Born May 11, 1982 (age 34)
Orlando, Florida, U.S.
Residence Battle Ground, Washington USA
Occupation Actor, musician, author
Years active 1993–present
Religion Orthodox Christian
Spouse(s) Lisa Vultaggio (m. 2002)
Relatives Richard Lee Jackson (brother)
Jonathan Jackson (born May 11, 1982) is an American actor, musician and author. His first well known character was Lucky Spencer on the ABC Daytime soap opera General Hospital, a role which has won him five Emmy Awards. In 2002, he played Jesse Tuck in the film Tuck Everlasting. In 2004 he started the band Enation (currently: Jonathan Jackson + Enation) with his brother, actor Richard Lee Jackson and friend Daniel Sweatt. In 2012 he got the role of Avery Barkley in the ABC prime time drama Nashville.
Jackson was born in Orlando, Florida, the son of Jeanine (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 and author. Jonathan attended Meadow Glade Elementary school.
In 1991, Jonathan’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 the ABC Daytime soap opera, General Hospital. Jackson continued his studies while working, graduating high school at age sixteen.
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).
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.