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Dr. Thomas "T.J." Ashford, Jr. is a fictional character on the ABC daytime soap opera General Hospital. He is the son of Shawn Butler and his ex-mistress, Comr. Jordan Ashford and the legal son of the late, Tommy Ashford.
He was conceived during an affair that Jordan had with Shawn while married to Tommy.
The character was originated by actor Krys Meyer, who held the role from January 17 to August 1, 2012. Actor Tequan Richmond took over the role from August 16, 2012 until October 19, 2018. Tajh Bellow took over the role on November 20, 2018.
On June 16, 2016, T.J. overheard Curtis talking to Jordan about how Tommy wasn't his father, Shawn is.
In October 2011, the series put out a casting call for a 14-year-old African American actor for the role of T.J.. The role was said to be recurring but the actor would get a lot of screen time. The character was expected to make his appearance sometime during or after December.
In December 2011, Soaps In Depth reported that Krys Meyer had been cast in the role of TJ.
Meyer would make his debut on January 17, 2012 on a recurring basis as the son of one of Shawn Butler (Sean Blakemore)'s fellow marines. In July 2012, the series put out a casting call for an actor similar to Meyer which led to speculation that the role was to be recast. Jamey Giddens later reported that Meyer had booked a new gig and the role needed to be recast immediately.
Meyer last appeared on August 1, 2012.
On July 23, 2012, Tequan Richmond, known for his role as Drew on the sitcom Everybody Hates Chris announced that he had joined the cast of General Hospital and would film his first scenes on July 24.
Richmond made his debut on August 16, 2012.
Richmond's casting was later officially confirmed by the network. Richmond had initially taken the recurring role until he started production on the syndicated sitcom Mr. Box Office. However, in November 2012, Richmond was listed as a contract cast member. Richmond confirmed this during an interview in September 2013.
On April 4, 2016, Soap Opera Digest broke the news that Richmond had been dropped to recurring status.
On June 2, 2016, ABC Soaps In Depth confirmed that Richmond will be returning to the screen starting on June 16, 2016. He confirmed that future appearances would depend on his availability. Richmond has made a few appearances since his return and was last seen on June 12, 2017.
Richmond was nominated for a NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Daytime Drama Series in 2014 and he was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Younger Actor in 2015.
Richmond was seen a few times in 2018, but made his last appearance on October 19, 2018.
The role of T.J. Ashford will now be portrayed by Tajh Bellow. Bellow made his first appearance on November 20, 2018.Bellow was on recurring status from November 20, 2018 through February 4, 2022, and was bumped up to contract status as of February 7, 2022.
When the role was recast, the casting call described T.J. as "charming" and "charismatic" as well as "a tad cocky." T.J. is drawn to trouble "but has a soft and sensitive side."Tequan Richmond implied that T.J.'s naïve nature adds to his charm. "He's definitely blind to certain things" the actor explained. Like most teenagers, T.J. thinks he knows everything he needs to know.
T.J. comes to Port Charles as a troubled teen who is angry with Shawn for killing his father. T.J.'s mother gave him the option of living with Shawn or military school, because she could no longer handle him herself. On his second day in Port Charles, T.J. is already in trouble after he steals a car from a valet service, since he is only 14 he is let off with a warning. He is befriended by Molly Lansing-Davis who shows him around Port Charles High and helps him with his homework.
Molly's mother Alexis Davis helped T.J. get off with a warning after he stole the car. Alexis and Shawn both realize that T.J. is very troubled and set out to help him. T.J. later finds out about Sonny Corinthos and the mob ties of Port Charles and decides that he wants to stay in town after all. T.J. gets into further trouble when he poses as a bellboy at the Metro Court Hotel and has travelers pay him to carry their luggage. He is outed by Carly Corinthos the owner of the Metro Court and let off on a warning again since Shawn is good friends with Carly.
T.J. continues his tutoring sessions with Molly and she soon learns that he has trouble reading. Molly downloads mp3 audio soundbites of their homework for T.J. and starts to teach him how to read. In exchange, T.J. sets up a fake MyFace account for Molly, that she names Desdemona. Desdemona is a hit on MyFace, more so than Molly's real account, where she only had her mother as a friend. T.J. becomes very popular at Port Charles High in contrast with Molly who does not have many friends. He decides to show everyone how cool Molly is by throwing a party at her house. He posts a party invite on MyFace and invites everyone over to Molly's house for a party that involved alcohol. Molly is shocked when tons of people that she doesn't know, pile into her house for a party. The party starts to get out of control, and Molly calls her cousin Michael Corinthos for help.
As T.J. mingles around the party, he notices a boy trying to take Molly back to her room and stops him just before Molly passes out drunk. He then discovers that Molly's drink had been spiked and he tried to shut the party down. Before he gets the chance however, Michael arrives and shuts the party down. He kicks all of the kids out of the house and has them call their parents for rides. Michael then finds Molly unconscious and begins yelling at T.J. for his cousin's drunk state. Molly awakes to the two of them arguing and Michael goes to call Alexis, but T.J. tries to convince him not to because he didn't want to get Molly in trouble. They start to clean the Lake House, but before they can finish Alexis and Mac Scorpio arrive. Molly initially takes the fall for T.J. and claims that she threw the party to keep him from getting in anymore trouble, but T.J. comes clean and admits that he was the one who threw the party because he wanted to help Molly makes more friends and show the people at school that she really was cool. Nevertheless, Alexis still forbids Molly and T.J. from hanging out again.
After a three month absence, it is revealed in May 2012 that he has secretly began dating Molly, without Alexis and Shawn knowing. Michael finds out, but agrees to keep quiet about their relationship. Later, Molly's sister Sam almost walks in on them kissing, but they cover by saying they are just studying and T.J. quickly leaves. In January 2013, T.J. tries to get Molly's novel back from Connie Falconeri. He tried to use the knowledge that Connie just lost her newly-found son Trey Mitchell. However, he is unsuccessful and goes to Alexis' house to talk to Molly about his failed attempt. In March 2013, he and Molly were dropped off to Sonny's house by Shawn so that Sonny and Shawn can start having a discussion between Kate and Connie. After that, they go onto the Floating Rib right where Mac and Felicia are at.
A new boy, Rafe Kovich, Jr., arrives in early parts of February. Rafe and Molly bond soon after they meet on the docks. T.J. gets jealous of the bonding and sees that Rafe is falling for Molly. Molly has enough and states that Rafe is taking her to the prom. Soon after, nurse Felix DuBois' bratty little sister Taylor DuBois arrives in town in June and hears word of the T.J.'s situation. Taylor invites herself as T.J.'s date and throws herself at T.J. when he is trying to fix Kelly's water pipes. Taylor stays and screams and gets even wetter. She takes off her and T.J.'s shirt. After the shooting at the Metro Court (Shawn accidentally shooting Olivia Quartermaine, aiming for Franco), the prom is cancelled and Taylor weasels her way and gets T.J. to go out partying.In the limo, Taylor uses the information that T.J. gives her to set him up to see Molly and Rafe kissing in the park. Taylor and T.J. have been drinking and they end up having sex in the limo.In September 2013 T.J. reconciles with his girlfriend Molly Lansing-Davis after being broken up for nearly four months which upsets Taylor DuBois and Rafe Kovich, Jr. they scheme together to try to come between them announcing to Molly and T.J. that they are dating. After T.J. witnesses, the accidental shooting of Max Giambetti by Morgan Corinthos, during a mob shootout between the Corinthos mob family and Jerome mob family, Sonny tells Shawn that they have to get T.J. out of town. His presence at the warehouse during the shootout made him a target for the Jeromes because he knows too much, and also put him in the position of having to lie if questioned by the cops. Shawn and Sonny decide that getting T.J. out of town and sending him back to his mother is the best way to protect him.
On June 11, 2014, T.J. and Rafe fought about Molly. Rafe sucker punched T.J. and gave him a bloody lip.
In June 2015, T.J. was accused of stealing at a store by a racist security guard. He assaulted the guard, was arrested and charged with aggravated battery. Sonny had the charges dropped because he paid off the guard.
T.J. argued with his mother and moved in with Sonny. He started to get interested in the mob life when on September 2, he is kidnapped and held hostage. Criminal Charlie Heineck and his men held T.J. at gunpoint under the orders of Paul Hornsby. Sonny confronted Charlie at a warehouse and was shot by Paul who was hidden out of view. Drew (as “Jason”) rescued T.J. and killed Charlie and his men.
T.J. moved in with Molly while they attended PCU together. He became a medical intern at GH.
On February 28, 2020, Cyrus had T.J. kidnapped so his mom would work with Cyrus. Molly slept with Brando because she believed T.J. had broken up with her. She told Brando that this could never happen again once she found out T.J. was alive. T.J. had wanted to get married and Molly didn’t.
On April 7, T.J. was beaten unconscious and dropped off in front of the hospital by Cyrus' henchmen. He was hospitalized and had PTSD afterward. T.J. told Mac that two men held him hostage in a basement. One of the men had a southern accent.
Molly and T.J. agreed to have a domestic partnership. Molly didn’t want T.J. to become friends with Brando but the guys started to bond anyway. Molly told Brando to stay away from T.J. and he began to distance himself from T.J.
- Broke into Kelly's diner and stole food [Jan 2012]
- Stole a car and went joyriding [Jan 2012]
- Drove without a license [Jan 2012]
- Posed as an employee at the Metro Court Hotel and charged guests a handling fee for assistance with their luggage [Feb 2012]
- Hosted an underage drinking party at Molly's house [Feb 2012]
- Sucker-punched Rafe [May 2013]
- Underage drinking with Taylor in the back of a limo [Jun 2013]
- Assaulted a security guard at Wyndham's [revealed Jun 11, 2015; arrested in Jun 2015; charged with aggravated battery, but the charges were dropped because Sonny paid off the guard]
- Punched Brando Corbin in the face [Jan 11, 2021]
- Fought one of the muggers (in self-defense) [May 20, 2022]
Health and Vitals
- Dyslexic [revealed Feb 1, 2012]
- Threatened to be put in the hospital by Michael if he (T.J.) ever hurt Molly again [Feb 22, 2012]
- Experienced a fever after being exposed to a toxin placed in the town's water supply by Jerry Jacks [Sep 2012]
- Held hostage at gunpoint and threatened by Carlos Rivera [Dec 19, 2013]
- Suffered a bloody lip after Rafe sucker punched him [Jun 11, 2014]
- Kidnapped and held hostage at gunpoint by Charlie Heineck and his men under the orders of Paul Hornsby [Sep 2, 2015]
- In the line of fire when Paul shot Sonny Corinthos [Sep 2, 2015; shown on Sep 4, 2015]
- Sucker punched by Morgan Corinthos (suffered a bloody lip as a result) [Oct 7, 2016]
- Kidnapped and held hostage by two of Cyrus Renault's men under his orders [Feb 28-Apr 7, 2020; revealed on Mar 12, 2020]
- Beaten unconscious and dropped off in front of the hospital by Cyrus' henchmen [revealed Apr 7, 2020; hospitalized; PTSD issues revealed on May 18, 2020]
- Mugged by two men (with Marshall) [May 19-20, 2022]
- TJ was a college freshman in 2014-15 which would've made him 18 or 19 in 2014
- Revealed by Jordan on May 22, 2015
- Stated on May 3, 2011. Their statuses are unknown.
- Last name revealed on June 22, 2017.
- Is Shawn's family expanding?. Retrieved on May 22, 2015.
- Meet GH's TJ!. Bauer Media Group. Retrieved on February 22, 2012.
- GH Casting New Teen. American Media, Inc.. Retrieved on May 22, 2015.
- Is Molly Getting A New Beau?. Bauer Media Group. Retrieved on May 22, 2015.
- Wishful Casting: Everybody Hates Chris Alum Tequan Richmond as General Hospital's TJ. Retrieved on May 22, 2015.
- Did My Wishful Casting About Everybody Hates Chris Star Tequan Richmond and General Hospital Come True?!. Retrieved on May 22, 2015.
- GH's New TJ!. ABC.Soapsindepth.com. Retrieved on July 31, 2012.
- PAPERMAG: Tequan Richmond. PAPER Communications. Retrieved on May 22, 2015.
- He was seen again on June 16, 2016.
- MiguelJT. 'General Hospital' Exclusive Interview: Tequan Richmond Discusses Absence From 'GH,' New Movie 'Nowhere Michigan,' And Daytime Emmy Nomination. Retrieved on April 3, 2016.
- As of the February 11, 2022 episode, Bellow was featured in the contract actors section of the closing credits. https://www.soapoperanews.net/2022/02/tajh-bellow-now-on-contract-at-general.html?m=1#more