EXCLUSIVE: It’s an end of an era for Days of Our Lives. Kristian Alfonso, one of the daytime drama’s most recognizable and longest-tenured stars, is leaving the NBC series, which she first joined in 1983.
“I feel blessed and honored to have been invited into people’s homes for over three decades. However, it is now time for me to write my next chapter,” Alfonso said in a statement to Deadline.
As we reported on Friday, Days Of Our Lives plans to return to production on September 1.
“I will not be returning to Days when it resumes production in September,” Alfonso said. “I’ve already filmed my last episode several months ago.”
Like all other Hollywood productions, Days of Our Lives suspended shooting in mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic. But the soap traditionally is ahead of schedule and has enough originals in the can to take it through early October. That includes Alfonso’s final episode.
Alfonso has played Hope Williams Brady on the daytime drama since 1983 and, with two brief breaks, has been on the show ever since, earning a Daytime Emmy Award nomination.
She thanked NBC and the late Days co-creator Betty Corday, “who took a chance on me many years ago and changed my life,” her castmates, crew members, as well as the show’s “incredibly loyal fans.” (You can read her full statement below.)
Introduced as Hope Williams, her character fell in love with and married Bo Brady, played by Peter Reckell. She left the show for two years in 1987 and returned briefly from April to July 1990, which culminated with the entire town of Salem believing that Hope had died. She returned again in 1994 as Gina, an amnesiac who had a marked resemblance to Hope. The character turned out to be Hope after a complicated storyline involving the evil Stefano DiMera (Joseph Mascolo) who had brainwashed Gina into believing she was Princess Gina Von Amberg. Hope, a prominent detective in the Salem Police Department, was the one to finally kill Stefano, a decision with repercussions that weighed heavily on her conscience for many years.
Days, which in January was renewed for a 56th season, comes from Corday Productions in association with Sony Pictures TV.