On the 39th Anniversary of Her Days of Our Lives Debut, Relive Kristian Alfonso’s Adventures as Hope Brady
On April 14, 1983, a green newcomer made her daytime debut — and went on to take the genre by storm.
Hard as it is to believe, Kristian Alfonso almost didn’t play Days of Our Lives’ Hope Brady, the heroine she made not only beloved but iconic over the course of her 37-year run. When she was first offered the part in 1981, she turned it down and let it go to Tammy Taylor. “I was still in school at the time,” the Massachusetts native told We Love Soaps in 2013. If she’d accepted the role, it “would have meant everyone in my family would have had to move to California. So I went back to Boston, and two years later, the character of Hope came up” again, and this time, she was free to take it on.
Credit: Courtesy of the Everett Collection
In the Beginning…
Back then, Alfonso was a television newcomer who had more experience on the ice than she did on the set. (As a tween, the figure skater had won a gold medal at the Junior Olympics.) But she had something that just can’t be taught: charisma. Still, it wasn’t a seamless transition from Vogue covergirl to soap-opera ingenue. “When I look at the tapes of those first shows I did,” she told Soap Opera Digest in 1984, “I think, ‘My God, why did they ever hire me?’”
Again, charisma — and chemistry with leading man Peter Reckell that made Hope and Bo one of daytime’s hottest supercouples in approximately… mm, a nanosecond. Watch them in action below.
About Fancy Face
As many a soap starlet would, Alfonso eventually grew interested in spreading her wings. So in 1987, she left Days of Our Lives to try her luck in primetime. As polished a performer as she was by then, her luck was awfully good. She not only guest-starred on everything from Full House to Melrose Place, she was recruited by the primetime soap Falcon Crest to play a new love interest for Lorenzo Lamas (later Hector, The Bold and the Beautiful).
She was, in short, in demand.
But as Alfonso started a family, she was drawn back to the one that she already had in Salem. When at last she returned for good in 1994, she kept Hope front and center until 2020, when she rejected plans to remove her from the canvas for several months in order to facilitate the start of a new storyline. “It was the perfect moment to make that decision” to leave, she told Entertainment Tonight.
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Since making her final appearance on Days of Our Lives — in an episode that, since it was taped before she walked, couldn’t have satisfied her fans — Alfonso has worked regularly. Besides reuniting with soap castmate Alison Sweeney (Sami) for Chronicle Mysteries: Helped to Death, the MVP has shot two V.C. Andrews movies for Lifetime. And we have a feeling she’s still just getting warmed up for her second act.
On this momentous occasion, while Alfonso looks forward to new roles, perhaps you’d like to look back at her adventures as Hope via the below photo gallery, a collection of images that’s sure to spark memories you didn’t even realize you had!
Video: YouTube/DOOL Flashbacks
<p>Even before Hope was born in 1974, her life was a soap opera! Mom Addie learned that she had leukemia but passed on treatment in order to safeguard her baby-to-be. Then, after Hope had been miraculously ushered into world, Addie pushed her daughter’s stroller out of the way of a speeding car… without quite getting out of the way herself! D’oh!</p>
<p>After being sent to boarding school by dad Doug — as we all know, the quickest way to grow a soap kid up! — Hope returned to Salem in 1983 and immediately developed an unrequited infatuation with older man Roman, which of course drove bonkers her true love, his kid brother, Bo.</p>
<p>If Hope didn’t already have daddy issues, she <em>had</em> to have developed some the night that Doug suffered a heart attack while trying to prevent her from letting Bo punch her V-card. This disaster and a half led him to get involved with Stefano’s daughter, Megan, and Hope to get involved with — ugh — Larry Welch!</p>
<p>Thanks to Bo — and blushing “bride” Howie — Hope was (temporarily) saved from having to become Mrs. Larry Welch. And in 1985, she and the man she <em>actually</em> loved made it official. Not that that was the end of their story — not by a long shot!</p>
<p>After the newlyweds welcomed into the world son Shawn-Douglas in 1987, they set sail on the <em>Fancy Face</em> — all the better to get away from Bo’s newfound father, crankypants villain Victor Kiriakis. But they couldn’t resist Salem’s magnetic pull, and returned to their old stomping grounds just three years later.</p>
<p>Thanks to the nefarious Ernesto Toscano, Hope was presumed doomed after an explosion went off while she was trapped in a cage suspended over a vat of acid. As if <em>that</em> could take her out! No, she was fine, she was just hanging around Maison Blanche, suffering from amnesia and convinced that her name was Gina. <em>Princess</em> Gina if you’re nasty.</p>
<p>After Stefano, as he was wont to do, turned Hope back into Princess Gina in order to retrieve his art treasures, she made love with John. And Stefano. Yeah, she was busy. So when Hope discovered that she was pregnant, she figured the odds of the baby being Bo’s were about as slim as those of Sami having a chill reaction to anything.</p>
<p>While investigating the Salem Stalker murders in 2003 — as if that wasn’t enough to keep anyone busy! — Hope made time to canoodle with prime suspect Patrick. Their relationship took a big, unfortunate step forward just a few years later when Bo’s daughter, Chelsea, consented to a divorce on his behalf (kinda as a weird thank-you for Dad keeping secret the fact that she’d hit and run over his and Hope’s second son, Zack).</p>
<p>Hope and Bo wouldn’t really get their groove back until after daughter Ciara was born. <em>And</em> kidnapped. <em>And</em> Hope’s insomnia drove her to take so many sleep aids that she became the Salem Mugger. She went to prison, Bo sprung her, and ta-da! They realized that they were about as done as a cake that hadn’t even been put in the oven yet!</p>
<p>After Bo left Salem with his Alzheimer’s-stricken mom, Hope tried to keep the faith that he’d return. But it was for naught. She eventually moved on with cute lawyer Aiden… whose doppelgänger attempted to strangle her on their wedding night. Suddenly, Larry Welch didn’t look so bad!</p>
<p>Ultimately, Bo wound up returning to Salem just in time to save Hope from Aiden. Sadly, Bo couldn’t save himself. He was suffering from an inoperable brain tumor — had he not met Rolf?!? — and died in the arms of his beloved Fancy Face.</p>
<p>Believing that Bo’s death had Stefano’s prints all over it — imagine that! — Hope exacted revenge by ensuring that the Phoenix would never rise again. In the aftermath, Rafe helped her cover up her crime… and in so doing, fell hard for old pal Bo’s one and only.</p>
<p>Thanks to Andre, Hope was sent up the river for Stefano’s murder. And she might still be starring in her own private version of <em><span style="text-decoration: line-through">Orange</span> Denim Is the New Black</em>, had Shane and Steve not concocted a scheme to make everyone believe that the deceased was alive and well, and living it up in Athens.</p>
<p>When Hope hesitated to exchange vows with Rafe in 2017, he stuck a fork in their relationship and slept with ex-wife Sami. Do we even need to tell you that, the morning after, Hope announced that she’d had a change of the same heart that would be broken once she found out what he’d done?</p>
<p>After Princess Gina once more reared her regal head in an attempt to make John her own — or at least nobody else’s! — Hope began spending more time with Rafe again. It looked like they might be inching toward a reunion when…</p>
<p>The words “I” and “do” had scarcely passed Ciara’s lips when her and Ben’s wedding was blown up, the groom was kidnapped, and the bride, ultimately murdered by the grieving love of one of the Necktie Killer’s past victims. (Or so we were to believe.) Overcome by grief, Hope broke down in tears holding a framed photo of her “late” daughter the way she wanted to Ciara.</p>
<p>Upon being rescued from her captors — yes, there was a succession! — an amnesiac Ciara divorced Ben and made haste to marry Theo Carver. Throughout this trying time, Hope… Well, that’s awkward. Ciara’s mom remained off screen and away from Salem, her absence making our hearts grow fonder with every day that passed.</p>
<p>After Ciara and Ben welcomed into the world baby Bo — <em>and</em> saved the tot from Satan — the new mom was at last reunited with <em>her</em> mom in <em>Beyond Salem</em>, Chapter 2. Quicker than you could say “I do,” Hope had married shady Harris Michaels and — ack! — been shot. She couldn’t <em>really</em> be dead… could she?</p>
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