Matthew Nile Ashford was born on January 29, 1960, in the town of Davenport, Iowa. He is the third youngest [youngest boy] of eight kids. He has four brothers and 3 sisters, and in descending order their names are: Dave [6/4], Jeff [6/4], Phil [10/1], Teresa [4/16], Randy [8/9], Matt [1/29], Susie [3/13], and Sally [9/16]. When he was 12 years old, his sisters took him to auditions for a local play, and it was there that he was bitten by the acting bug. A year later, the family moved to Fairfax, VA, where Matthew attended Hayfield High and continued to involve himself in local theatre as well as school productions. After graduation, Matthew attended the highly accredited North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem. During the summer months, he and a friend worked as street performers in Myrtle Beach, SC doing mime, magic, juggling, improv. Eventually, he joined the Ragamuffin Magic & Mime Company where he earned his first professional paycheck. Soon after graduating from NC School of the Arts, in 1982, with a B.F.A. in Theatre, he followed his star to New York City; it was full of opportunities, and it was still only a train ride from mom. Matthew was not in town long before he was put under contract by ABC and cast as Drew Ralston on One Life to Live (1968) (1982-83). Sadly, Drew was killed in a flower shop on the eve of his wedding. After his year on OLTL, Matt toured with a troupe performing “Member of the Wedding,” which soon led to his second soap, Search for Tomorrow (1951). Matt played Cagney McCleary, with brothers John Forsythe and ‘Jeff Meek’, from 1983 until the show was canceled in December of 1986. Matt quickly made the role of “Jack” his own and won several awards for his portrayal of the popular Days’ character including Soap Opera Digest’s Best Villain in 1989, a Super Couple (1991) and Best Wedding (1992) award with Melissa Reeves, as well as the Best Comedic Performance award in 1992. Strangely, the birth of Matthew and Christina’s daughter Grace seemed to coincide with the birth of Jack’s television daughter, Abigail. Little Grace was born on June 15, 1992. Matt left Days of Our Lives (1965) within the following year, in September of 1993, after six years as Jack Deveraux. He remains the only true “Jack” in the hearts of many. In 1997, he and his wife Grace had a second child — a daughter Emma. During his time off from the soaps, Matt took the opportunity to get involved with live theatre again. He joined the prestigious Interact Theatre Company, headed by former co-star Marilyn McIntyre (ex-Jo Days). He remains active in the troupe, despite his daytime schedule.
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