Remembering Our Hero On the 38th Anniversary Peter Reckell’s Days of Our Lives Debut as Bo Brady
NBC/Courtesy of the Everett Collection
When the renegade rode his motorcycle into Fancy Face’s heart, he brought us all along for the ride.
When Days of Our Lives alum Peter Reckell stormed onto our screens as Bo Brady on May 3, 1983, we really had no idea what to expect — but we had a pretty good feeling it was going to be a blast!
“On this day, what seems like a lifetime ago, I realized I was the luckiest man on Earth,” the actor tweeted on the 35th anniversary of his debut back in 2018. “What a gift, what a ride, it was amazing!”
On this day, what seems like a lifetime ago, I realised I was the luckiest man on Earth! What a gift, what a ride ,it was amazing!
— Peter Reckell (@peterreckell) May 4, 2018
That it was! Bo’s entrance, riding his beloved motorcycle and rocking a leather jacket, didn’t just say rebel, it downright screamed it. And why not? You didn’t get much more wholesome than his parents, Caroline and Shawn Brady. What red-blooded American youth wouldn’t rebel?
But what were we supposed to make of this dashing young man with the roguish smile and enough charm to make a nun blush?
Fortunately, we didn’t have to wait long for Bo to meet Hope so we could learn exactly what to make of him.
Now picking up a lady who’d been drinking alone could easily be a recipe for disaster — especially when you start out by telling the bartender you were going over to the table with “the little girl attached to it.” Eek! #MeToo cautionary tale, here we come.
But what unfolded upended all our expectations. For one thing, Hope has never been the damsel in distress. She began their meeting by trying to con Bo into buying her a beer, only to be shut down by those who knew better. Undeterred, Bo offered to show her a good time… on his motorcycle.
Hope jumped at the chance, but when she stumbled over the name of her school, Bo put the pieces together and realized the beautiful girl he’d almost instantly fallen for was actually a high school student. (No wonder he became a detective!) Still, he’d offered her a ride home, and being the gentleman he really was, he made good on that promise and took her safely back to her parents.
And that’s really the story of Bo’s life. Not the Bo and Hope part, though, honestly, they’re so intertwined, it’s downright hard to just say one of their names without immediately following it with the other.
That first meeting could have easily moved him from rebel to sleazeball, but the goodness in his heart won out, as did the easy charm only Reckell could bring to the role. Bo was a hero through and through. And that’s no small feat for someone who turned out not to be the son of good guy Shawn Brady but Victor Kiriakis!
When the mobster found out his torrid affair with Caroline had borne a son, he tried his damnedest to sway Bo over to the dark side. When he refused, Victor disowned him. But of course Bo refused. Even though we knew he would always go his own way, we never doubted that he’d go that way while doing the right thing.
Eventually, Bo traded his motorcycle jacket for a police uniform, but he never lost his rebellious edge. It’s why, even though Reckell would come and go over the 31 years he was on the show, we never stopped loving Bo. And it’s why, years after Bo died in his beloved Hope’s arms, we’re still holding out for our hero, hoping that Reckell might someday bring Bo back to Salem.
“It was an amazing time,” he told Soap Opera Digest when he left the show, “and I’m a very lucky guy to have been able to play this amazing role for as long as I had.”
And no, we’re not crazy for hoping — Reckell himself has given us reason to, despite his relocation to New Zealand! When asked on Twitter about a Bo and Hope reunion, his response was a simple, “Never say never.” And, that reunion, he assured us, would never happen without him, as executive producer Ken Corday promised never to recast Bo (after already doing so once with Robert Kelker-Kelly).
So here’s hoping that by the time Bo’s 40th anniversary rolls around in 2023, we get to see Reckell ride in on his motorcycle to sweep us all off our feet at least one more time!
Of course on a show as memorable as Days of Our Lives, Bo isn’t the only character we’ll never forget, so why not check out our list of the 35 most memorable Days characters ever!