When Jackson Montgomery appears on GENERAL HOSPITAL, some fans might not be aware that the character already has quite a history before he showed up in Port Charles. Played by actor Walt Willey, the attorney first appeared on ALL MY CHILDREN back in 1987 and remained on the soap straight through until its final episode in 2011. So here’s a brief history of his life so far!
Jackson Montgomery arrived in Pine Valley to help run his brother’s Senate campaign and soon fell in love with Travis Montgomery’s wife, Erica Kane. When their affair was discovered, Travis divorced Erica and took custody of their daughter, Bianca. When Jackson refused to lie on the stand at the custody trial, it spelled the end of his relationship with Erica. He had a brief romance with Brooke English, and after their split, remained good friends.
He next fell for Laurel Banning and invited her and her autistic daughter, Lily, to move in with him. When Laurel’s dangerous ex, Denny, showed up threatening her life, she killed him in self-defense and Jackson helped her cover up the crime. When the truth was revealed, the lawyer found himself disbarred for six months. After Laurel fell in love with Trevor Dillon, Jackson bowed out and divorced her, turning his attention back to the law.
Defending Erica during a kidnapping trial reignited his feelings for her and he stood by her even as she was sent to prison. After her release, their romance took a turn when her ex, Mike Roy, returned after faking his death for the FBI. Jackson fought for the woman he loved, but after she chose him, he couldn’t forgive her for sleeping with Mike. And when Erica was accused of murdering Frankie Stone, Jackson prosecuted the case and took out his anger on her in court. In the end, Erica was found not guilty and Jack’s reputation was tarnished.
Although initially resisting Erica’s advances, Jackson eventually succumbed, and after adopting teenager Reggie Porter, the couple was married. He was also happy to discover Greenlee Smythe, a daughter he’d never known. When Lily married Jonathan Lavery, Jackson tried to nullify their marriage, but Jonathan agreed to divorce her if he didn’t have Lily declared incompetent. His marriage to Erica then fell apart when she got involved with ex-husband Jeff Martin. Jackson and Erica co-hosted a TV show called HE SAID, SHE SAID, offering relationship advice, but then divorced.
Jackson was heartbroken when Greenlee died, and he left Pine Valley for a time to grieve. Upon his return, he rekindled things with Erica again, and Greenlee turned up alive, having been saved by Dr. David Hayward. Greenlee and Erica were constantly at odds and trying to turn Jack against the other. Following a plane crash, Erica was found in the care of Caleb, who came with her to Pine Valley and came between her and Jackson. Jealous of his growing connection with Krystal, Erica set a date to marry Jackson, but then never showed up. Jackson was crushed until they realized she’d been abducted.
Reunited with Erica, Jackson soon noticed her unusual behavior and it was later revealed that she’d been replaced by her kidnapper who’d had surgery to look exactly like her! Once the real Erica was back in his arms, she was soon absent again, spending time working on a movie of her book. Tired of being second-best, Jackson eventually dumped Erica. She tried to get him back, but he pushed her away, realizing she would never marry and settle down.
In July 2023, Lucy Coe and Felicia Scorpio traveled from Port Charles to Pine Valley to visit Jackson in his law office in the hopes of digging up some information on Martin Grey. While Lucy distracted Jackson with a private conversation about her case, Felicia attempted to dig through the attorney’s files but came up empty.
Stay tuned to GH to see what happens next!