EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


August 15, 2013

'It feels like home'

Former 'Days of our Lives' star relocates to Newburyport


Eventually, he decided to move to California to pursue his career. Immediately after their wedding in Merrimack, N.H., he and Karen hit the road to Los Angeles, where he continued his studies with renowned director Milton Katselas, who taught him about the “administrative side” of show business. After getting his résumé, pictures and reels together, he “started getting small roles” on TV shows like “Quantum Leap,” “Doogie Howser, M.D.” and “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.”

Shortly after, he got his big break, courtesy of the casting director for “Days.”

“Fran Bascom saw me in a play in Hollywood and asked me to do some bit roles on ‘Days of our Lives,’” he said. “One day, she called me up to do a three-day role as Bart.”

Bart was introduced as a sidekick for Stefano DiMera, an evil mastermind who terrorizes the soap’s core family, the Bradys. Blackwood’s take on the character proved popular with viewers.

“My roots were comedy,” Blackwood said. “So I made this henchman, Bart, into more of a bumbling character. Humor on daytime was not done a lot.”

Three days turned into 10 years, off and on, with Blackwood playing the character from 1997 to 2007. The role found him in a number of embarrassing and hilarious situations, including a stint as a stripper. An accomplished jazz singer, Blackwood also got to show off that talent a couple of times as Bart, whose last name is a nod to jazz legend Bix Beiderbecke.

Bart met his demise when he was caught in the middle of a sword fight between Tony and Andre DiMera, both played by Thaao Penghlis.

Being written off hit Blackwood hard.

“I loved working on the show,” he said. “You really do feel like it’s your family.”

He says he still keeps in touch with Penghlis, “a sweet man” who left “Days” in 2009.

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