Just the Facts:
Donald Drake Hogestyn
Date of Birth:
September 29, 1953
Fort Wayne, Indiana
John Black (1986 to 2007, 2008 to 2009, 2011 to present)
Jack, Generation (1985)
Kort, Otherworld (1985)
Brian, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1982-1983)
• His nickname is Hoagie.
• He once worked as a waiter at Sandcastle Restaurant in Malibu.
• Drake installed his own “gym” in his Days dressing room. “A 220-pound weigh set, a rowing machine, a bench press with all the basic apparatus, dumbbells ...” he noted.
• He did not play The (actual) Pawn on Days. “Another person did all the mummy stuff,” reported Drake.
• Drake got his Screen Actor’s Guild card working opposite Kim Basinger and Don Johnson in the short-lived TV series, From Here to Eternity.
• Shelley Long picked Drake to play her husband on her 1998 sitcom Kelly Kelly, but he was replaced because of a scheduling conflict with Days.
• Drake’s favorite book is The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum. Incidentally, Days’ John is based on its title character.
• When it comes to TV, Drake prefers watching the news and sports.
Born and raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Drake Hogestyn had a career dream and a career backup plan, but neither one of them involved moving to California and becoming an actor. However, fate intervened and changed the course of his life.
Growing up, Drake was quite the talented athlete. In fact, by 15, he knew he had a chance of making it as a professional ballplayer. Upon graduating from Northside High School, Drake turned down an offer from the St. Louis Cardinals. Instead, he accepted a baseball scholarship to the University of South Florida. In 1976, he graduated with a degree in microbiology.
Shortly thereafter, Drake was drafted by the New York Yankees. He played third base for the organization and began climbing up the farm system ladder. That is, until he sustained an injury that ended his budding baseball career.
Drake had every intention of pursuing his backup plan: becoming a dentist. Then, he heard about a national talent search Columbia Pictures was conducting. He entered, along with 75,000 others, and ended up being one of 30 people selected. A few weeks later, Drake headed to Los Angeles, where he signed a contract with Columbia.
Drake was promptly cast in a starring role on the primetime series Seven Brides for Seven Brothers in 1982, working opposite Richard Dean Anderson, Peter Horton, and River Phoenix. He landed a few other minor nighttime shows, before winning the mysterious role of The Pawn on Days of Our Lives.
The short term gig eventually evolved into a long term contract. As Drake’s alter ego struggled to discover his true identity –- from Roman Brady to Romulus to John Black amd everything in between -- he became one of the show’s most popular actors and characters to date.
Along the way, Drake garnered Best Actor Awards from magazines in Australia, South Africa and Germany. He also received the Hottest Male Star award from Soap Opera Digest in 1994 and 1995.
Off camera, Drake enjoys surfing, snowboarding and working on his vintage cars.
He is happily married to his longtime love, Victoria. Together the pair have raised four children in their Malibu beach home.