Soap Star Drake Hogestyn Mourns Death Of Beloved Castmate

May. 30 2017, Updated 5:21 p.m. ET

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Drake Hogestyn (John, Days of Our Lives) was recovering from a brain injury last December

when a beloved castmate, Joseph Mascolo (ex-Stefano), passed away.

Now back at work, Drake feels the loss deeply

“I really loved that guy. I thought that he was going to live forever,” he says,

adding Joseph’s “mom and dad lived up to their hundreds.”

The ordeals of the past year have opened his eyes: “As we go through weddings and funerals on the show,

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we do it in our own lives, too, and it’s kind of crazy.”

Now Drake engages more with his co-stars.

“I’m trying to listen more and be involved in conversation more

and let people know how I feel about them as often as I can.”

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