General Hospital's Kirsten Storms Has Grown Up Before Our Eyes On Soaps

Kirsten Storms is a household name in the daytime television world, thanks to her roles on "Days of Our Lives" (Belle Black) and "General Hospital" (Maxie Jones). Storms' soap fans have definitely gotten to know her over the years. The Florida native has gone from showing off her dimpled cheeks and wearing adorable space buns to being one of the biggest stars in the soap opera industry. She's also faced a lot of challenges over the years but that hasn't stopped her from doing what she loves the most, and that's being in front of the camera.

As many of her fans would know, Storms became a soap opera star the same year she became a Disney one. She's also gotten married and divorced and has managed another role in her life that is totally separate from her career: Her role as a mother. The actor also had a dream wedding that looked just as magical as the ones soap opera fans get to see on the canvas, according to People. In other words, she sure has experienced a lot in such a short period of time. 

Before soaps, Kirsten Storms used to be a Disney Channel star

Kirsten Storms was a Disney star before she joined "General Hospital." Her breakout role in the Disney world was in the 1999 film "Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century." That same year, she also made her debut as Belle Black on "Days of Our Lives." She then went on to star in several "zequels," and even had voiceover parts in shows such as "Kim Possible," and roles in "Johnny Tsunami" and "That's So Raven." While being a Disney star definitely had its perks, Storms told Maurice Benard in his "State of Mind" YouTube Series that even as a child, she always wanted to be a soap star. Storms said that her mother was a huge fan of "The Bold and the Beautiful." She told Benard (via, "I feel like I'm betraying our job when I say this, but I grew up watching 'The Bold and the Beautiful' with my mom. Every day. She was obsessed with the storylines and the characters."

That said, Storms said that her parents always had faith in her. So much so, that they were willing to make some radical changes in their lives to accommodate their little thespian in the making. When she was just a child, her family moved from their home in Orlando, Florida to Los Angeles, California so she could take part in acting classes. 

Kirsten Storms has had many struggles over the years

Back in 2000, Kristen Storms was in her acting prime. But she was still a typical teenage girl who loved doing all the typical teenage stuff, like going shopping and seeing her favorite boy bands in concert. That year, she was asked if she missed being in a regular school environment seeing how she was homeschooled at the time. She told Soap Opera Digest, "When my friends ask me if I miss going to a regular high school and being in that atmosphere, I think: Okay, I'm working with Deidre Hall, I go to award shows, I get to go to parties, I've met the Backstreet Boys and NSYNC, I've traveled to Canada twice for TV movies. Do I really miss homework on the weekends and being stuck at school six hours a day? Nope, not at all!"

Also, there have been various reasons why Storms has taken breaks from "General Hospital" in the past, and it mostly had to do with her health issues. The actor has had endometriosis, which is a medical condition that can cause some seriously painful symptoms.  She was also diagnosed with Bipolar I and has struggled with depression. She told Maurice Benard's "State of Mind," (via, "I've experienced a lot of mental health issues," while also adding, "I felt alone in my feelings for so long."

Kirsten Storms is protective of her character Maxie Jones

In 2012, Storms admitted that she was very protective of her "General Hospital" character, Maxie Jones. Her character was recast that year when Storms had to take a break from working because of her ongoing battle with endometriosis. When there were reports saying that Jen Lilley would temporarily take over the role, Jones told Soap Opera Digest (via Michael Fairman TV), "I would prefer that someone play Maxie [Jones] and be playing Maxie well to keep the character relevant and in the soap world still, because it doesn't take much for a character to die off and for somebody else to come in and be in a front-burner storyline."

Storms got married to her "General Hospital" co-star Brandon Barash in 2013, but the couple divorced in 2016. They also welcomed their daughter, Harper, in 2014. Their divorce, however, wasn't a messy one. Storms admitted that her split from Barash was completely platonic and that they've managed to stay friends to this very day.

Kirsten Storms and Brandon Barash are putting their daughter first

These days, Kirsten Storms co-parents her daughter, Harper Rose Barash, with her ex-husband Brandon Barash. The actor told Maurice Benard on "State of Mind" that despite their divorce, the co-parents promised to always make their daughter their number-one priority. She said, "I've cried with Brandon in the last few years about feeling like Harper has a broken family and she doesn't have a lot of friends who have divorced parents. But what I can do to better that for her is get along with her dad. We love our child so much. And we put her and her happiness first" (via Soaps in Depth). 

Harper is also basically the spitting image of her famous mother so much so, that even Storms herself has noticed the resemblance. Back in June 2022, she posted an Instagram photo of Harper sporting a very familiar hairstyle. She captioned it with, "How much do I love that she's been wearing her hair like this the last few days? A lot. I love it a lot. #littleZenon."

Kirsten Storms is still acting, knitting, and loving life

Aside from her work on the small screen, Kirsten Storms is someone who loves to knit. The actor's Instagram page is full of her love for knitting, coming up with new projects, and sharing her work. It also keeps her mind off her health issues. Storms had brain surgery back in 2021. Fortunately, she managed to keep a positive attitude and even wrote on Instagram, "Fun fact: I now firmly believe the new plates in my brain will give me some sort of special ability. Fingers crossed I can suddenly knit a sweater in 1 day. Ooo maybe 1 hour."

While there has been some talk of a possible "Zenon" reboot or at least a fourth movie, it seems like Storms' daughter would be the first person in line to watch it. That's because not too long ago, Harper really did think that her mother was the real Zenon. Storms explained, "Obviously, she was a little young to understand the storyline, but she was really excited to see me on TV, because she'd not seen me in anything before. We did clear up some confusion about the fact that I wasn't really Zenon in real life. She thought when I left her, I went to be Zenon."