Drake Hogestyn debuted 35 years ago this month on Days of Our Lives. He was introduced as a man of mystery back in 1986 and, in a way, he’s still very much that man today!
Congratulations, Drake Hogestyn
A native of Fort Wayne, Indiana, Hogestyn’s original plan was to become either a doctor or a professional baseball player. He spent time with professional baseball organizations the St. Louis Cardinals and the New York Yankees, but a career-ending injury set him on the path to becoming an actor.
The DAYS creative team had a plan — after being introduced to the canvas as a man with amnesia, John would learn that he was actually Roman Brady, who had presumably perished after falling off a cliff during a battle with Stefano (Joe Mascolo) in 1984. Actually, John had false memories implanted in his mind so that he later believed he truly was Roman.
Hogestyn played the part of Shawn (Frank Parker) and Caroline’s (Peggy McCay) firstborn until 1991. That’s when Wayne Northrop, the man who originated the part of Roman, came back to DAYS. But Northrop’s return didn’t mean Hogestyn was out of a job. Instead, the show wrote that the actor’s character was John Black all along.
During Hogestyn’s 35-year tenure, viewers have discovered that John’s had many secret origins and names, including Forrest Alamain, Father John Black, Ryan Brady, and John Robicheaux.
On-screen, Hogestyn has been paired romantically with Rebecca Morrison (Dani Minnick), Kate Roberts (Lauren Koslow), Danielle Tremaine, a.k.a. “Romulus” (Deborah Moore), Hope Brady (Kristian Alfonso), Susan Banks (Eileen Davidson), Tori Narita (Hira Ambrosino), Kristen DiMera (Eileen Davidson), Diana Colville (Genie Francis), and Ava Vitali (Tamara Braun).
There is, of course, only one woman who holds John’s heart — his beloved Marlena Evans, played by Deidre Hall, whom John affectionately calls “Doc”. John and Marlena are synonymous with what DAYS is known for — romance, couples, and enduring love.
Back in 2007, John was believed dead after a hit and run accident, causing him to miss out on the wedding of his daughter Belle (Martha Madison) to Shawn Brady (Brandon Beemer). A few months later, it was revealed that John was indeed alive.
Hogestyn took a two-year break from DAYS from 2009 to 2011. John left town to get treatment for his paralysis. After regaining the ability to walk, John, with Marlena by his side, returned to Salem just in time for the opening of famed Horton Square. Recently, John and longtime pal Steve (Stephen Nichols) teamed up to prove that Steve’s son Tripp (Lucas Adams) was not the man who attacked Allie (Lindsay Arnold).
Soap Hub congratulates Hogestyn on 35 years at DAYS! Days of Our Lives airs weekdays on NBC. Check local listings for airtimes.