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 he is. Heck, Jack himself didn’t even know who he was for a time! The guy has certainly been through the wringer, 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 of that year. 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 took it back again in time to ring in 2019!
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 the 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 Horton! 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. But then he came back in the flesh as Eve’s date to ring in 2019, though with no memory of his past! Jack ran for mayor of Salem as Kayla tried to figure out Dr. Rolf’s serum to restore Jack’s memories. His loved ones lashed out at Jack when he betrayed J.J. and exposed Hayley’s illegal immigrant status to boost his campaign. Despite Jennifer’s best efforts, Jack married Eve and after he was elected mayor, he installed her as police commissioner! But Jack began having flashes of memories and when Eve sabotaged the notes to create the serum, he demanded a divorce. After Jennifer was kidnapped by Dr. Henry Shah, Jack raced to her rescue and suddenly remembered their life and love together! They quickly made plans to remarry but on their wedding day, Jennifer was pushed from a terrace and fell into a coma that lasted an entire year!
When Jennifer finally awoke, Jack filled her in on what happened in the interim, which was quite a lot. They also worked together to help reunite Steve and Kayla. When Abigail threw a party for her parents, Gwen Rizchech manipulated her into exposing that Jack had cheated on Jennifer with Kate Roberts while she was in the coma! A furious Jennifer walked out on Jack but he refused to give up on her. Eventually, he won her back so they were a united front when they confronted Gwen about why she was trying to hurt Abigail. Gwen revealed that she was actually Jack’s daughter from an affair he’d had many years ago with a woman named Tiffany Rizchech, though he had no memory of the woman. Jack wondered if Gwen wanted his money, but she declared all she wanted to do was destroy him!
Stay tuned to DAYS to see what happens next!