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Daytime's On A Roll With Role Reversals

August 29, 1993|NANCY M. REICHARDT

Matthew Ashford, whose contract with "Days of Our Lives" is not being renewed when it expires next month, is aware that the show's bigwigs are planning to recast the role of Jack Deveraux. Ashford wishes the actor who will replace him the best of luck.

"When I first came on this show, everyone wanted to know what I thought of the other Jacks who came before me," he says. "So I know what it's like to be in that situation. It was very difficult for me to come in and work with fireballs like Stephen Nichols (Steve (Patch) Johnson) and Mary Beth Evans (Kayla Johnson). I hope whoever (inherits) Jack will have great success in the role. I'm not leaving wishing ill of anybody."

What advice would Ashford offer his successor? "To follow his heart, to challenge himself, to be adventurous, to grow, to be frustrated and even fall down a few times. Otherwise, it's just a job; it's just a gig that you come in and do. It hasn't been that for me. It's been something I've wanted to grow in and learn from and develop with. I wish whoever takes over the role the very same things."

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There weren't many details available at press time, but it was a fait accompli that Randolph Mantooth would be returning to his former role of Alex Masters on "Loving" soon after he ended his run on "General Hospital" as Richard Halifax. In all likelihood, as far as the story line goes, Alex is sure to cause some friction in the life of his former wife Ava Masters (Lisa Peluso), who is just realizing her romantic feelings for Jeremy Hunter (Jean LeClerc).

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"At no time did I ever ask to be released from my contract," reports "Days of Our Lives' " Michael Sabatino of his reported impending departure from the show. "I was not interested in leaving. I had another year left on my contract, which I fully intended and expected to fulfill. I really enjoyed playing this character, and I'm sad to lose it. I want to thank the fans for their support."

"Days of Our Lives" airs weekdays at noon on KNBC and 2 p.m. on KNSD; "Loving" airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on ABC.

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