Kristian Alfonso Quits 'Days of Our Lives' After 37 Years

Kristian Alfonso has quit Days of Our Lives after a whopping 37-year run. The actress announced her departure from the soap opera Monday on Instagram. She joined the show back in 1983 as Hope Williams Brady, but won't be returning when the show plans to resume production in September.

"Days of Our Lives has been a vital part of both my personal and professional journey," Alfonso posted. "I am forever grateful to NBC and the late 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."

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"However, it is now time for me to write my next chapter," Alfonso continued, where she dropped the big news. "I will not be returning to Days when it resumes production in September. I've already filmed my last episode several months ago. Finally, to the incredibly loyal fans of Days, many of you have been with me on this journey from the beginning. I cannot thank you enough for your generosity, love and support. I could not have done it without YOU!!!"

The character of Hope actually dates back to the show's 1974 season, though Alfonso was the first actor to play her as an adult. She joined the show nine years after Hope's introduction, and played the character since, although she had two breaks in there, as well. Now the last soap opera left on NBC, Days of Our Lives was renewed for Season 56 back in January. Despite the renewal, there was some speculation about which characters would be returning to the series, given that the entire cast had been released from their contracts just weeks earlier.

On Friday, Corday Productions, the company that produces Days of Our Lives, sent a memo to cast and crew calling them back to work on Sept. 1. This marks the show's return since TV and movies all ceased productions during a shutdown that rippled through the entertainment industry (and the country at large), back in March.