Since this article was posted, Kristian Alfonso has explained what led to her decision to leave Days of our Lives. You can read that story update here.
It's a stunning end of an era for Days of our Lives. Fan favorite Kristian Alfonso (Hope Brady) has announced that she will not be returning to Days of our Lives when it resumes production later this year. The actress, who has played Hope Williams Brady since 1983, has decided to focus on the next stage of her life.
"Days of our Lives has been a vital part of both my personal and professional journey," the actress said in a statement on Monday. "I am forever grateful to NBC and the late [DAYS co-creator] Betty Corday, who took a chance on me many years ago and changed my life. I have built some lifelong friendships with my extraordinarily talented castmates. Days has one of the hardest working crews in all of television, many of whom have become part of my extended family. I feel blessed and honored to have been invited into people's homes for over three decades."
Alfonso went on to say that she's already filmed her final scenes, scenes that were filmed before the soap shut down earlier this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Those scenes are expected to air in mid-to-late September.
Alfonso made sure to address "the incredibly loyal fans of Days" in her announcement. "Many of you have been with me on this journey from the beginning. I cannot thank you enough for your generosity, love and support," Alfonso shared. "I could not have done it without YOU!!!"
Late last year, as Days of our Lives was awaiting word on its renewal, the entire cast was released from their contracts. It is unclear if that factored into Alfonso's exit. Additionally, in February, Galen Gering (Rafe Hernandez), who has played Alfonso's on-and-off on-screen love interest, revealed that he would be exiting the show.
Alfonso's exit is the latest in a string of big DAYS news. The NBC soap has announced that it will return to production in September -- without one of its longest-tenured behind-the-scenes execs.
Alfonso has been playing Hope Williams Brady since 1983, outside of two brief breaks in the late 80s and early 90s. The character was originally introduced as Hope Williams, the daughter of Doug Williams (Bill Hayes) and Addie Horton (Patricia Huston/Patricia Barry), who eventually fell in love with and married Bo Brady (Peter Reckell). Hope's had many storylines over the years, including her long-lasting romance with Bo, a presumed death, being brainwashed to believe she was Princess Gina Von Amberg, and murdering Stefano (Joseph Mascolo).
To read reaction from the daytime community to Alfonso's exit, please continue reading here.
How do you feel about Kristian Alfonso exiting DAYS? Will you miss seeing Hope on-screen? How would you like to see the character written out? We want to hear from you -- so drop your comments in the Comments section below, tweet about it on Twitter, share it on Facebook, or chat about it on our Message Boards.