Days of Our Lives: When Wayne Northrop Returned as Roman Brady

It Was a Memorable Cameo from the Actor Who Originated the Role

Wayne Northrop
Courtesy: Kathy Hutchins

Marlena wasn't the only one hoodwinked into believing that "The Pawn," played by actor Drake Hogestyn, was her “late husband” Roman on Days of Our Lives. Legions of the show's devoted fans believed it, too. So imagine their shock when Wayne Northrop returned as Roman Brady on the soap's August 30, 1991 episode.

It was the show's closing scene. The camera panned up to an unconscious body lying on a table.

Viewers saw his arm dangling, then his plaid shirt, and finally his face. It was actor Wayne Northrop, who had originated the role of Roman in 1981.

Suddenly, someone walked up beside him. It was his longtime nemesis Stefano DiMera; the last person to see Roman before he plummeted to his “death” and mysteriously disappeared. "Well, my friend or should I say, Lieutenant. I have you exactly where I want you," Stefano told him.

If Wayne Northrop's Roman was the real deal and alive and well, who was Drake Hogestyn's version of the character? One of them was obviously an imposter, but whom?

Roman and Marlena Reunited

In the days that followed, Northrop's Roman escaped his captors and took off into the jungle, where Hogestyn's Roman and Marlena were looking for answers about who had held Marlena hostage there for years.

When Northrop's Roman saw them in the distance, he believed Marlena was in danger and shot Hogestyn's Roman.

Then, he revealed himself to Marlena, who promptly passed out. So he brought her to a hut where he could keep her safe.

Meanwhile, Hogestyn's Roman, who had only suffered a surface wound, came to and headed off to find Marlena. He had no clue she was safe in the real Roman's care.

When Marlena finally came to, she was stunned to see Roman there and pushed him away.

She asked him what he really wanted.

Roman said it was the same thing he'd wanted for the last seven years he'd been held hostage: to reunite with her. He explained that Hogestyn's Roman was an imposter planted to take his place. Marlena didn't believe him.

Marlena Has Doubts About Roman

When Marlena recalled that the other Roman had been shot, she wanted desperately to get to him. Roman cautioned that she couldn't because Other Roman, a trained assassin, would probably kill her. Marlena replied that Other Roman wouldn't hurt her because he loved her.

Desperate to convince Marlena of his true identity, Roman pulled out all the stops. He told her that he'd spent seven years thinking about their past together and remembered every minute of it. He recounted private moments they'd shared: how they'd met; the time he protected her from the Salem Strangler; the goblets he'd bought for her on a special trip they'd taken. 

When Marlena countered that the other Roman had the same memories, Roman told her Other Roman has been brainwashed with every detail of their life so he could fool her.

Roman Held Prisoner

Roman explained how he'd been held prisoner under maximum security at numerous places. He'd been moved every time he tried to escape.

Finally, he wound up on the same island where she was being held just upstairs from him.

Roman recounted how they'd used her to keep him in line, often taking him to see her. “But you weren't awake. You didn't know I was there,” he whispered. 

“I did. You stood at the doorway and you said my name. You called, 'Doc,'” responded Marlena, who was clearly overcome with emotion.

Marlena was starting to believe it might all be true and, of course, it turned out it was. Thus, began one of the show's most memorable triangles as Marlena suddenly found herself caught between two men she loved deeply.

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Lauro, Janet Di. "Days of Our Lives: When Wayne Northrop Returned as Roman Brady." ThoughtCo, Aug. 20, 2017, Lauro, Janet Di. (2017, August 20). Days of Our Lives: When Wayne Northrop Returned as Roman Brady. Retrieved from Lauro, Janet Di. "Days of Our Lives: When Wayne Northrop Returned as Roman Brady." ThoughtCo. (accessed October 23, 2017).