There have been few characters that have been as beloved on Days of Our Lives as John Black, a former assassin and former priest, who turned into a model Salem citizen.
John Black (Drake Hogestyn) was introduced to DAYS fans as a bandaged amnesiac recovering from facial reconstructive surgery known initially as “The Pawn.”
Upon meeting Dr. Marlena Evans (Deidre Hall), the two realized they had romantic feelings for one another. It was later revealed that John Black was actually Marlena’s long-dead husband Roman Brady.
Five years later, it turned out that John was not Roman after all, but a man who was brainwashed into believing he was an integral part of the Brady family. After the real Roman showed up alive, Marlena had to choose between her husband and her lover. She chose the real Roman Brady.
John later discovered that he was Forrest Alamain, brother to the evil Lawrence Alamain and nephew to the equally notorious Vivian.
In 1992, John married Isabella Toscano, but the marriage was short-lived. She soon died of cancer after giving birth to a son they named Brady.
Marlena and John reunited after Isabella’s death, conceiving their daughter Belle.
Marlena’s teenaged daughter Sami Brady (Alison Sweeney) witnessed her mother and John’s torrid affair, and after realizing her mother was pregnant with her lover’s baby, Sami tried to sell her sister on the black market, but her plan was foiled by John.
John then became involved with Kristen Blake, Stefano’s adopted daughter, as Marlena struggled to save her marriage to Roman. During Belle’s baptism, Stefano (Joseph Mascolo) forced Marlena to reveal the truth of her affair.
Through the years, John and Marlena would reunite and be torn apart more times than we can count. He also learned her had various identities, and at one time, John thought he was a DiMera by blood.
After years of searching for his true identity, John finally learned the truth about his past. He was born John Robicheaux in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the son of Timothy and Maude Robicheaux.
Timothy was a farmer who had been drafted into the U.S. Army to serve in the Korean War, and was believed to have died in battle a couple of months before John’s birth. Unable to care for John on her own, Maude put John in an orphanage, where he was adopted by the wealthy and powerful Alamain family, and given the name Forrest Alamain.
But, Robicheaux did not die in combat. He fled the army and lived in Asia where he resolved to start a new life and took on a new identity, Yo Ling. He then helped establish an organization of spies and assassins.
Yo Ling eventually learned what happened to his son, located him and paid his adopted family a hefty sum for custody of John, with the promise of a good life. Yo Ling placed him in an academy where he was taught to become an assassin.
John finally met Yo Ling this past year, an old and dying man. Learning his Days of Our Lives identity felt hollow by this point, and he resolved to just live his life as John Black with Marlena, his children, and grandchildren.
Days of our Lives airs weekdays on NBC. Share your thoughts, leave a comment in the section below. Win exclusive member-only DAYS spoilers, prizes, and more: sign up here! Also, join the conversation on our Facebook page.