Deidre Hall (Marlena Evans Black and Drake Hogestyn (John Black) Return to Days of our Lives: That’s a Fact!

In a continuation of the large scale changes at Days of our Lives, comes news of Deidre Hall and Drake Hogestyn’s return to Days of our Lives as fan favorites Marlena Evans Black and John Black for the summer.

Deidre Hall first appeared on Days or our Lives in 1976 when Marlena was introduced as Mickey Horton’s psychiatrist.  Written as a capable independent professional woman, Marlena quickly became popular, that popularity exploding when she was paired with Roman Brady, a detective on the Salem PD assigned to protect her when she started receiving threatening phone calls on her call in radio show.
Drake Hogestyn came onto the Salem canvas in 1986, as a mystery man who called himself John Black and was soon revealed to be the presumed dead Roman Brady.
Deidre Hall left Days of our Lives for 4 years in 1987, returning in 1991 with Wayne Northrop, the original Roman Brady.  At that time Drake’s character reverted to John Black.  John and Marlena then joined the ranks of the Days or our Lives supercouple until their departure from our TV screens on January 24, 2009.
Ken Corday, Days of our Lives Executive Producer told Soap Opera Digest in an interview that he is throwing everything at saving Days of our Lives from cancellation.  Ironically, Hogestyn and Hall were fired in 2009 as part of a round of budget cuts, also designed to keep Days or our Lives on the air. 
Though die-hard John and Marlena fans were vocal in their disapproval, there was also a contingent that applauded the move given the lack of meaty storyline the supercouple had endured.  John and Marlena swiftly re-married and left for Switzerland in a bid to help John regain the ability to walk which he lost just after regaining the memories that Stefano had once again wiped.

Ken Corday is quoted in Soap Opera Digest as saying:  “You will see, in the course of a month, in the neighborhood of six characters leave Salem and five or six characters return or come to Salem, leading up to a huge September.”

On the comings side of the ledger, we now have:  Matthew Ashford as Jack Devereaux, Deidre Hall as Marlena Evans Black, and Drake Hogestyn as John Black.

On the goings side, we have Louise Sorel (Vivian Alamain) and Chrystal Chappell (Carly Manning).  Though Carly Manning’s lack of storyline has been evident long-term Days of our Lives fans will no doubt speculate whether Crystal Chappell’s departure is related to the rumored backstage tension between her and Deidre Hall when Hall returned to Days of our Lives in 1991.

One thing is certain, the Days of our Lives shake-up is giving (some) fans exactly what they want—the core group of characters from the 80’s and 90’s that viewers grew to love during that period.  Corday has promised a focus on fan favorite characters across a tight ensemble of 15 rather than 30 characters, which means there are likely more departures to be announced in coming days and weeks.

Let’s hope that the new writers Marlene McPherson and Darrel Ray Thomas are penning a storyline arc that encompasses those 15 characters in a compelling, action filled AND emotional storyline, rather than stories with small groups of characters circling in their own orbits that we’ve been subject to recently.

Hopefully, John and Marlena’s role in the upcoming storylines entails more than providing support to Rafe and Sami as they deal with Rafe’s wiped memory and vengeance against the DiMera’s.

 If the return of Deidre Hall and Drake Hogestyn as John and Marlena doesn’t bring eyeballs back to the soap opera, perhaps Oprah is right in her assertion that soap operas have had their time.
Hopefully not. 

Photo credit:  flickr/jfer21


  1. KEN CORDAY is DAYS OF OUR LIVES Executive Producer. Ted Corday was his father, who sadly passed away in circa 1966. At that time, his wife Betty Corday took over until her retirement when son KEN moved into the position and has continued to see that DAYS remains the best daytime serial on the networks today. He has managed to achieve as high as the #2 ratings spot overall and many times the #1 spot among women 18-49, considered the most important gauge for the overall success of a daytime series. PLEASE try to make this change in the article if you can. Thanks for covering the story in the first place!

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