Days of Our Lives' Matthew Ashford (Jack Deveraux) celebrates a special milestone! Read more here --->
It was thirty-two years ago today that Days of Our Lives fans were introduced to Matthew Ashford when he became the third - and fan-favorite - Jack Deveraux on the NBC soap opera.
On October 30, 1987, Matt Ashford debuted as Jack in the middle of a huge storyline that would go on to define the character into the man that he is today. Jack, who had come to Salem seeking treatment for Hodgkin’s disease, had just married Kayla Brady (Mary Beth Evans). Jack and Kayla had been friends before he came to town, which caused Jack to gravitate towards Kayla during his illness.
What Jack didn’t know was that Steve Johnson (Stephen Nichols) has discovered that he was his long-lost baby brother, Billy. And because of Steve’s guilt over not protecting his brother all those years ago, Steve had pushed his love, Kayla, towards the sickly Jack. Jack would go on to propose to Kayla and she would accept. However, the marriage would not be as happy as he hoped. Kayla was still in love with Steve and the two would start an affair that would prove to be a catalyst for Jack’s dark descent.
In 1988, Jack would win an election for a seat on the senate, but the night would turn into a nightmare. Jack was given evidence that proved Steve and Kayla’s affair, and he angrily confronted Kayla. Jack would snap and rape his wife. He then would go down a path of evil deeds like having Steve attacked and trying to shut down Kayla’s community center. After Kayla is attacked by Jack’s adoptive father, Harper Deveraux, we start to see Jack’s guilt for how he had treated Kayla. It would take a long time - and a lot of arguments - but the three of them would work past their issues to become a real family.
Jack would obtain a controlling interest in the local paper “The Spectator” in 1989 to stop them from publishing some of his dirty dealings, but soon he would grow to enjoy the business. It was while working there that he met the woman who changed his life for the better. Jennifer Horton. She started at the paper for a college internship, and the two instantly started to butt heads with each other. Jennifer would soon start to see another side of him as they continued to work together, and she challenged him. That’s probably one of the best things about the pair. Jennifer would never let Jack make excuses for his wrongdoings, nor would she let him get away with doing something to hurt others. Jack would start to fall for her and the two started on an epic journey that was full of drama, laughs, heartbreak, and love. Jack and Jennifer have two children together: Abigail (Kate Mansi) and Jack “JJ” Deveraux, Jr. (Casey Moss). And two grandchildren via Abby: Thomas and Charlotte.
Ashford has played Jack on and off over the last three decades, earning five Soap Opera Digest Awards and a Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series in 2012.
His most recent return at the end of 2018 has proven to be a dramatic one. He was thought to be dead after trying to save his daughter’s life but miraculously appeared at a New Year’s Eve party with his ex-wife, and Jennifer’s nemesis, Eve Donovan. Jack returned from the dead without any memories of his previous life. He only knew what Eve had told him, and that wasn’t much. It was difficult for him to learn about his past piece by piece from his loved ones. And to have Eve in his ear constantly making him doubt the truth and the motives behind what they were telling him. Jack teamed with Eve to take over the town of Salem. He became Mayor, but along the way ruined his relationship with his son when he started a campaign to deport JJ’s girlfriend, Haley. That dark side of Jack had returned, but Jennifer refused to give up on him. Jack would work to get his memory back and ended things with Eve. And after Jennifer was kidnapped by her scorned flame Dr. Shah, he goes to rescue her. In the struggle, he hits his head and the blow brings back all of the memories he had been searching for. FINALLY!! Currently, Jack and Jennifer are reunited and working on their relationship. And we couldn’t be happier.
What an interesting life Jack Harcourt Deveraux has led. Check out some more amazing pictures from his time on the show!
Happy Anniversary, Matt!