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LA Times article on Drake Hogestyn; March 1, 2009
Topic Started: Mar 1 2009, 11:31 PM (2,497 Views)
Ellie


http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-on-the-edge-soapopera2-2009mar02,0,7146907.story?page=1

Days of Our Lives' spy John Black may have seen his last comeback

By P.J. Huffstutter :: reporting from burbank
6:45 PM PST, March 1, 2009

Posted Image

John Black -- the mysterious, amnesia-prone spy -- has been shot, stabbed, strangled, in a plane crash, ejected from a submarine, trapped in a gas chamber, stalked by a serial killer and, of course, attacked by Satan.

It's been the role of a lifetime for Drake Hogestyn. Essentially, it's been his only role since he arrived on "Days of Our Lives" 23 years ago.

Now, NBC's longest-running soap opera has been hit hard by the recession and, alas, it's time for John Black to die again . . . maybe.

"I've gone through a life of the soap opera," said Hogestyn, 55, as he flipped through scripts and phone messages at his manager's office in Burbank. "Now I'm ready for something different."

Letting go is tough. John Black was modeled after Robert Ludlum's super-spy, Jason Bourne. Hogestyn admits a certain connection with the character.

"For years, my thoughts were his thoughts," he said.

He has caught himself giving John Black's signature look -- arching one dark eyebrow, eyes narrowing -- to store clerks and talking to his fan club staff as if he's still on the show.

"It has to stop," he said.

The actor's voice, raspy from a cold, strained over the steady ring of phones at Hines & Hunt Entertainment. He had dropped by his manager's office after spending a few hours pulling weeds and trimming the hedges at his house.

Hogestyn leaned against his manager's chair, thumbed through the paperwork and grinned. His hair was perfectly combed, his cheekbones were chiseled and his muscles bulged against his black T-shirt.

"This looks great," Hogestyn told his manager as he tucked the papers into his satchel.

The actor feels confident about the future, a surprise considering his only other significant role was playing the brother who didn't sing or dance in the early 1980s TV musical series "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers."

But then comeback is a John Black specialty.

The character first appeared in the town of Salem in 1985 as an amnesiac known only as "the Pawn." After a variety of trysts, two children, one grandchild and numerous near-death experiences, he was finally brought down by the economy.

In 2006, Hogestyn remembered, "they shot John Black, put him in a coma, saved some money."

Black was awakened in 2007, but was soon run over by a car and killed. After fans boycotted the show, he made a comeback in 2008 with the explanation that his archenemy had stolen his body, revived him and held him prisoner.

But by late summer, Hogestyn knew Black's return would be short-lived. The executive producer who brought him back was fired. Actors' salaries were being slashed. Black had fewer scenes.

Hogestyn was told Nov. 4 that it was over. Costar Deidre Hall got a similar call. Her character, Dr. Marlena Evans, Black's longtime paramour, was also out after 33 years.

It was a bittersweet moment.

"There's an old expression: I could have been an actor, then I got a soap opera," Hogestyn said.

"It stopped being about me. It stopped being about me going out for film. It stopped being about me pursuing anything that I wanted to do -- what my dreams were as an actor," said the father of four. "My mission was to provide for these little birds in the nest. . . . I think that's why I kept the character alive for so long."

Now, he said, "I have taken a couple steps back to breathe. It's always been the show, the show. . . . Now, I can be selfish if I want."

A commercial agency recently signed him up, and several film producers have expressed interest in him. He's writing a book about eating healthfully and staying fit, and hopes to teach stressed-out executives how to get through these tough times without dropping dead from a heart attack.

Recently, Hogestyn's manager called and asked if he wanted to audition for a Viagra commercial. Why not?

He often reminds himself of his own advice: "Don't take it personally. Patience. Perseverance. Belief that you are the best thing since sliced bread."

And remember, no matter how bad things seem, there's always a chance for a comeback.

On Jan. 23, John Black left Salem a broken man.

He was paralyzed by a toxic drug. A clinic in Switzerland held his only chance for survival.

Just before the ever-devoted Marlena wheeled him off to the airport, the couple said their marriage vows -- for the fifth time -- in a hospital bedside ceremony.

"I don't think anything's going to tear us apart again," John Black said. "But then again, that's covered under the 'till death do us part' part."

Marlena, eyes filling with tears, clung to his hand. "And even then," she whispered.


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peaches179


Thanks for posting! :)
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King
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Yikes. Is it me or does he kind of sound like he regrets getting into soaps?

Viagra commercial? Yikes! haha
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Deleted User
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Im just glad to hear from him, and that he is doing ok. I had the feeling he was very VERY upset about how it all went down.. Im glad he is looking forward.
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px780
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Streetcorner Philosopher

Wow. I was never a fan, but after reading that I feel sorry for him. I thought he sort of got lost in the uproar about Deidre Hall. Now I feel like I should find him and give him a hug.

It does sound like he regrets soap operas though he really shouldn't. He entertained a lot of people for a long time, and a lot of actors would kill for that opportunity.

Thanks for posting...even if it is one of the saddest things I've read in awhile.
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coffeelover


Thanks Ellie!

Great Article very dramatic. I'm glad he's doing articles like this to let his fans know that he's doing ok. He seems to understand that this was a financial decision and it appears that he hasn't totally closed the door on Days. Soaps actually has given him the opportunity to work steady as an actor for so many years not all actors can say that and it has given him a very loyal fanbase that will go where he goes not all actors can say that either. Plus with Days if the show survives than there is a real possibilty that John and Marlena will be back!
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Tammy
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DUDE... a Viagra commercial :lol: I can't even picture it! Well at least its work I guess.

Well if that was me I would have been happy to have had a job for 20 some odd years straight... because I can't seem to find a job to save my life lol.
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Alligato
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I didn't think it was that sad of an article.
He was on a great show, had some really interesting stories for 20 years, provided for his family, probably has a nice savings and now can do whatever the hell he wants!

It's always rough to start over, but now he can be selfish and do what he wants.

I miss him. I miss him on the show alot more than I thought I would. Chin up, Drake! I'll love ya even in the Viagra commercials!
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e83talus
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Please DON'T DO A VIAGRA COMMERCIAL! :omg:
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misch
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Thanks for posting. I found it funny the writer of this article stated after everything John Black has been through and survived it was the economy that finally took him down.
It was great to hear from Drake.
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Deleted User
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That was a great interview. Though I was never a fan, I wish him luck.
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IIttu
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Thanks for the article, I wish De would do some too. I'd love to hear how she's doing and what she's planning to do now. ((:
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Days4Life


Good article, although I was a little bothered by the soap acting remarks. I always hate it when soap actors are looked down upon, and I thought there was a little bit of that in some of what Drake said. I'm sure he's gone through a difficult transition, leaving behind a job he's had for so long, and I'm glad he's optimistic about the future. However, a Viagra commercial....please, no.
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Paxton
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Dreaming of a Melanie-free Days

px780
Mar 2 2009, 04:57 AM
It does sound like he regrets soap operas though he really shouldn't. He entertained a lot of people for a long time, and a lot of actors would kill for that opportunity.
I think that's probably a natural reaction for anyone who's been in any business as long as Drake was and when you don't get to end it on your own terms--it's common to wonder if you wasted all those years, if maybe this really was the best you could have done. It's pointless because you can't change the past, but I do understand why people feel that way.

I wish him the best and I'll be happy to see him wherever he might show up, even if that's a Viagra commercial.
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Liz<3Days
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I thought it was a good article. It was in the "A" section of the paper. It's just written to show another perspective of the economy.
I thought he has a good/honest outlook on his life in the industry. Who cares if he does commercials, etc...at least he's working! There's a lot of actors that are not!
Liz
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pspcindy
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Thanks Ellie!

Glad Drake seems to be doing well. I hear he is a very nice man. He always seemed to be a company man for Days.

His remarks about soap acting struck me as a young man who had big dreams, found a comfortable niche and then when it was all over, wondered what if? Many men and women find themselves in jobs that provide a comfortable living but are not necessarily what they envisoned in the beginning. Few people actually get to live their dreams.

I detest all of the sex-related commercials but if he wants to do Viagra, I would enjoy seeing him. James got lots of chuckles for doing the Dasani camel, but commercials can be very lucrative work.
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EjsGaGirl
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thanks..I miss him.,I was enjoying he and Sami and Ej and Tony and Stefano..lots of missed story there.I wish him well...in everything he does
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jules


IIttu
Mar 2 2009, 09:32 AM
Thanks for the article, I wish De would do some too. I'd love to hear how she's doing and what she's planning to do now. ((:
I think Deidre did an interview with Joan Lunden (was it Lifetime?) not sure, but it's posted on her website. Sounds like she's doing fine.
Thanks for posting the interview Ellie. I don't think it's unusual to look back over a job you've had for a long time and wonder "what if?" I think it's something we all do. Sounds like Drake is doing fine, as well as Deidre. And since he's doing the SoapMania tour thing, I think he'll still be showing some of his John Black persona!
Edited by jules, Mar 2 2009, 12:20 PM.
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King
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Yeah, he probably just feels like he gave his life to this, and for what?

But he shouldn't. It's just a cycle. It's life.
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Deleted User
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Drake IS Viagra for many women... I know he can sure get my blood pumping.. LOL
I will enjoy seeing him in whatever he does.
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