Filmography at a Glance
General Hospital - Lucky Spencer
Lucky Spencer was Jonathan's first
major character on Showbiz. After being cast from among several hundred
other candidates, Jonathan made his debut as Lucas Lorenzo Spencer,
JR. (Lucky) on October 29, 1993 on the popular ABC Soap Opera
Lucky became a much more popular character once he and Lizzie got together, making them the cutest couple in Port Charles at the time. He stood by Lizzie in the hard times, including when she was raped. He later "died" a ridiculous death because he left a candle burning in his room! The character Lucky was later resurrected but played by another actor.
About playing Lucky, Jonathan says "Lucky lives every boy's dream... He has loving parents, a loyal dog, and even a little bit of danger." Not to mention the love of Lizzie, but he didn't know that back then.
For his portrayal of Lucky, Jonathan won the 1998 Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series! He was nominated in 1999, 1997, 1996 and 1995, which he also won. The Daytime Emmys were on May 15th, just four days after JJ's birthday. Winning it again must have been a great present for him!
For pictures, audio and even a video download of Jonathan's acceptance speech, go to Angie's General Hospital Page.
Jonathan left General Hospital in 1999 to pursue his acting career in films. We hope he has the success of some of the more succesful GH alumni like Demi Moore. Even though it was stated at one time that his role would not be recast, he was later replaced in the popular role of Lucky by Jacob Young.
In a curious twist of fate, Jonathan was rumored to be a sure-fire casting choice for the role of Anakin Skywalker, following the Skywalker footsteps of Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) who was also a Port Charles "resident".
||Mud Himmel was Jonathan's feature
film debut, as the lead in the 1994 Hollywood Pictures comedy Camp Nowhere,
where he starred alongside |
Christopher Lloyd, Andrew Keegan, Marne Patterson (now the oldest daughter of Reese Hardin, action star in WB's Movie Stars) and Melody Kay.
Mud is a bright kid who devises a plan along with his friends to avoid being sent to Computer Camp , who among other camps want to avoid Military & Acting Camp... so they create their own, kids only camp. They then have to convince their parents about this camp first, so they blackmail former teacher Dennis Van Welker (Lloyd) into helping them. Several situations arise in which Mud must lead the other kids into the perfect charade.
Camp Nowhere is available on both Video and LaserDisc from Hollywood Pictures.
||Matt Rainie is a rebelious boy who's
lost his father, in The
Legend of the Ruby Silver, an ABC TV movie, where Jonathan
stars alongside John Schneider and Bruce
Matt's mother is broke, so when Tommy Towne (Schneider) comes around searching for her husband, but instead offers her and Matt a job working as a cook and an aide at an abandoned mine, she's not quite happy to take it but has to do it. Tommy is a cool guy, with a cool car and a cool attitude, so Matt looks up to him. Determined to find the booty of the infamous Ruby Silver an old and dangerous silver mine, Tommy hires an old alcoholic miner, Bill McLean (Weitz). Matt becomes attached to McLean while working on the mine, and learns that sometimes the least cool looking people can be the ones that are good for real.
The Legend of the Ruby Silver is an ABC TV movie, and was aired on January and March of 1997. It is not available on video.
|| Jonathan plays double characters on
Prisioner of Zenda, INC, a Showtime movie. Rudy is
the heir to a huge computer company, and when he is kidnapped by his evil
uncle who wants to take over, Oliver, a little league champ and
Rudy look-alike, has to take over his role. The Prisioner of
Zenda is one of the oldest plots in movies, and has been remade
several times. This is the newest version, with a modern twist. It stars
Jonathan as a little leaguer/computer genius, his brother Richard
as a bully cousin and William Shatner of Star Trek fame as
the evil uncle.
The Prisioner of Zenda has now been released on video with the title Double Play. It has also been shown at the USA Network.
||Now, this is not a movie or TV character,
but its Jonathan's first appearance on an interactive CD-ROM!. The program
is called TJ's Reel Extreme CD-ROoM and in it Jonathan plays
Travis Jett, your guide on a complete workshopfor creating the next
America's Funniest Home Video. You can edit several clips from the
popular ABC show, and upload them into AFHV's forum on
CompuServe! This shows us JJ's versatility because now he's covered
just about every entertainment field!
You can order TJ's Reel Extreme CD-ROoM online for just $29.95!
In 1999, Jonathan starred in the dramatic feature, The Deep end of the Ocean, alongside Michelle Pfeiffer, right.
Jonathan got a chance to show off his amazing talent
to a wider audience,
End of the Ocean, starring Michelle Pfeiffer, Treat
Williams, Jonathan Jackson and Whoopi Goldberg, s based on
the widely popular novel by Jaquelyne Mitchard.
Although the movie had a lukewarm reception both in the box office as in its many reviews, it did bring Jonathan to the attention of a wider, more serious audience than his presence in General Hospital ever did. Many considered Jonathan's acting the high point of an otherwise lackluster film. For example, quoting the review from Mr. Showbiz: "the film gets a real jolt from Jonathan Jackson (best known as Luke and Laura's offspring on General Hospital) as the Cappadona's rebellious teenage son Vincent. Rail-thin and cover-boy cute, he gives a star-making performance as the guilt-ridden eldest kid who believes it was his fault his brother vanished. Jackson's the most exciting presence in a family tearjerker since Timothy Hutton in Ordinary People, and the most surprising reason to wade through The Deep End of the Ocean. " --Kevin Maynard
The Deep End of the Ocean opened on March 12, 1999. It is now available on video and was also acquired by HBO.
|| Jonathan played Ricky Ferris
on an episode of ABC's Boy Meets World. Ricky is
somewhat of an snobbish painter wannabe, who meets Topenga
(Danielle Fischer) at a Van Gog exhibit at the local museum.
Ricky is quick to impress Topenga with his smooth talk and
artistic knowledge, and even takes her to dinner where he kisses her.
However, Topenga is still very much in love with Corey so
Ricky was nothing more than an obstacle for their reunion. Still,
it was nice to see Jonathan doing a different role, one
that I suspect reflects his real self pretty much!
Poster/Video Cover for
Jonathan is back on the small screen
for Trapped in a Purple Haze, a movie about a nice boy who seems
to have it all, until he finds himself trapped in the world of heroin
addiction. When it comes to junky films, this is as tame and cliched as
they come, but as always Jonathan manages to deliver a great performance.
Another good point in the movie is the always excellent Colm Feore
(32 Short Films about Glenn Gould, The Red Violin) here
as Jonathan's laissez-faire father.
The story goes something like this: Max Hanson is a priviledged young man with a passion for ice hockey. However, her mother doesn't think that is the best path for her son and she tries to persuade him to follow an artistic career. Max meets Molly, an attractive and interesting girl (Carly Pope, from WB's Popular) who drags Max into a world of partying and drugs. Max is infatuated with her and blindly follows her even when he becomes addicted to heroin (joining the ranks of Matt Dillon and James Le Gros in Drugstore Cowboy and Vincent Kartheiser in Another Day in Paradise as the best looking dope fiends in filmdom). Max and Molly eventually begin stealing to support their habit and Max runs away from home. Tragedy soon follows and Max's parents have to save him and help him get back on track.
In all, this is your average melodramatic take on the downfall of a young man into a life of drugs. It is above average for a made for TV movie but it is unable to evade the very clear moralizing and unsubtle say-no-to-drugs theme. Not as well executed as most other films on the subject, I would recomend Drugstore Cowboy, Another Day in Paradise and Trainspotting over it any day. However, it has a major saving grace: JJ and Colm.
It is also interesting to note that the
cast includes Hayden Christensen, the Vancouverite who eventually beat Jonathan to the coveted role of Anakin Skywalker. I would have
loved to see JJ and Natalie Portman together, as I consider them the best
actors of their generation. Thankfully, though, we don't have to see JJ in such a loved franchise put to shame by cheesy CGIs and bad screenwriting.
site has a full description of the story, sans reviewing/editorializing.
It is not currently available on video and was produced by Pearson TV.
The official site has a full description of the story, sans reviewing/editorializing. It is not currently available on video and was produced by Pearson TV.
Jonathan plays supporting character
Photo by Jim Warren
Jonathan plays Charlie VIcks on the independent film True Rights, written and directed by debuting filmmaker Meg Thayer. In this films he once again joins forces with brother Richard Lee Jackson, who plays Reynolds Portman. I know little about the film, except that it never had wide release and is still not available in video. It has played in festival circuits throughout the US, winning the Best Feature and Directing awards at the Brooklyn Film Festival and winning the Audience Award at the Dances With Films festival.
In this film, Jonathan plays the leader of a radical militia living in the woods, somewhat of a stretch from his previous roles (isn't he a bit young?). As for the plot, it has to do with a couple of Hollywood producers searching for material for a shocking new product dealing with reality and human tragedy. They are always followed by their documentary crew, which makes this film something of a mockumentary (best example of this style is This is Spinal Tap, though maybe The Blair WItch Project made an art out of it). I know it is some kind of satire on Hollywood and that it includes both dark humour and a dramatic subplot involving a silent film director (I thought they were all dead -- the first "talkie" was shot in 1927 and silent films quickly faded after that) which may give it something of a Sunset Boulevard feel.
The film currently has no distributor, so it is unlikely to get wide national release in the near future. Hopefully this will not be the case. For now the best bet is to try and catch it on a film festival.
Besides acting, the Jackson brothers also provided four songs for the film's soundtrack, including the title song.
brothers also directed..
Eddie is Jonathan's role in Crystal Clear a 16 min. short film which also marks his directing debut. The film was codirected by his brother Richard, who also acts and produced by their own production company. The film also stars William Rottuno and Maurice Benard, who played Sonny on General Hospital.
The film is about Vincent, a 24 year old who has to deal with an alcohol problem, with the help of his firend, played by Richard and his estranged brother, Eddie. Quoting from the official site: "William Rotunno stars in this dramatic short film written and directed by the Jackson Brothers centering on the devastating effects of alcoholism and the internal battle that wages between perception and the reality of ones self image."
With strong talent like this it was easy for the film not only to get accepted into festivals, but also to win the Coen Brothers Award for Duo Filmmaker's and the Award for Best Narrative Short Drama at the Brooklyn Film Festival. Pretty good for a first film (I am still struggling after 8 shorts and a few commercials... some people get all the breaks!).
Now, if True Rights is hard to get a glimpse of, this will provide a much tougher task. Sadly, short films get hardly any exposure outside of the Festival circuits, altough sometimes they become available if they win enough awards or their filmmakers are notable enough. Hopefully this will be the case.
|| In Skeleton's in the Closet, a
film written and directed by Wayne Powers (director of The Equalizer
TV series), Jonathan plays Seth a young man whose father (Treat
Williams, who also played JJ's father in The Deep end of the
Ocean) suspects of being a murderer. The film also stars Linda Hamilton
best know for her role as Sarah Connor in The Terminator and
T2. The film was shot in and around Jackson, New Hampshire and was
recently completed. It is now awaiting release after succesful test screenings
by its distributor/production company Artisan (best known
for The Blair Witch Project and its hideous sequel). Jonathan is
also said to have provided a few songs for the film's soundtrack, including
the one over the ending credits.
|| Jonathan has recently been cast in Insomnia, an American adaptation of a little known 1997 Swedish film that starred Stellan Skansgard (Breaking the Waves, Passion of Mind, Ronin). The US version is currently in preproduction, and stars none other than Mr. Al Pacino (Scarface, The Godfather series and many others), Robin Williams (Good Will Hunting, What Dreams May Come) and Hillary Swank (Academy Award winner for Boys Don't Cry). Jonathan plays Randy in the film, but little is know about the movie and how much it will be like the original. However, playing alongside such big shots, and all of them Academy award winners, should be a big boost for Jonathan's career and notoriety. The film is being directed by Christopher Nolan director of the very original Memento which starred Guy Pearce (LA Confidential, Priscilla Queen of the Desert) and Carrie Anne Moss (Trinity in The Matrix).
According to The Internet Movie Database the film is set in Alaska (as opposed to Scandinavia like in the original), and it is about "A police detective (Pacino) [who] accidentally shoots his own partner while trying to apprehend a suspect. Instead of admitting his guilt, the detective is given an unexpected alibi, but this "solution" only multiplies the emotional complexity and guilt over his partner's death. He's also still got a murder to solve, in addition to the blackmail and framing of an innocent bystander being orchestrated by the man they were chasing. There's also a local detective (Swank) who is conducting her own personal investigation... of his partner's death." (Summary written by Greg Dean Scmitz).
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Information on this page may be outdated. It was last updated on December 2000
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