Donald Drake Hogestyn was born September 29, 1953, Fort Wayne, Indiana.
A graduate of Fort Wayne's North Side High School, he earned a baseball scholarship to the University of South Florida, graduating with a double-major in microbiology and applied sciences.
He was drafted by the New York Yankees, playing third base for their farm team until he was injured in 1978. After his baseball career, he segued into acting.
In 1986, he started playing Roman Brady on Days of Our Lives and became an instant fan favorite. But in 1991, Days producers wanted to bring back Wayne Northrop, the actor who originally played Roman, and needed to find a way to keep the popular Hogestyn on the show.
Therefore, a new storyline was written - that villain Stefano DiMera had brainwashed "Roman" into thinking he was Roman... when he was actually born Forrest Alamain, but had always gone by the name of John Black.
This allowed Northop and Hogestyn to co-exist on the show.
Since then, John Black has been reinvented a number of times, but Hogestyn continues to play him. John Black's pairing with Marlena Evans became very popular in recent years.