It’s been a while since Jasper “Jax” Jacks has been seen on GENERAL HOSPITAL, so viewers might need a refresher on the guy’s history in Port Charles and where he’s been all this time. The character was first introduced in January of 1996, played by Ingo Rademacher. He left in 2000, but returned in 2001 and remained until 2011. Since then he has made occasional guest appearances, most recently in the spring of 2017, and has announced he'll be back again "in a big way" in 2019. Also, Rademacher isn’t the only actor to portray Jax; Gideon Emory filled in for him briefly in 2008.
Jax arrived in Port Charles at the request of Lois Cerullo, who wanted his help to get her company back from Edward Quartermaine. When he tried to steal Lois away from her hubby, Ned Ashton, she introduced Jax to her pal, Brenda Barrett. Originally, Brenda was just using Jax to make Sonny Corinthos jealous, but she soon developed genuine feelings for the Aussie and they eventually tied the knot. When the couple later decided to renew their vows, Sonny interrupted to reveal Jax’s former wife, Miranda Jamison, who had faked her death. Jax ultimately chose Brenda, but she was engaged to Sonny by that point. Unfortunately, when the mobster left her at the altar, she suffered a breakdown and Jax helped her put her life back together again. They got engaged again, but Brenda was presumed dead when her mother drove them off a cliff.
After losing his fortune, Jax started rebuilding it by gambling in Monte Carlo, which is where he met fashion designer Chloe Morgan. As part of a scheme to keep her design business, she married Ned while Jax married his friend, Alexis Davis. Naturally, that didn’t last, and Jax and Chloe fell for each other and he bought her company back for her. But when Stefan Cassadine showed Jax a photo of someone who looks like Brenda, Jax left Port Charles in search of his love.
While looking for Brenda, Jax met Kristina Cassadine, and reunited her and her sister, Alexis. Although Chloe turned him down because he’d left her to look for his ex, Jax was still heartbroken when she was murdered by Stavros Cassadine. Next, Jax teamed up with Sky Chandler Quartermaine and A.J. Quartermaine to take over ELQ. Over time, Jax and Skye fell in love and were married. But then Brenda showed up alive and her jealous lover, Luis Alcazar, shot Jax and left him temporarily paralyzed! Skye learned Brenda wasn’t dying and when Jax learned she was keeping that secret, divorced Skye and told Brenda the happy truth. They got engaged, but Brenda had to marry Jason Morgan so they wouldn’t be forced to testify against each other since Skye had implicated them in the murder of Luis Alcazar. Once Alexis was revealed as the killer, Brenda annulled her marriage to Jason and planned to marry Jax, but he dumped her at the altar after learning she’d kissed Sonny. Brenda left town and Skye tried to rekindle things with Jax, but he also moved away.
Jax returned to Port Charles in 2003 looking for the Dead Man’s Hand, which led him to encounter Sam McCall, also after the same prize. Initially at odds, the two soon became lovers but she stole the cards from him and he wasn’t able to give them to his father before his death. He was further hurt to later discover that he wasn’t the father of the baby Sam was carrying, Sonny was. Jax turned his attention to Sonny’s sister, Courtney Matthews, and he bet her $10 million she wouldn’t be able to resist him. She won the bet, but they naturally fell in love later on. They got married but when Courtney couldn’t have a child, they used Elizabeth Webber as a surrogate. Jealous of Jax’s attention to Liz, Courtney began an affair with Nikolas Cassadine. When Courtney actually did get pregnant, Jax tampered with the DNA results to make himself the father. Courtney died shortly after giving birth to her son, and Jax was ultimately forced to give the child back to Nikolas, who named him Spencer Cassadine.
Carly began dating Jax to help him rase his son, and they continued dating after he had to give him up. But their wedding was delayed and he ultimately had to leave town to help his villainous brother, Jerry Jacks. When Jax returned, Carly had been forced to marry Sonny to avoid testifying against him and they’d slept together. But Jax fought for her and she ultimately chose to divorce Sonny and marry Jax. When they returned from their honeymoon, Jax leaned his brother was now calling himself Mr. Craig and found himself kidnapped and raped by Jerry’s former lover, Irina.
Jax began a new business with fashion editor Kate Howard, who he later learned was really Connie Falconeri, Sonny’s high school girlfriend. Carly and Jax were delighted to learn she was pregnant, but after she was injured in an explosion and then threatened by Claudia Zacchara, Carly lost the baby. Jax later shared a kiss with Kate, but Carly slept with Sonny, so he dumped her. But they soon worked through their problems and they eventually reunited. Carly became pregnant again, and they worried because it was very high risk, but even though she was kidnapped by Claudia while going into labor, she delivered Josslyn Jacks. Unfortunately, Carly kicked Jax out when she found out he knew Claudia and Jerry were behind the shooting of her son, Michael Corinthos.
Sonny was put on trial for Claudia’s murder, and Jax was eager to see his rival behind bars. But when the truth that Michael had killed her came out, Jax felt terrible and the stress took a toll on his and Carly’s marriage. The couple then learned that Josslyn had kidney cancer and after Liz’s son, Jake Spencer, was killed in a hit-and-run, got her to agree to donate one of his kidneys. Josslyn recovered, but Carly and Jax divorced and fought over custody of the girl. Sonny framed Jax so he would lose custody, and he considered kidnapping his daughter, but ultimately chose to leave town. However, Sonny sabotaged his plane and it crashed, leaving Jax presumed dead!
Luckily, Jax managed to survive, and returned eventually when Josslyn was hospitalized with a strange illness. He discovered Jerry had poisoned the Port Charles water supply to demand a hefty ransom. he also came back another time to let Carly know their divorce was never finalized, so she took care of that. He was engaged to Brenda at the time, but she dumped him for Sonny again.
He has returned to Port Charles repeatedly since then, once for Morgan Corinthos’ funeral and then again to let Josslyn know that his mother, Lady Jane, had passed away. He also revealed that the kidney Josslyn had received hadn’t come from Jake (or whoever the little boy was they thought was Jake since Jake was actually alive the whole time) but from Nelle Benson, and he had purchased it illegally. This, again, was a way for Sonny to drive Jax out of town again.
Jax returned to Port Charles in May of 2019 to support Josslyn after the death of her boyfriend, Oscar. He was happy to learn Carly was expecting another child with Sonny and told his family he'd be sticking around for a while this time. To that end, he purchased half of Aurora Media from Drew Cain and became Nina Reeves' boss as the owner of Crimson. They sparred over how best to run the magazine, disagreeing over Nina's decision to boost sales by running a cover story on Ava Jerome. Jax hired Curtis to work in security at Aurora, but Curtis was really working for Valentin Cassadine to dig up dirt on Jax. It was revealed that Jax had files on Valentin and Cassandra Pierce, and when Hayden Barnes returned to Port Charles, it turned out she and Jax were secretly working together to uncover a secret codicil to Helena Cassadine's will that would take the family fortune away from Valentin. And when Nina walked out on her wedding to Valentin after learning Sasha had lied about being her daughter, Jax was there to offer a shoulder for her to lean on.
Stay tuned to see how Jax’s storyline continues, and for more GH news, keep reading the ABC edition of Soaps In Depth magazine!