Matthew Nile Ashford (born January 29, 1960 in Davenport, Iowa) is an American actor.
Ashford comes from a large family, being the sixth of eight children. He graduated with a B.F.A. in Theater from the North Carolina School in the Arts in Winston-Salem. After graduation, he moved to New York City, where he was cast as Drew Ralston on One Life to Live, a role he played from 1982 to 1983. He also appeared on Search for Tomorrow as Cagney McCleary from 1984 to 1986.
He is best known for playing Jack Deveraux on the NBC soap opera, Days of Our Lives from 1987 to 1993, 2001 to 2003, and currently since 2004.
He has also played Tom Hardy on General Hospital from 1995 to 1997, and the serial killer Dr. Stephen Haver for less than a year on One Life to Live in 2004.
He has won 5 Soap Opera Digest Awards in 1989, 1991, 1992 and 1993, all for Days of Our Lives.
Ashford has been married to dancer-choreographer Christina Saffran since 1987. They have two daughters, Grace and Emma. In 1997, four-month old Emma was diagnosed with a rare form of childhood eye cancer, Retinoblastoma. The disease was treated with surgeries to remove the maligant tumors in her eyes and chemotherapy. At the age of five, tumors recurred in Emma's left eye, and it was removed and replaced with a prosthetic. Today Emma is healthy and cancer-free. Ashford has been instrumental in raising funds and awareness for this disease. He is the spokeperson for the Retinoblastoma International foundation.
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