In MemoriamBy SOD Posted: Jun 10, 2004
"He was awake, and it was very sudden; no one's quite sure of what it [was]," says Matthew Ashford (Jack). "I've heard people practically screaming on the phone as we told them. It's really horrible. My heart goes out to his family and friends. As corny as it sounds, Macdonald Carey [ex-Tom] saying, 'These are the days of our lives,' really is true. These are the people of your life. Melissa Reeves [Jennifer] is a major part of my life because we've shared so much time. Richard Biggs is a major part of my life, as is Stephen Nichols [Steve], Mary Beth Evans [Kayla], Ken Corday [executive producer], the writers. People are such an important aspect of all of our lives, but sometimes it takes losing someone who's important in your life, but you didn't realize it until that moment. It's made me reflect on that again. It's very sad and painful, and yet, there are people calling from all over the country and world who've known Rick and have worked with him, and you just realize his impact, his effect on people is very big."Ashford hopes that fans will help keep Biggs's memory alive. "His wife's concern is that his sons will never know him because they're just babies. Something I know DAYS fans are great at is sharing experiences at fan events, so we're hoping that some of them will share their experience with Rick, who he is, the kind of man he is, and address it to his sons R.J. and Hunter, so someday they'll have that." Those memories can be sent to R.J. and Hunter Biggs, 1052 W. Alameda Ave., #350, Burbank, CA 91506. "If they have any pictures, send those, too," Ashford adds. "I'm trying to dig out pictures now of him in a skirt. He was doing a theater benefit with me, and he was dancing around with [my wife] Christina, doing [a song from South Pacific]. He put on a grass skirt and a yellow wig and two coconuts and combat boots. I wouldn't do it. He was such a good guy about it. Little did he know, I stood in the back of the theater and took pictures." Ashford says the two had fun going dancing. "We'd go dancing somewhere, and he wouldn't leave the dance floor if I tried to do something. He'd call it the 'Matthew Shuffle' or the 'Matthew Dance.' He'd be out there with me, laughing."Nichols also has fond memories of Biggs. "My very first memory of Richard was the day he auditioned [for DAYS]," he recalls. "It was the first time I had met him, and when the audition was over - I think he was the last of the day - he came to me and whispered in my ear, 'Listen, man, I really need this job, so whatever you can do to help me out, I'd really appreciate.' [Laughs] I thought that was great because he was really being himself; he didn't have that actor's ego, like he didn't need the work. He was just very real and very honest. The only way to describe him is sweet and noble. He was a very upstanding person. He had a lot of integrity, strength and wisdom about him that I really respected. Everybody felt that when they met him." Nichols admits that he regrets losing touch with his close friend over the years. "When you lose someone like this, you think, 'I wish that we had stayed in touch and remained close outside of work.' That didn't happen; we went our separate ways." The actor, however, was able to reconnect with Biggs through his family at the memorial service. "It was really lovely," Nichols says. "I didn't really know what his family was like, except that they were all very close-knit. He has four sisters — he was the only boy — and before he had his own kids, he took care of all of his sisters' children. He was a beloved uncle, and he became a beloved father. It's very sad; he was so young and just starting his own family. But it was really nice to see how close they all were. There was a lot of love in the place; he affected a lot of people's lives."To contribute to the Biggs' sons' education fund, send donations to:
The Benefit of the Children of Richard Biggs II
Washington Mutual Bank
840 N. San Fernando Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91502