It’s not every acting luminary who can take the rigors of daytime soap opera, but thespian extraordinaire Dick Van Dyke took to guesting on DAYS like a duck takes to water.
Dick Van Dyke — Performer of the Week
Right from the kick-off Van Dyke proved himself most amiable. He held his own against the likes of soap opera heavyweights Deidre Hall [Marlena Evans Black] and Mary Beth Evans [Kayla Brady Johnson] not through brute force — no limelight hogging here — but via natural charm and charisma.
Though his character was addled — the result of trauma-induced amnesia — Van Dyke infused him with a jovial earnestness that seemed to be catching. His “John Doe” was on a mission. Well, make that two missions. Uncover his true identity and reunite with the long-lost son that he was sure was somewhere in Salem.
When delivering the necessary exposition to co-stars like Susan Seaforth Hayes [Julie Williams], Van Dyke did so with panache and just the right amount of incredulousness. And he gave good face. Great soap face to be exact. The camera obviously adored Van Dyke as much as his admirers.
Also, with Seaforth Hayes, and her better half [that would be Bill Hayes AKA Doug Williams], Van Dyke got to let loose — or as loose as his willowy, slightly stooped six-foot frame would allow — in a most delightful song and dance number. Not bad for a spry 97!
But it was in scenes opposite Drake Hogestyn [John Black], his real-life pal turned reel-life offspring, that Dick Van Dyke really got to deliver the emotionally evocative material that serials are known for. The two laughed together, and they cried together and went back to laughing through tears.
Here’s hoping that DAYS banks as much screen time with Van Dyke as humanly possible. John needs a good, decent father that he shares his burdens with, and we need much more of this delightful dynamo.
Days of our Lives airs weekdays on Peacock+ in the U.S. and The W Network or Global TV App in Canada. For more about what’s coming up in Salem, check out all the latest DAYS spoilers, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.
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