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SOAP STAR STATS
Matthew Ashford (ex-Jack, DAYS)
- January 29
- Davenport, Iowa
- Years on Show:
- 1987-'93, 2001-'03, 2004-2006
- Marital Status:
- Married to Christina Saffran since June 6, 1987
- Two daughters with Christina, Grace, born in 1992, and Emma, born in 1997
- Soap Opera Digest Awards for Outstanding Supercouple: Jack and Jennifer in 1991, Best Wedding and Best Love Story in 1992, all with Melissa Reeves, as well as Outstanding Villain in 1989 and Outstanding Comedic Performance in 1993.
Matthew Ashford was bitten by the acting bug at 12 years old, when his sisters dragged him to auditions for a local play. A year later the family moved to Fairfax, Va., where he decided he had found his calling and became heavily involved in his high school drama program. After graduating from high school, Ashford attended the prestigious North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem. While there he joined a local troupe, the Ragamuffin Magic & Mime Company, where he earned his first professional paycheck.
Soon after graduating in 1982 with a degree in theater, Ashford moved to New York City. It was not long before he was put under contract by ABC and cast as ONE LIFE TO LIVE's Drew. After his time on OLTL, Ashford toured with Esther Rolle in the drama Member of the Wedding, which led to his second soap, SEARCH FOR TOMORROW. After that show's cancellation, Ashford took over the role of Jack on DAYS OF OUR LIVES.
During his time off from daytime, Matt also took the opportunity to get involved with live theater again. He joined the Interact Theatre Company, headed by former DAYS co-star Marilyn McIntyre (ex-Jo). He remains active in the troupe today. In 2001, Matthew returned to the role of DAYS' Jack. In 2003, Jack was "killed" by the Salem Stalker but Ashford returned to the role nine months later as part of the show's big mystery storyline. Ashford left the show again in 2006.
—Ashford wore a red rubber nose, performed magic, and rode a unicycle when he mimed and juggled as a street performer at Myrtle Beach during the summer months of college.
—His ONE LIFE TO LIVE character, Drew, was killed in a flower shop on the eve of his wedding.
—He is the spokesperson for Retinoblastoma International, an organization the Ashfords formed after their daughter Emma was diagnosed with the rare form of infant eye cancer, from which she is now in remission.
—His full name is Matthew Nile Ashford.
—He is the sixth of eight children and the youngest boy in his family.
—He enjoys hiking, camping, and other outdoor adventure activities.
Other Soap Roles
ONE LIFE TO LIVE (Stephen Haver, 2003-'04)
GENERAL HOSPITAL (Tom Hardy, 1995-'97)
SEARCH FOR TOMORROW (Cagney McCleary, 1983-'86)
ONE LIFE TO LIVE (Drew Ralston, 1982-'83)
Other TV Roles
FRIENDS (Himself, 2003)
DHARMA & GREG (Trey, 2001)
PROVIDENCE (Mr. Henderson, 1999)
CHARMED (Roger, 1998)
BURKE'S LAW (Spider, 1994)
Paper Bullets (Ron, 1999)
Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss (Whitey, 1998)
A Little Night Music (Count Car Magnus, 2001)
1776 (Thomas Jefferson, 2000)
Funny Girl (Nicky Arnstein, 2000)
Into the Woods (Prince and Big Bad Wolf, 1997)
Counselor at Law (Weinberg, 1995)
"When I was in New York doing ONE LIFE TO LIVE, I'd work out at the gym during the day. I'd turn up the TV while I was on the treadmill to see what was going on on DAYS. It was a strange, otherworldly experience. Jack was dead, but I was alive. I'd yell at the TV set, 'I'm here! I'm here!' It was like a bad dream." — Soap Opera Weekly, 8/24/04
"I'm really not asking them to care about Matt Ashford, the actor. I mean, why should they?" — Soap Opera Digest, 9/20/88
"It's a rare thing to find somebody you can work with, work off of, and have fun with. The fact that the writers and producers have given us the opportunity to mold these characters into something that is not everyday has been a pleasure. I talk to other actors who've watched us from other shows and they're like, 'Wow! We want to do what you guys are doing.'" — Weekly, 8/26/03
"I think when we were working on the newspaper together, we were romantically involved, but we never physically touched of anything like that. There was a romance to the moment. It's in the way something is written-there's something going on. There's an excitement in the air. It isn't just candlelight and flowers. There's romance in adventure and romance in mystery." — Digest, 3/5/02