Days of our Lives fans are mourning the passing of actor John "Jack" Shelton Clarke (ex-Mickey Horton), who passed away on October 16 at the age of 88 due to "complications of pneumonia," per outlets like Entertainment Weekly and Deadline. Clarke previously suffered a stroke in 2007 and had reportedly been in declining health the past few years.
"It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of dear friend and original cast member, John Clarke. A beloved member of the Days family, John holds a special place in our hearts and the hearts of our fans," Days of our Lives said in a statement. "Our thoughts are with his family during this difficult time."
It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of dear friend and original cast member, John Clarke. A beloved member of the Days family, John holds a special place in our hearts and the hearts of our fans.— Days of our Lives (@nbcdays) October 23, 2019
Our thoughts are with his family during this difficult time.
A beloved member of the daytime family, Clarke spent nearly forty years playing Days of our Lives character Mickey Horton, beginning with the debut of the program in 1965 until his retirement in 2004. During his time on the NBC soap opera, the accomplished actor was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Actor in a Daytime Drama Series in 1979. In 2015, he was honored with the Daytime Emmys Lifetime Achievement Award.
In addition to his impressive run on DAYS, Clarke has a bevy of other television credits to his name, including two years costarring with Leslie Nielsen on ABC's The New Breed, and guest roles on TV series like Gunsmoke, Have Gun -- Will Travel, The FBI, Sugarfoot, Death Valley Days, Twilight Zone, Maverick, Wanted Dead or Alive, The Law and Mrs. Jones, and many more.
Some of Clarke's film credits include Judgment at Nuremburg; It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World; The Satan Bug; Man Missing; and Burma Patrol. He also has a long list of theater credits, having performed as resident leading man in more than 75 plays at the Tenthouse Theater in Chicago as well as appearing in various other productions around the country.
Though he was born in South Bend, Indiana, Clarke attended many schools during his childhood, as his father was an Army officer and was routinely stationed in various places. He ended up graduating from the American High School in Tokyo, Japan, and later attended UCLA, where he received his BA in Theater and completed work for his MA in television.
Clarke served in the Air Force during the Korean War, where he kept up his interest in show business as a member of the Air Force Varsitones -- a touring troop entertaining military personnel throughout the U.S.
As reported in Deadline, Clarke's loved ones say that family life was the most important thing to the actor. In his death, he leaves behind his wife, Patty; the couple's three children, Joshua, Heidi, and Melinda; and grandchildren Catherine Grace, Natasha, and Jacob. As soap opera fans may recognize, Clarke's daughter Melinda followed in her father's footsteps and pursued a career in Hollywood; she briefly played the role of DAYS' Faith Taylor before going on to roles on shows like The O.C..
In lieu of flowers, the Clarke family asks that donations be made to the Heidi Clarke Scholarship Fund at California Institute of the Arts.
How do you feel about the passing of beloved DAYS' actor John Clarke? What are your favorite memories of his 39 years in Salem? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.