. 

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.