The Most Shocking Cast Exits From Days Of Our Lives

With over 50 years on the air, "Days of Our Lives" has become a staple of daytime television. The long-running NBC soap opera has delivered some of the most outrageous and drama-filled moments to ever appear on the small screen — and fans can't seem to get enough. 


The show debuted in 1965 as a half-hour drama (via Sony Pictures). Ten years later, it was expanded to become an hour-long program that follows the lives of the most prominent families in the fictional Midwestern town of Salem, including the Bradys, Hortons, DiMeras, and Kiriakis.

Over the years, there have been a number of memorable moments, including a wild one-year time jump (via The Things), demonic possession, multiple serial killer storylines, and even someone being buried alive (via Fame 10). 

Fans tune into the soap to watch all the drama unfold, but they're also invested in the beloved characters. That's why it becomes hard for viewers to say goodbye to the characters and the actors who portray them when they're written off the show or choose to quit.


Over the years, many cast members have come and gone from "DOOL," but a few departures were more shocking than the rest.

Alison Sweeney left Days of Our Lives in 2014

Soap opera fans often get used to seeing their favorite characters on a daily basis, and, when an actor opts to leave the show, it can cause upset among viewers. Of course, "Days of Our Lives" has had plenty of fan-favorite actors exit the show. 


One of the biggest departures of all came when actress Alison Sweeney decided to leave the role of Sami Brady in 2014 after more than 20 years on the show, per Us Weekly. The fan-favorite star admitted that she was ready for a break and that she wanted to spend some quality time with her two children while they were still young. 

"I decided that it's going to be my last year with the show," she said at the time. "I have worked so much, and my daughter just turned 5 and my son is 9, and I just want to be with them."

However, Sweeney often returns to the soap to reprise the character of Sami for small stints, which delights fans.

Kristian Alfonso shocked fans when she exited in 2020

In July 2020, actress Kristian Alfonso shocked "Days of Our Lives" viewers when she revealed that she was exiting the role of Hope Brady. She had been a huge part of the soap opera for nearly 40 years before deciding to end her run as the beloved character. 


"I've been there for an incredibly long time and am hugely grateful that I was able to be a part of the 'Days of Our Lives' family for as long as I was," Alfonso told Soap Opera Digest of her time on the soap (via Us Weekly).

However, the actress also admitted that she didn't care for the direction that the show was going, which factored into her decision to leave. "In the last few years, 'Days of Our Lives' is not the 'Days of Our Lives' as I know it," she confessed. She also admitted that she "felt a sense of relief" after leaving the series.

Greg Vaughan left Days of Our Lives in August 2020

In addition to Alison Sweeney and Kristian Alfonso's surprising exits from "Days of Our Lives," actor Greg Vaughan also saddened fans when he announced that he would be departing the soap. Vaughan portrayed the character of Eric Brady, twin brother of Sweeney's character, Sami Brady, for eight years. The actor told fans that he would be leaving the show in August 2020.


"A lot of things that were said to me or promised to me never came to fruition," the actor told Soap Opera Digest of his departure, per Us Weekly. "I didn't feel like all of the things that were being told to me were being delivered. I felt like a glorified extra in everybody else's story line, and I never felt like Ari [Zucker] and I were given a, 'Hey, you're going to be our couple.' So, it was time. My deal was over and that was it." 

However, in November 2021, Soap Opera Network reported that Vaughan would return to "Days of Our Lives" to reprise the character. It goes to show that, while it can sometimes be hard to say goodbye to our favorite characters, the soap opera world plays by its own rules — and you never know when a familiar face will return.