I haven’t watched Days of Our Lives in quite some time, but my mom was ever a big fan of it & watched it religiously.
A lot has happened in the soap opera since it first aired in 1965 – I loved the good ol’ days of the Bo and Hope storylines!
Kristin (Hope Brady) Alfonso is a great actress, and she and Peter (Bo Brady) Reckell were, in my opinion, one of the best couples of all time.
Sadly, Kristin unexpectedly left daytime drama in 2020 – the producers didn’t give a reason for her departure.
Now, months later, the well-known actress has decided to speak up, revealing why she had to leave Hope behind…
Kristian-Joy Alfonso was born on September 5, 1963, in Brockton, Massachusetts.
”Of course, I was born on Labor Day, which I guess fits into my life since I’m always running somewhere,” Alfonso said.
Her grandparents came from southern Italy and Sicily. Alfonso grew up in a city outside of Boston, side-by-side with her older sister, Lisa, and her parents, Gino and Joanne.
”I come from an amazing family. They’re incredible. Nurturing, supportive, loving. We’re all very close and talk to each other every single day,” Alfonso told North Bay Nugget in 2002.
The Italian-American actress has always been extremely proud of her heritage. Her favorite actors are Sophia Loren and Robert DeNiro, and she loves Italian food.
During the chilly winters in New England, far from the warm summer breezes in southern Italy, Alfonso developed an interest in figure skating.
That interest soon developed into a strong passion, and as a 10-year-old, Alfonso was considered one of the most promising figure skaters in the world. She even won the gold medal at the Junior Olympic Figure Skating Championships in 1978.
Speaking of chilly winters in New England, there was one thing in particular that residents enjoyed when it was snow season: tobogganing.
In Alfonso’s case, sadly, one sled ride would have unfortunate consequences. As a 13-year-old, she was involved in a tobogganing accident that left her with multiple fractures in her landing leg.
That ruined her plans to become a star in figure skating, ending a burgeoning career that had barely started. On the other hand, the accident opened up a different door that would change Alfonso’s life forever.
Soon after her skating career ended, Alfonso was discovered by a modeling agency, leading to her graduating high school and moving to New York City to pursue a modeling career.
At 16, her dreams came true; she could make a living out of her new job. Standing 5’4″ tall without her heels, Alfonso traveled worldwide, charming everyone with her personality and “fancy face.”
Alfonso, who didn’t have acting aspirations while growing up, also started enrolling in drama classes while living in the Big Apple. She was discovered by a talent scout for NBC and, undaunted, Alfonso launched herself into a different career. She started doing TV commercials, before featuring alongside Rock Hudson in The Starmaker, a TV movie from 1981.
“I had a great time modeling, but I was glad to move on to acting,” Alfonso said but also confessed that she had ”no idea” what she was doing during the filming of The Starmaker.
”I didn’t know camera talk, film talk. Rock was wonderful in helping me out,” Alfonso told The Vancouver Sun.
Kristian began her stint on Days of Our Lives in 1983.
As it turns out, she rarely got cast. In 1982, NBC asked her to audition for Hope Williams in the popular soap opera. Alfonso refused.
She was afraid she would be forced to move to Los Angeles if she landed the role. A year later, she changed her mind and decided to do a screen test. Only, it didn’t go as planned. Alfonso fell down a flight of stairs in the Horton house during the audition, according to Soapopera Digest.
Though, her little slip and clumsiness made an impression on the producers, and she was offered the role of Hope.
Alfonso was only 18 years old when she started playing Hope Williams in Days of Our Lives, the longest-running scripted television program in the world. She had an instant breakthrough, and her celebrity status skyrocketed.
Though she was very young and inexperienced at the time, Alfonso took to stardom with ease.
”I don’t look at myself as a celebrity. If my fans come up to me in my private time, that’s fine. I owe that to them,” she told The Daily Journal in 1985.
Alfonso had no idea that her character, Hope Williams, would become so popular – no one could resist the love story between her and her onscreen husband, Bo Brady, portrayed by Peter Reckell.
Their super-couple heyday started in the early 1980s when the show’s action/adventure storylines helped reinvigorate the show.
Bo Brady was a street-smart and action-oriented guy who made an everlasting impression with his motorbike and leather jacket. Hope Williams, meanwhile, was a beautiful, wealthy upper-class girl. Their epic love story melted the hearts of the TV audience.
Thousands of articles have been written about “Bope” (Bo and Hope). According to many, the couple is the most iconic pairing on daytime television.
Bo and Hope were nominated for the “Most Irresistible Combination” and won the “America’s Favorite super couple” award at the 2002 Emmy Awards.
At the height of their popularity, Reckell and Alfonso were met by 6,000 crazy fans at New Orleans airport. They were also chased in shopping malls and on the streets, and sometimes the fan interest in them bordered on becoming dangerous.
”It was scary. When you have people attacking you – wanting a piece of you, a word or a touch or whatever, but some piece – it’s a really strange feeling,” Peter Reckell told The Town Talk in 1986.
James Reynolds (as Abe), Renee Jones (as Lexie), Kristian Alfonso (as Hope), Peter Reckell (as Bo), Deidre Hall, and Drake Hogestyn (center) as (Marlena and John) star in NBC’s daytime soap series “Days of Our Lives.”
Alfonso left the soap opera in 1987 to focus on doing movies and other television projects. At the same time, she was planning her wedding.
In the early 80s, Alfonso had started dating Simon Macauley, a real estate developer.
According to The Boston Globe, they first met while Alfonso was on vacation in St.Martin, and got engaged six months later.
In 1987, the couple tied the knot inside the historic Old South Church in Boston. The actress, escorted by her father Gino, wore the same $20,000 wedding gown she had donned when Hope married Bob on Days of Our Lives.
Kristian Alfonso and husband Simon Macauley / Getty Images
The TV wedding between Hope and Bob is still considered one of the most spectacular weddings on daytime television. The pearl-laden gown was designed by Lee Smith and made of imported Parisian silk. It also had Italian beading and dozens of extra tucks and touches.
Three years into her marriage to Macauley, Alfonso gave birth to a son and named him Gino William, after her father. But just one year after welcoming their child, Alfonso and Simon went their separate ways.
After the divorce from Macauley, the soap opera icon was a single mother for a long time. She once dated famous interior designer Michael Palumbo, but they never married. Instead, Alfonso focused on work and caring for her son. In 1994, she returned to Days of Our Lives.
“Days is my home. I’ve done other things but this role is the best one I’ve ever had,” she said in 2003.
The beloved actress wed her second husband, Danny Daggenhurst, on Oct 6, 2001. A lawyer and businessman, Danny have made Alfonso a very happy woman and wife.
“There are no words that can describe what a wonderful person he is. There was an instant attraction between us. An unbelievable connection,” Alfonso told Province newspaper in 2003.
Alfonso and Daggenhurst welcomed their son Jack on July 18, 2002.
Besides being one of the biggest stars and most beloved characters in daytime television, Kristina Alfonso is also a devoted mother to her two sons and her stepson Spartan, 30.
Having grown up in a loving but strict Italian household, the actress always puts her family first. Outside the spotlight, she, her husband, and their children live a simple life. Alfonso likes ”normality.”
“Being a mom and a wife is always the first position. My family always comes first,” she says.
Kristian has grown up on screen in front of our eyes but, of course, she has changed a lot since 1984. Her impressive journey from Vogue cover girl to soap-opera star shows that she was able to transform herself and develop new skills. Today, Alfonso is still beautiful, and her wit and zest for life are ever present.
But over the years, there has been a lot of focus on her appearance. Even when Alfonso first broke into the industry, there was speculation as to whether she had undergone cosmetic procedures. It’s not uncommon for soap opera stars to turn to plastic surgery or other measures to ensure they retain a youthful look. In that sense, it’s perhaps not so strange that there were rumors aplenty involving Alfonso.
Some gossip sites go as far as to claim she has had plastic surgery. According to Legit, media outlets reported that she once received a bust lift.
But a few years ago, Alfonso decided to put her foot down and tell the truth.
Even though Hollywood stars in Alfonso’s age have turned to plastic surgery to rejuvenate themselves – the Days of Our Lives star has said she refuses to go under the knife.
According to her, she’s never been a fan of cosmetic surgery.
“I want my grandchildren to recognize me, and my children,” the 58-year-old actress told The Daily Telegraph in 2014.
“‘I just say to my hubby, you know what honey, I’m just going to age gracefully, I’m too afraid to do anything. In the old pictures they’ll say she’s aged and you know, she’s lived life.”
During her long spell as a high-profile actor on daytime television, Alfonso has earned a decent amount of money over the years.
In addition to her acting and job as a model, she also created her own company. In 2006, Alfonso launched her jewelry and fashion line. The clothing brand was called Hope by Kristian Alfonso, and the jewelry was sold under the name Hope Faith Miracles.
The idea came after demand from her fans.
“I’ve always worn my jewelry on the show. People have always inquired for so many years how they could purchase the pieces, but of course, they could not because they were my own,” she told The Knoxville News-Sentinel in 2008.
After ten years, the actress took to social media and revealed that she had sold the company and was no longer designing clothes and jewelry.
According to Cheatsheet, Kristian earned $5,000 per episode on Days of Our Lives. That sounds pretty fair since the average soap opera star usually gets $2,000 and $5,000 per episode, according to International Business Times.
Today, the veteran actress has a net worth of $5 million, if we’re to believe sites like Celebrity Net Worth.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the entire cast of Days of Our Lives saw their contracts terminated. However, in February 2020, Alfonso returned to the soap.
Then, five months later, she disappeared again. After 37 years on Days of Our Lives, she explained that she would no longer play Hope and would be leaving the show for good.
”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,” Alfonso said at the time.
At first, Alfonso didn’t go into detail about her decision. But, of course, she had her reasons. Finally, in an interview with Entertainment Tonight, she revealed that she wasn’t happy with what the Days of Our Life producer Ken Corday had planned for her character.
According to Alfonso, the show wanted to force her to take a hiatus for several months, only to then bring her back to a flirt with a Navy SEAL.
“I was taken aback when he said that they wanted … to take me off-camera for four to five months. It was not something that had ever been discussed but that’s what it was, and to come back in five to six months, or four to five months — whatever that time frame was — I just thought, you know what, it’s time to write a new chapter,” Alfonso said in July 2020.
As we have learned by now, you can never count Hope Brady out. Fans will soon get to see more of her on TV when Alfonso once again makes a comeback.
The 58-year-old star will reprise her role as Hope in Days of Our Lives: Beyond Salem. The Spinoff, which will be aired in July 2022 on Peacock, follows current and former characters of Days of Our Lives as they embark on new adventures outside Salem.
Peter Reckell will also return to reprise his role as Bo Brady – it’s going to be exciting to see this iconic couple star opposite each other again.
One thing is certain; fans have been waiting for this for a long time! The couple hasn’t worked with each other since 2016.
It would seem Alfonso herself had some butterflies in her stomach regarding the planned reunion with Bo.
“I was a nervous wreck my first day. And also maybe my second day too, which was today, because there’s so much happening,” Alfonso told People.
“I think, probably just the lead-up of it all, I want it to be great. I put pressure on myself. I am looking forward to working with Petey.”
Kristian Alfonso is a fabulous actress. More importantly, she also seems to have good values, and obviously, she’s a fantastic mom and partner.