Jay Kenneth Johnson~
Newcomer Jay Kenneth Johnson assumes the role of Philip Kiriakis, a character with perhaps the most unusual parentage in all of daytime television; Philip was born from a stolen embryo that was implanted into the womb of his mother's arch enemy. With his father recently released from a nursing home and his mother determined to destroy the woman who gave birth to him, the young Kiriakis heir has a great deal more than a gambling addiction to deal with this winter on NBC Television's number one daytime drama, Days of our Lives.
Jay was born in Springfield, Missouri the eldest of three children. Jay's father, Kenneth, is a mortgage broker; his mother, Janice, works for Southwestern Bell Yellow Pages. While growing up, Jay knew he wanted to be either an actor or a professional athlete. He had the best of both worlds during high school when Jay juggled sports and theatre with academics. "That was a challenge in itself," Johnson explains. "I had to take small roles in the high school productions because the plays always fell during the Kickapoo Chiefs' football season." After high school, Jay knew that acting would be in his future.
"Playing football is similar to acting in a lot of ways," the former varsity defensive back explains. "In both of them, you've got to be creative and work well with others. They also both take a tremendous amount of concentration while performing in front of the crowds. You get a rush of adrenaline when you hear the crowd roar during a ball game. It's the same with acting."
Jay attended college at Southwest Missouri State and majored in business and theatre. While considering a move out West, it was an unlikely television show that gave the young actor the inspiration and shove he needed. "I was watching the program 'VH1: Before They Were Stars' and I realized that I wanted to do this, take a risk and give it a shot. My parents at first didn't really approve, but they came to respect my decision."
Prior to relocating to Los Angeles, Jay modeled and appeared in a few commercials. Jay appeared as Brendan on The Young and the Restless before landing the role of Philip Kiriakis.
Jay keeps in close touch with his younger brother Jeff who attends the University of Arkansas, and his younger sister Jenna, a junior high student. Jay loves music and would someday like to start his own band. In his spare time, Jay enjoys reading, roller-blading, going to the beach and playing sports.
Philip Kiriakis is the product of a very interesting love triangle involving Victor Kiriakis, Kate Roberts, and Vivian Alamain. Technically, Vivian gave birth to Philip; she stole Victor and Kate's fertilized embryo and had it implanted in her womb. Kate, however, remains Philip's biological mother. Both women have attempted to raise Philip, until recently, the two women continued to fight for Victor's love.
Philip spent much of his childhood outside of Salem but has recently returned to be spoiled by both Vivian and Kate. He developed a slight gambling problem and was forced to enlist his family's help to repay his debts. Victor adamantly refused to "rescue" his son but when he showed up late and severely beaten by a debt collector, Victor used his influence and power to save his son and get revenge on his attackers. Later, Victor forced Philip to work as an intern at Henderson's to pay off his debt.
In school, Philip made his presence known among his classmates. He butted heads with Shawn Brady over the attention of Salem's beautiful young teenagers. Philip used his gambling ways to assure that Belle Black would end up at the school dance without a date so that he could make his move. Recently, however, new arrival Chloe Wesley has caught Philip's attention. At first, Philip partook in ridiculing Chloe for her eccentric behavior and dress. In time, however, he began to fall for her. Soon enough they had a strong love for each other. Until Philip didn't come to her rescue at the Last Blast 2001. Now he is trying his hardest to win back his lost love!