‘Blue Bloods’ Shares Heartwarming Scene with the ‘Irreplaceable’ Henry Reagan

by Jennifer Shea

In a new clip posted to its official Twitter account, “Blue Bloods” is sharing a heartwarming scene centered around the inimitable Henry “Pop” Reagan (Len Cariou), father to NYPD Commissioner Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck) and grandpa to Danny (Donnie Wahlberg), Erin (Bridget Moynahan) and Jamie Reagan (Will Estes).

“Irreplaceable #BlueBloods,” the show tweeted Tuesday.

Watch the scene here:

‘Blue Bloods’ Star Len Cariou Is a Versatile Actor and Broadway Legend

When he’s not appearing on “Blue Bloods” as Pop Reagan, Cariou often appears onstage, most recently in his one-man show “Broadway & the Bard.” In 2019, Cariou spoke to the On Stage Blog about his love of Shakespeare and what drives him to keep doing theatre. Cariou got his start on the stage, has received two Tony Award nominations and one Tony Award (for “Sweeney Todd”) and has worked closely with Stephen Sondheim.  

“All Shakespeare is music, really,” Cariou said. “It’s all in rhyme or iambic pentameter, some in blank verse. That’s kind of why I wanted to do it. Also, I’ve been on the television show ‘Blue Bloods’ for the last ten years and people think that’s all I do.”

“I had a whole other career, first as a classical actor then as a musical comedy star and later in film,” he added pointedly. “I just wanted to remind and educate people that Pop Reagan doesn’t just do Pop Reagan.” 

Cariou’s TV Career Was a ‘Self-Fulfilling Prophecy’

When Cariou was a young actor, he used to fly out to Los Angeles every year for pilot season. But he couldn’t get his foot in the door. Finally, after about four years of trying, he sat down and had a little talk with his agents.

In an interview last year with In Good Company, Cariou described that chat and how it led to the “self-fulfilling prophecy” that is his television career.

“I said to my agents, ‘Okay, guys. I’m going to go have a career in the theatre. And when I’m 70, I’ll do a television series and you can get your money from me then,’” Cariou recounted. “And they all went, ‘No no no no, don’t be ridiculous.’ And I said, ‘No, sorry, but that’s what I’m gonna do.’ Well, when I was 70, along came ‘Blue Bloods.’ So it is like a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

Indeed, Cariou has enjoyed a long and rich career in the theatre, so it is a tad ironic that “Blue Bloods” is what he’s best known for outside of theatre circles. But the veteran actor seems to take it in good stride, tactfully reminding people of his theatre background when they focus too much on the TV show. And his theatre work has surely made him a stronger actor for TV, informing his portrayal of Pop Reagan on “Blue Bloods.”

Watch the interview here: