Days of Our Lives is currently planning to return to production on September 1, coronavirus quarantine guidelines–willing, but at least one cast member won’t be. According to Deadline, actress Kristian Alfonso, who has portrayed Hope Williams Brady on the long-running NBC soap opera since 1983, has decided to leave the series. “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,” she said in a statement. “I will not be returning to Days when it resumes production in September. I’ve already filmed my last episode several months ago.”
In her 37 years on the show, Alfonso’s Hope has been through a lot, ever since the actress landed the role following recasting; the character had been played by four different performers in the past. One half of soap opera couple Bo and Hope, across from Peter Reckell, the character had many storylines — her parenting children Shawn-Douglas, Zack and Ciara; rising through the ranks of the Salem Police Department to become commissioner; and, of course, being presumed dead in a cave explosion, only to return as an amnesiac named Gina due to the microchip installed in her brain containing the personality of Princess Gina Von Amberg, the infamous (and very much alive) art thief, all of which was a nefarious scheme by the evil Stefano DiMera, whom Hope eventually killed.
Alfonso initially portrayed Hope from 1983 to 1987, returned for several months in 1990, then rejoined the cast in May 1994 until this year. “Days of Our Lives has been a vital part of both my personal and professional journey,” says Alfonso, thanking the show’s late co-creator. “I am forever grateful to NBC and the late Betty Corday, who took a chance on me years ago and changed my life.”