‘Blue Bloods’ Celebrates the Reagan’s Eldest Family Member With Throwback Photo

by Jennifer Shea

“Blue Bloods” is recognizing the clan’s senior family member with a throwback photo and a tweet. The show’s official Twitter account recently celebrated Henry “Pops” Reagan (Len Cariou) with a reminder to fans about who the real voice of wisdom is on “Blue Bloods.”

“One thing’s for certain — we can always learn a thing or two from pops at the dinner table,” @BlueBloods_CBS tweeted on Friday.

‘Blue Bloods’ Star Is an Accomplished Stage Actor

Cariou is not content to play Pops for about one or two days a week. In recent years (particularly before the pandemic hit), he has been returning to his theatre roots. Cariou is an accomplished stage actor who has appeared alongside performers ranging from Lauren Bacall and Elizabeth Taylor to Neil Patrick Harris and Anne Heche. He won a Tony Award for his performance in “Sweeney Todd.”

“I happen to have the best job in the business on the television show,” he told Playbill in 2019. “I work one or two days out of eight.”

At that point, Cariou was also appearing in “Harry Townsend’s Last Stand,” a play about a father-son duo who have to confront their difficult relationship when the son returns home. George Eastman wrote the play; Karen Carpenter directed it.

Cariou called the play both funny and poignant, adding it’s “not a walk in the park, but it’s something that challenges us both. I just wanted to keep those muscles going, you know? You develop them and when they’re not being used, you start missing things.”

“It’s a muscle that’s got to be used,” Cariou stressed of his return to theatre. “And doing that on television is not enough exercise, let me put it that way.”

Pops is certainly respected as an elder statesman on “Blue Bloods.” But that doesn’t mean he’s above questioning. During Season 11 of the show, Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck) got into it with Pops at one point. In “Spilling Secrets,” Frank discovered that Pops had been sending money to a mysterious P.O. box for more than ten years through his accountant.

So Frank confronted Pops about the payments. But Pops brushed him off, angrily telling Frank, “You think I’m some old coot that’s being scammed!” He told Frank to let it go and walked away, according to PopCulture.

But Frank couldn’t let it go. So at work, he asked his team to find out who was renting that P.O. box. Before they could, however, Frank and Pops butted heads at a tense Reagan family dinner.

“Something you two want to talk about?” Danny Reagan (Donnie Wahlberg) inquired.

Eventually, Frank traced the P.O. box back to one Alex Van Helt. It turned out that back in the day, Pops’ partner had shot Van Helt, leaving him wheelchair-bound. The partner claimed Van Helt had a gun, but Pops never saw it. So Pops continued to send money to his P.O. box, even after he died, in case one of his family members needed the money.

Frank learned a lesson from their dispute: try not to live with regrets. And so he set about dealing with his own regrets. Meanwhile, harmony or some semblance of it was restored to the Reagan family dinner table, with Pops and Frank finally making amends.