Earlier this month, Soap Hub sat down with Peter Reckell to chat about his four decades as Bo Brady on Days of our Lives. The actor gave so much of his time and recollections that we had enough for two articles. This is the second part of Reckell’s recollections.
Peter Reckell: Brotherly Love
It was beyond heartbreaking when we thought Roman (then Wayne Northrop) had died in 1984 after he plummeted off a cliff on Stefano’s (Joe Mascolo) island. Roman was lying on the beach, looking pale and lifeless. Bo came upon his brother and held him, telling him how much he meant to him. “People relate to all the relationships that Bo’s had over the years with his family,” Reckell points out. “To have all the colors of what Bo and Roman meant to each other made that moment so powerful. I remember being so nervous. Once I came running up the beach, it all went away. I held onto Wayne.”
Bo then had to go to Marlena (Deidre Hall) and tell her that Roman’s body had washed out to see (or so we all thought!) She was devastated that she wasn’t able to say goodbye to him and unleashed her fury on Bo, who was dealing with his own grief. “I had to stand there and take it!” Reckell recalls. “She just killed me in that scene.”
Father Knows Best
DAYS threw fans for a shock when it was revealed that Victor Kiriakis (John Aniston) was Bo’s biological pop courtesy of his affair with Caroline (Peggy McCay). At one point, Victor presented fake papers to Bo that made him think that he couldn’t be his dad, which allowed Bo to think he was a Brady.
“That was a very special relationship,” Reckell says of the Bo/Victor dynamic. “DAYS brought Victor on a few years after I started on the show. It made sense [that Bo was his son]. There was the Brady family, and they all fit together except for ‘Black Sheep Bo.’ Bo being Victor’s son added so much depth to the family dynamics. John and I were both playing ultimate characters. He was a tycoon doing [bad] things. Then, we’d see a soft side that John would do so well. I’ve said this before, but you could never catch John ‘acting.'”
Peter Reckell: Gone, Never Forgotten
Reckell left DAYS in 2012 when Bo took his mother, Caroline, to the West Coast for medical treatment. At a subsequent Day of DAYS, the annual free fan event where fans meet the show’s cast members, a clip was shown to thousands of attendees on a huge screen of then-love interests Rafe (Galen Gering) and Hope (Kristian Alfonso) arguing. Rafe said, “I know what my problem is.” Hope shot back, “What?” Rafe stated, “I’m not Bo!” The crowd went wild, a clear indication that even though Bo wasn’t on the canvas, he still had tremendous value to the story.
Reckell returned to DAYS in 2015, just in time for the show’s 50th anniversary. Alas, it was a very sad occasion as Bo “died” in Hope’s arms in the park courtesy of a brain tumor. “I remember how difficult it was when I came back in 2015 when Bo died,” Reckell recalls. “I had scenes with Bill and Susan [Seaforth Hayes, who play Doug and Julie] and [Vivian Jovani], who played Ciara,” Reckell shares. “I could go on and on. There were scenes in the park with Steve [Stephen Nichols] and Kayla [Mary Beth Evans].”
Evans won the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for playing heartfelt scenes between Kayla and her dying brother. “Mary Beth and I have always had a connection,” Reckell offers. “It was extremely emotional for me because I was saying goodbye to a character I’d had the privilege of playing for so many years. Daytime was in flux then. I had no idea for sure if I’d be able to come back and play Bo again. I was going off to be a dad. People understood. They saw how I was with my pretend children on the show. They knew I wanted to be with my [real daughter, Loden]. It was really difficult because I was saying goodbye to Bo.
Happy DAYS Are Here Again
However, we learned in last summer’s Beyond Salem 2 that Bo was being kept alive in a chamber by Megan Hathaway (Miranda Wilson), a woman who spent the early to mid-80s obsessing over the leather jacket-clad hero. “Miranda and I had so much fun,” Reckell recalls of his former co-star returning to the show as Megan Hathaway, the woman from Bo’s past after the passing of several years. “We’d do a scene together, and I’d say to her, ‘You scared me!’ She was so good at being that possessive and controlling person. ‘You’re going to be mine!'”