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.Spouse (1)
(6 June 1987 -
present) (2 children)
His wife, Christina is very talented in her own right as an actor-dancer-singer-choreographer. She and Matthew met in Hawaii in 1985 when he auditioned for a part in a World Peace Culture Festival. The choreographer just happened to be Christina.
Has two daughters: Grace (b. 1992) and Emma (b. 1997)
Spokesperson for Retinoblastoma International, an organization the Ashfords were instrumental in forming after his daughter Emma was diagnosed with the rare form of infant eye cancer, from which she is now in remission.
Worked many odd jobs in order to attend the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. After college graduation, Matt moved to New York City.
In his spare time, enjoys hiking, camping, having outdoor adventures, and above all, being with his family.
Matthew holds a US/Canada dual citizenship. His father was born in Canada. He has relatives in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and B.C.
He returned to the role that made him famous, "Jack Deveraux" on Days of Our Lives (1965). He recently signed a 3-year contract. [February 2001]
Performing as "Captain Von Trapp" in "The Sound of Music", at The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in Saint Paul, MN. His "Maria" is played by 'Jessica Bogart', a Broadway actress. [December 2007]
Appearing as "Bill Austin" in the North American Tour of "Mamma Mia!" (The smash hit musical is based on the songs of ABBA). [April 2010]
Phoenix, AZ: Appearing as Marc Antony in Southwest Shakespeare
Company's production of "Antony & Cleopatra". [April 2011]