Drake Hogestyn has reigned as one of Days of Our Lives’ all-time greatest heroes for well over 30 years. As John Black he fought the devil, narrowly escaped being beheaded by a guillotine, and set the screen alight with the positively electric chemistry that he shares with co-star Diedre Hall.
But how much do you really know about the man behind the character? Below you will find five fast facts about this multi-faceted actor, including his early academic pursuits and the sitcom role that slipped through his fingers.
Beauty and Brains
Hogestyn is without question a very handsome man — just ask the two “Hottest Male Star” awards he won from Soap Opera Digest — but he is certainly more than a pretty face.
In fact, Hogestyn is a graduate from the University of South Florida where he earned dual degrees in microbiology and applied sciences.
In 1973, aspiring ballplayer Hogestyn was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals. However, he felt that a better opportunity would present its self so he declined to sign a contract with the team.
Three years later he signed a contract with the New York Yankees, who had made Hogestyn their 581st selection for a minor league farm team.
The “It” Factor
When Hogestyn decided to enter the hyper-competitive world of acting, he new he faced an uphill battle. He entered a talent search hosted by Columbia Pictures and emerged as one of the 30 people selected from a pool of 75,000 hopefuls.
Hogestyn’s first acting role was in the CBS primetime series Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. The musical dramedy ran for one season of 22 episodes before being canceled in the spring of 1983.
Hogestyn had very little to do as Brian McFadden and he remembers the role as “thankless.” However, he persevered and sought out other performance opportunities.
What Might Have Been
In 1998, Hogestyn was personally selected by Shelly Long to join her in a new TV sitcom called Kelly, Kelly. He was all set to pull double duty on the comedy series, as well as continue as John Black on DAYS, but scheduling conflicts with the soap kept him from taping the Kelly, Kelly pilot episode.