Matthew Ashford might be best known as DAYS OF OUR LIVES' Jack Devereaux, but ABC fans still remember him for his turns as ONE LIFE TO LIVE's Dr. Stephen Haver (Jessica's nutty professor who turned out to be the Music Box Killer) and Buchanan cousin Drew Ralston. He was also the actor who brought GENERAL HOSPITAL's Dr. Tom Hardy back from Africa. What all of those characters had in common with their portrayer is that they were driven men. In fact, not even a severe case of laryngitis was going to keep him from telling Soaps In Depth about "Matt's Musings Month By Month," the wall calendar of pen and ink cartoons that he's produced to raise funds for Retinoblastoma International (the charity that he founded following his youngest daughter Emma's diagnosis).
"The girls always asked, 'What were you like when you were our age?'" Ashford says of his daughters. "We were at the beach, and I started drawing pictures of funny things that happened to me growing up.
"The calendar was an idea I've been kicking around for a few years," he continues. "I enjoy drawing cartoons... [and] I've been trying to think of a way I can raise some much needed funds for RBI," Ashford says. The dedicated advocate of curing the rare infant eye cancer is determined to carry on. "We have seen the time of diagnosis almost cut in half because of heightened awareness -- what will be next?" he wonders.
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What's next for Ashford is a slew of new projects. In addition to producing the popular web soap, THE BAY, he's also playing Steve, Sara's former rapist and father of her son. (Mary Beth Evans [ex-Katherine, GH] plays Sara.) "This Steve is not like Stephen Haver -- that poor character was pretty well done in by the time I got there. He had killed off a lot of wonderful actresses who I never had a chance to work with, and he seemed to be barely holding together in the last three months," Ashford recalls. "Still, I had fun. But I would hope that this Steve is not on the edge of killing large numbers of people."
This March, Ashford will share the screen with William Forsythe in The Unlikely's. "I play four different characters running from their past and ending up in a small town in North Carolina who find themselves in a very unlikely situation!" Ashford previews. Subsequently, he'll be seen as a ne'er do well in the romantic comedy Catch Of A Lifetime, and as private eye in the music-themed mystery Fuzz Track City. With his work on those projects already completed, Ashford is currently free to consider returning to soaps. "I have never been on any of the CBS shows, so who knows? The same could be said for AMC and OLTL: the third time's a charm!" he laughs, adding, "and of course there's always DAYS..."
Order The Calendar!
"Matt's Musings Month By Month," is an 8.5" x 11" wall calendar (folds out to 11" x 17") that includes 12 original pen-and-ink cartoon drawings by Ashford. Purchase one for $16.95, two or more copies for $15 each (plus S&H). All proceeds to Retinoblastoma International, which aims to eliminate childhood eye cancer. To order, or for more information, visit www.retinoblastoma.net.