When Kristian Alfonso announced that after playing the role of Hope Williams Brady on and off for 37 years she would be leaving Days of our Lives in the fall, fans instantly began to wonder how the show could survive without her… and whether it should have to.
Days of our Lives: Out Of the Past
This isn’t the first time that Alfonso has departed for greener pastures. In 1987, at the height of Hope and Bo’s (Peter Reckell) popularity, Alfonso bid goodbye to daytime for the primetime soap, Falcon Crest. She popped up briefly in Salem in 1990, so that Hope could “die.”
By 1994, the mysterious lookalike, Gina, was haunting Bo (then-Robert Kelker-Kelly). She turned out to be a brainwashed Hope and was reunited with the original Bo, to boot.
But, for much of seven years, we were Hope-less. And it was… OK. Bo was part of another wildly popular pairing, with Billie (Lisa Rinna), and, earlier, had been a smaller success with Carly (Crystal Chappell). So life can, in fact, go on.
New Fancy Face
Before Alfonso, there were two other long-running Hopes in Salem. Natasha Taylor played her as a spunky pre-teen, and Tammy Taylor made the transition to full-fledged teen before Alfonso took over.
So can the role be recast by Days of our Lives again? And if so, why? While that is ultimately up to the producers and writers, soaps are about family — and Hope represents one of the greatest in Salem history — the Hortons.
Her mother was Addie, daughter of Tom (Macdonald Carey) and Alice Horton (Frances Reid) — you know, the couple with the plaque at the square named after them. Her father, Doug Williams (Bill Hayes), is still on the show along with his wife Julie, who happens to be Hope’s half-sister — yes, the Horton half!
It’s also important for a soap to show multi-generations within its fabric. Hope’s granddaughter is on the show currently — Claire (Olivia Rose Keegan). Her daughter Ciara (Victoria Konefal) is getting married this next week. Hope’s cousin and best friend, Jennifer (Melissa Reeves) still needs her.
Apparently the show wanted Kristian Alfonso to take five months off and then come back with an incredible story. That might be the perfect scenario in which the show could take their time finding a recast, allow the fans to miss the character, and then reintroduce this once vital character into Salem anew. Days of our Lives (DOOL) airs weekdays on NBC. Check your local listings for airtimes.