arianne zucker celebrates birthday days

Image: Jill Johnsjon/JPI

She’s sexy and cool and is something of a Jill of many trades.

There are 46 candles on Arianne Zucker’s birthday cake today, June 3! Over her years playing Nicole Walker on Days of our Lives, she’s evolved from a scheming waitress into a savvy mother who just wants to find the heart that beats in time with her own. Though she’s played many roles over the years on TV and film, Days of our Lives has been her true home on and off since 1998 – which means fans may think they know her pretty well by now. But here are 9 facts you might not be so familiar with!

Arianne Zucker landed the role of Nicole Walker despite having never appeared on TV before. She went on to start up a long-running feud with Sami Brady (Alison Sweeney) that included the (temporary) abduction of Sami’s baby Sydney in 2009. Zucker left in 2006, but returned two years later, has been back on and off ever since and has received four Daytime Emmy nominations.

More: Exclusive, Arianne Zucker talks Nicole Walker

Zucker has been married once, to fellow Days of our Lives star Kyle Lowder (Brady Black). They wed in 2002, but in 2014 confirmed they were divorced. They have one daughter, Isabella Reese, who was born in 2009. Currently, Zucker is dating former Days of our Lives co-star Shawn Christian (Daniel).

Born in Northridge, California and raised in nearby Chatsworth, she attended Chatsworth High School with two other actresses: Candace Cameron Bure (Full House) and Lori Beth Denberg (All That). She was also a cheerleader while there! Modeling was her first career, something Zucker began doing when she was just 16. After winning a modeling contest, she went to Paris and has since worked in Australia, Japan and New York City. She created the non-profit organization Arrow-Heart Adventure Camps in 2007 with her brother Todd. The camp is based in Weiser, Idaho and is meant to enrich teens’ lives through outdoor adventure. One major adventure involved filming a documentary in South Africa and Swaziland.

In 2016, Zucker had a starring role in a recording she wasn’t thrilled about: She was the actress then-presidential candidate Donald Trump spoke about to Billy Bush on Access Hollywood. The recording of his comments went viral, and Zucker responded with a lengthy comment, saying in part, “I refuse to let a situation such as this take my emotional power away. You are who you allow yourself to be and I did not let this event affect who I am as a woman, mother, daughter, friend and partner to a great man.”

Zucker is also the founder of the Chandelier Succulent Co., which designs real and fake succulents for display. “I probably got my love for creating from my grandmother who was a tailor and designer,” she wrote on her website about the company. “Today, I’m so excited to turn my hobby for crafts into a business that not only is a part of my heart, but brings happiness to others in the simplest of ways. Some of the items are DIY do to the material mixing during shipping. Others are made and ready without assembly. The real succulents are raised in California and have had time to grow in their small environments to help ensure their longevity and resilience.”

In March, Zucker began recording her podcast, Everything from A to Z, and has now released ten audio recordings, each focusing on a different topic, like “Abundance” or “Journey.” “I am a positivity advocate,” she says about the podcasts. “My joy in life is to share with people how to become their very own hero. Be the hero for their own audience.  With Everything from A to Z we will cover the multitude of ways you can discover your hero.”

Happy birthday Ari! All the best to you this year going forth.

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Video credit: arizucker/YouTube