Mathison joined All My Children in January 1998 as a conman looking to score some quick cash. His role grew over time and became one of the show's more popular characters. His work on AMC earned him a Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in 2002. Mathison exited his All My Children role in July 2002, an exit that at the time was called "temporary." Mathison and then-fiancée Vanessa Arevalo planned to get married and Mathison wanted time off from the show to spend with his new wife.
"I love my life on the show, but I'm at a time in my life where I need to try to do some other things," Mathison said in a statement. "I shall remain eternally grateful to the incredible team of talented professionals at 'All My Children' and ABC Daytime, many of who I consider my extended family. It has been an amazing four years. I also want to thank the fans for their continued support, loyalty and friendship."
On April 20, 2003, the Mathisons welcomed their first child, son Lucas Arthur Mathison.
During his time away from All My Children, Mathison found work in primetime television, appearing on such series as the popular CBS drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
Word of All My Children's desire to bring back the character of Ryan Lavery surfaced several weeks ago when a casting call went out for a character simply named "Ryan." Traditionally, casting calls use bogus names to thwart speculation about what is really going on behind the scenes. According to an insider, the casting call was a smokescreen to hide the fact that ABC and Mathison were already involved in negotiations.
A spokesperson for ABC declined to comment on Mathison's return. It is not clear if Mathison had always planned to take a year off from All My Children as originally hinted by his "temporary exit" last year, or if he had to be lured back to daytime television.
Mathison's first airdate was July 23, 2003.