Jonathan Stevens Jackson (born May 11, 1982) is an American actor, musician (see Enation) and author. His first well known character was Lucky Spencer on the ABC Daytime soap opera General Hospital, a role that has won him five Emmy Awards. In 2002, he played Jesse Tuck in the film Tuck Everlasting. In 2004 he started the band Enation with his brother, actor and drummer Richard Lee Jackson and friend Daniel Sweatt. From 2012 to 2018, he portrayed Avery Barkley in the ABC/CMT musical drama series Nashville.
Acting. Jackson's first notable role was Lucky Spencer on General Hospital, a role he first played from 1993 to 1999. Jackson won numerous awards for his work as Lucky. He was nominated for the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series six times, winning first in 1995, and again in 1998 and 1999, making him the record holder for both nominations and wins for the Younger Actor category. He also won Soap Opera Digest Awards in 1995 and 1999. He was nominated for Young Artist Awards in 1996, 1997 and 1999. He won The Hollywood Reporter's YoungStar Award in 1995, 1997, 1998 and 1999 and was nominated in 2000. Jackson also became a popular "teen heartthrob" among fans, featured on fan magazines such as Tiger Beat and garnering many fan clubs and internet fansites. In 1999, he was named one of People magazine's 50 most beautiful people.While working at General Hospital, Jackson starred in his first feature film Camp Nowhere, as Morris "Mud" Himmel in 1994. Also during this time he starred in made-for-television films Prisoner of Zenda, Inc. and The Legend of the Ruby Silver, and made a guest appearance during Season 5 of the ABC sitcom Boy Meets World. In 1999, Jackson filmed The Deep End of the Ocean shortly before leaving General Hospital, starring opposite Michelle Pfeiffer. Deep End director Ulu Grosbard spoke of Jackson as "an enormously gifted actor. He brought a weight and a presence and chemistry with Michelle from the beginning. He's only 15 years old and he is a very serious actor who has both concentration and humor." Pfeiffer added, "When Jonathan and I read together, it was like he was my own son. And we just went at each other in only this way that a mother and son could do. His reading was exhilarating." Jackson was nominated for YoungStar Awards in 1997 for Prisoner of Zenda, Inc. and 1999 for The Deep End of the Ocean.In December 1999, Newsweek magazine reported Jackson was likely to be taking on the role of Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones. However, he was soon dropped from the running, and publications speculated the prior publicity had hurt his chances due to creator George Lucas' preference for privacy. Jackson continued his film career in 2000 with the independent film True Rights and the ABC television movie Trapped in a Purple Haze. Jackson also wrote and directed a short film with his brother Richard entitled Crystal Clear, which won Best Dramatic Short Film and the Coen Brothers Award for Duo-Filmmaking at the Brooklyn Film Festival. In 2002, Jackson played one of his most well-known film roles as Jesse Tuck in Tuck Everlasting, which he filmed simultaneously with Insomnia. In 2004, Jackson filmed Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, and Riding the Bullet. From 2008 through 2009, he had a recurring role as Kyle Reese in the hit Fox TV show Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, playing the father of John Connor before the show was cancelled. On September 29, 2009, it was announced that Jackson would return to General Hospital on October 27 to reprise the role of Lucky Spencer. In 2011, Jackson won his fourth Daytime Emmy and first Outstanding Supporting Actor Award. On November 7, 2011, it was announced that Jackson had decided to leave General Hospital and his final airdate was on December 23, 2011. His character is not planned to be recast or killed off, leaving the door open for Jackson to return with the show in the future. In 2012, Jackson won his fifth Daytime Emmy and second consecutive win for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.In 2012, he got the role of singer-songwriter Avery Barkley in the ABC drama Nashville. Along with the rest of the cast, Jonathan sang and played the guitar himself on the series. Music. As a child, Jackson took guitar lessons and taught himself to play the piano. Growing up he had an evolving band with various family members. In 2000, the band included his brother, uncle and father and was named "Scarlet Road". By 2002, Jonathan and his brother Richard had named their group "Jono and the Rock".The ensemble morphed into Enation, where Jackson is the frontman, playing guitar, vocals and writing most of the songs. Other band members include Jonathan's brother Richard (drums), and their friend Jonathan Thatcher (bass, previously of Delirious?)The band has released several albums and their song "Feel This" became a Top 10 hit on the iTunes national Rock Charts after it was featured on the CW television drama series One Tree Hill. Enation's songs have also been featured on Riding the Bullet, and General Hospital.As well as performing as singer, guitarist & piano Jackson also wrote the song "The Morning of the Rain" featured on episode 7 and 19 of the first season of Nashville. Enation have also landed on the Billboard Top 10 (Live From Nashville DVD, #9) and have garnered numerous radio and TV appearances including live performances on The View and VH1's Big Morning Buzz Live. In June 2020, Jackson recorded a song dedicated to the Hilandar and Serbian Orthodox monasteries in Kosovo. Books. In the spring of 2012, Jackson released a book of poetry under the pen name J. S. Jackson, titled Book of Solace and Madness. In June 2012, he discussed his yet-to-be-released book entitled Acting in the Spirit, which would discuss the connection between his Eastern Orthodox faith and his acting career. In November 2014, Jackson released The Mystery of Art: Becoming an Artist in the Image of God.
Family. At age 20, Jackson married former General Hospital actress Lisa Vultaggio on June 21, 2002. Jackson told the Chicago Sun-Times, "Some people thought we were a little young to get married. But we didn't see the need to wait. When it's right, it's right." The couple moved to Jackson's hometown of Battle Ground, Washington, to raise their family. They have three children: Caleb (born June 21, 2003), Adora (born in the summer of 2005), and Titus Gabriel (born October 7, 2010). Religion. The son of Seventh-day Adventist parents, Jackson was raised as a non-denominational Christian and has always been vocal about his faith. As part of his belief system, as a teen Jackson chose not to drink or do drugs. Jackson was also a proponent of abstinence from premarital sex. Jackson also often thanked God during his award acceptance speeches. While Jackson was working on General Hospital, he and his family held a home church in Burbank which various cast members attended, including Jackson's future wife Lisa Vultaggio. Jackson explained how his beliefs affected his choice of acting roles in an interview with Entertainment Weekly in 1999, "I won't get involved with a movie that's a direct slap in the face of God. [...] I'm an actor, so I have to play people who believe differently than me. I would be willing to play a character that was completely unbelieving and anti-God, just as long as that wasn't the message of the whole movie." In 2002, Jackson participated in the DKNY-sponsored "What's Your Anti-Drug?" campaign, posing for the 2003 calendar featured in Cosmogirl magazine, stating his anti-drug was faith.In 2012, Jackson and his family were baptized into the Orthodox Church. Jackson cited a trip to Romania and Rome that first brought his attention to learning about the history of Christianity. In his acceptance speech for his 2012 Daytime Emmy Award, he thanked the Holy Trinity as well as the monks on Orthodox monastic enclave Mount Athos. Jackson later explained in an interview, "These people [are] dedicating their lives to prayer, and not just praying for themselves, but truly praying for all of us. And then the thought kind of crossed my mind: with all the destruction, chaos and insanity that goes on in this world, if their prayers weren't happening, what would this world be like? I felt, personally, like I just wanted to thank them because I really believe that their prayers mean a lot."As of September 18, 2020, OrthoChristian.com reports that Jackson had moved to Ireland to help support a new monastery being founded by the Romanian Orthodox Metropolis of Southern and Western Europe. He explains in the interview, "It’s the main reason I moved, I have been praying for years for an Orthodox monastery to be founded in Ireland."
Jackson was born in Orlando, Florida, the son of Jeanine (née Sharp), an amateur ventriloquist and businesswoman, and Dr. Rick "Ricky Lee" Jackson, a family physician, country musician and Congressional candidate in the state of Washington. Jackson was raised in Battle Ground, Washington with his brother Richard Lee Jackson, now an actor and musician, and his sister Candice Jackson, now a lawyer, author, and official in the Trump administration. Jonathan attended Meadow Glade Elementary school.In 1991, Jackson's family took a trip to Universal Studios Hollywood, where both Richard and Jonathan decided to pursue acting. The brothers took acting lessons in nearby Portland, Oregon, before moving part-time to Burbank, California with their mother in 1993. After doing various commercials, within six months Jackson won a role on the ABC Daytime soap opera General Hospital. Jackson continued his studies as he worked, graduating high school at age sixteen.
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