John Ashton (actor)
||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2011)|
Ashton in 2006.
|Born||John David Ashton
February 22, 1948
Springfield, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Bridget Ashton (1976-2001; divorced; 1 child)
Victoria Marie Runn (1968-1970; divorced; 1 child)
Life and career
Born in Springfield, Massachusetts, Ashton attended Defiance College in Ohio and is a graduate of the University of Southern California School of Theatre. He attended Enfield High School in Enfield, Connecticut.
Ashton has made numerous appearances in both television and feature films. He played "Willie Joe Garr" on several episodes of Dallas, his character and that of "Jeb Ames" were charged with the crime of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Tina Louise's Dallas character "Julie Grey". Ashton also appeared in an episode of Columbo: Negative Reaction and in episode 5 of Police Squad, Rendezvous at Big Gulch (Terror in the Neighborhood), as one of the henchmen who attack the locksmith shop.
Ashton also starred as Detective Sergeant John Taggart in the first two movies of the popular Beverly Hills Cop trilogy, alongside Eddie Murphy and Judge Reinhold, and appeared as Eric Stoltz's character's father in the John Hughes-penned comedy-drama Some Kind of Wonderful. In 1988 he co-starred in the action-comedy Midnight Run as a rival bounty hunter to Robert De Niro's character. He also starred in the 1994 film Little Big League with Luke Edwards, and appeared in a supporting role in the acclaimed 2007 drama Gone Baby Gone directed by Ben Affleck.
Ashton has stated that he would be willing to reprise his roles in the rumored Beverly Hills Cop IV and Midnight Run II productions. He guest-starred opposite Beverly Hills Cop co-star Ronny Cox in an episode of Matthew Perry's 2011 series, Mr Sunshine.
John wore number 70 and was a starting tackle on the Enfield High football team. He played both offense and defense and his aggressive nature gave him the propensity for generating more than a few “off-sides” flags. He was a tough kid. His coach, Joe Lamana, who was both loved and feared by his players, would throw his clipboard and kick the sideline markers, every time John was flagged. John’s teammates eventually realized that even if they jumped off sides or did something to generate a flag, it would be John that would take the heat and always the source of a chuckle inside the huddle. John certainly possessed the toughness and perhaps the talent to play football at the next level, but even in high school, his theatrical talents dominated. He was the lead singer in a garage band called the “In Crowd” and he played Judd Frye in his school’s production of “Oklahoma”. He did justice to both “Twist and Shout” and “Poor Judd is Dead”.
Ashton married his first wife Victoria Marie Runn in 1968 and they divorced in 1970. He married his second wife Bridget Baker-Ashton in 1976 and they divorced in 2001. Ashton has two children—one by each of his ex-wives. Ashton currently resides in Fort Collins, Colorado and is co-host of the Ashton and Davis show on 870 ESPN radio.