It’s been a while since Jack Deveraux has appeared on DAYS OF OUR LIVES, so newer fans can be forgiven for wondering exactly who the guy is. He’s certainly been through the ringer, going from villain to hero and dying multiple times along the way! Jack was introduced in 1987 and played briefly by Joseph Adams and James Acheson before Matthew Ashford took over the role in October. The role was recast twice more over the years with Mark Valley and Steve Wilder stepping in for stints, but it’s Ashford who is most closely associated with the role and who has taken it back again this time.
Jack came to Salem looking for Kayla Brady, with whom he’d fallen in love a few years back. She was with Steve Johnson, but he pushed her towards Jack once he learned that not only was the guy suffering from Hodgkin’s disease but he was also his long-lost brother, Billy! However Jack’s adopted father, Harper Deveraux, began poisoning her and a worried Steve came to her rescue. Jack was upset that Kayla was carrying on an affair with Steve while she wouldn’t sleep with her own husband, so in a fit of rage, he raped her. Jack was overwhelmed with guilt, but redirected it at anger against Steve and Kayla. During a fight with Steve, Jack fell off a roof and required a kidney transplant, and Steve was the best match. Determined to hurt Steve, Jack tried to find his long-lost brother and was horrified to discover that he was Billy!
Struggling to turn his life around and be a better man, Jack purchased controlling interest in local newspaper The Spectator, which is where he met and fell for Jennifer Horton. Steve and Jack finally buried hatchet when the brothers teamed up to rescue Kayla, who had been kidnapped by Victor Kiriakis. Tired of waiting for Jack to return her feelings, Jennifer accepted Emilio’s proposal, but Jack abducted her on the day of the wedding in an attempt to convince her to dump him. But it wasn’t until the “Cruise of Deception” stranded them on a desert island that Jack and Jennifer finally consummated their relationship.
Jack managed to rescue Jennifer from Lawrence Alamain, but not before the villain raped her. This caused friction in their relationship, and he eventually dumped her and married Eve Donovan for her money so he could save his paper. But later, after Jennifer came clean about the rape, they reconciled and became man and wife. Their first child, Abigail, suffered from aplastic anemia due to toxic chemicals Jack’s company had dumped in the water. A guilt-ridden Jack left his family and checked himself into a mental health clinic where he had a fling with a woman who turned out to be Jennifer’s mother, Laura! Jennifer had married Peter Blake, but Jack’s suspicion he was up to no good was proven correct when the guy kidnapped Jennifer and Abigail. After rescuing his family, they all moved to Africa.
Desperate to get his fortune back, Jack got involved in all kinds of shady scams, which frustrated Jennifer so much she took Abigail and left him. Back in Salem, he went to extremes to win Jennifer back, and ultimately succeeded. They were remarried in 2003, but later that year Jack was one of the victims of the Salem Stalker, and a grieving Jennifer was happy to learn she was pregnant with Jack’s second child. Luckily, all the killer’s victims were really alive on an island, and when Jennifer found her way to Jack, she gave birth to a son they named Jack Jr (JJ). While escaping the island, Jack was again presumed dead in a storm but he was really being held prisoner in Europe. He managed to escape and Jack bonded with his baby boy.
Then, Jack discovered he was dying of a rare blood disease so he set Jennifer up to reunite with former flame Frankie Brady. He also staged his death in a car accident so his loved ones wouldn’t have to watch him suffer. But at the hospice where he was dying, Jack found one of the workers was Steve, who was suffering from amnesia. Jack brought Steve back to Salem where Jennifer was upset at being deceived. Complicating matters was the fact that Frankie discovered a drug trial that saved Jack’s life, meaning Jennifer was caught between the two men. Eventually Jennifer let Frankie down easy and reunited with Jack, taking JJ with them to live in Europe.
Jennifer returned to Salem alone fed up with Jack’s constant disappearances on “walkabouts” to find himself. He showed up later to try and explain that he was really investigating the drug trade in Afghanistan and lied to protect the family and had been held hostage. Abigail couldn’t believe her mother would forgive him again, but she was grateful when her father saved her life during a series of explosions that rocked the town. Jack died after being trapped in an elevator that crashed.
The last time Jack was seen was as a ghostly apparition that appeared to his family in 2017 to help them get through difficult periods in their lives. What will be the explanation for his latest return to Salem? You’ll just have to stay tuned to find out! And for more DAYS news, keep reading Soaps In Depth magazine!