Casting Shocker: Kristian Alfonso OUT at Days of Our Lives

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Days of Our Lives will be short another cast member when it returns to production on September 1.

The long-running soap had already announced that Galen Gering (Rafe), Freddie Smith (Sonny), and Chandler Massey (Will) were all set to exit.

But nobody guessed that Kristian Alfonso (Hope) would be joining them.

Sharing a Nice Moment/Tall - Days of Our Lives

The actress explained in a statement to Deadline that she was going to begin writing the next chapter of her life and that she had already filmed her final scenes before the series went on hiatus for the pandemic. 

Since Days of Our Lives was filming six to eight months ahead of schedule before the break, her final scenes will likely air sometime this fall or winter.

While it's not clear whose choice it was for Alfonso to leave Days of Our Lives, she seems happy and excited about whatever comes next.

But fans will certainly miss her!

Kristian Alfonso (1983)

If you're a newer fan of Days of Our Lives, you probably know Hope as Rafe's ex-lover and Ciara's mother.

But there's a lot more to her history than that. 

Kristian Alfonso joined Days of Our Lives in 1983, where she soon became half of one of Days' most iconic supercouples (although ironically, Bo wasn't her first love -- she was into Roman when she first came back from boarding school!)

It's hard to believe now, but back then Hope was a rebellious 18-year-old with poofy hair and an obsession with a rough biker dude named Bo Brady.

Her father Doug didn't approve of her relationship with Bo any more than Hope approved of Ciara's relationship with Ben. In fact, Doug suffered a heart attack when he walked in on Bo making love with his seemingly innocent little princess!

This set off one of daytime's most famous love triangles, as Hope got involved with sleazy Larry Welch after agreeing never to see Bo again.

In a now-iconic sequence, Bo kidnapped Hope from her wedding to Larry, leaving Larry to discover a man named Howie under the veil when he went to kiss his bride.

Larry rekidnapped Hope and made her marry him, but eventually left town and freed Bo and Hope to be together.

But that was only the beginning of Bo and Hope's adventures.

Over the years, Hope was kidnapped plenty of times, and when Kristian Alfonso previously left Days of Our Lives in 1994, Hope was presumed to have been killed when a cave she was being held hostage in exploded.

This led to the first time Stefano had Hope replaced with her doppelganger, the dastardly and vain Princess Gina, a role which she recently reprised as part of a big story in which Dr. Rolf implanted the dead Gina's essence in Hope's brain.

Viewers may not miss this whacky storyline, but Hope brought plenty to Days of Our Lives and continues to do so.

She had four children with Bo, one of whom she miscarriaged and another, Zack, who was killed in a car accident.

Zack's death was one of Alfonso's most powerful storylines, and her grief was mixed with anger when she learned that Bo's daughter Chelsea was at fault for the accident.

Hope Reassures Ciara/Tall - Days of Our Lives

Some viewers felt that Hope was bouncing around aimlessly after Peter Reckell (Bo) left Days of Our Lives in 2012.

She was kept in relationship limbo for almost three years, as Bo was said to be "on assignment" and rarely called home,

She then was paired with Daniel Cosgrove's Aiden, which proved to be a popular pairing with many viewers, but that came to an abrupt end when Aiden suddenly turned out to be working for the Dimeras and tried to kill Hope on Andre's orders -- and Bo saved the day, only to die of a brain tumor weeks later.

Ever since, Hope has been in an on-again off-again relationship with her fellow detective Rafe Hernandez, a pairing which viewers either loathe or love.

Since Rafe is also leaving town, could he and Hope end up reconciling and going off into the sunset together?

Hope and Steve Bond/Tall - Days of Our Lives

That seems like the only logical end for Hope's storyline, since Steve and Kayla are soon reuniting, again leaving Hope out in the cold.

Of course, there's more to Hope than her romantic relationships. In addition to her long career as a cop, she's been a close friend and confidante to her cousin Jennifer for years.

Hope and Jennifer's friendship was always one of the best parts of Days of Our Lives. They gave each other parenting advice, drank wine together, and provided viewers with a relationship they could identify with.

Their relationship has been strained recently because of Hope's guilt over nearly pushing Jennifer to her death while under the influence of Dr. Rolf's microchip. They need to at least have a goodbye scene before Hope leaves town!

Hope will also need to say goodbye to her daughter Ciara. Their relationship was rocky for a while because of Ciara's insistence on dating Ben, but they have gotten close again recently. Could something happen at Ciara and Ben's wedding that makes Hope think about leaving town?

Over to you, Days of Our Lives fanatics.

What do you think about Kristian Alfonso leaving Days of Our Lives? Did Hope's time in Salem come to a natural end, or were there more stories you'd liked to have seen her in? And how do you think she will exit the series?

Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button to share your thoughts.

Want to chat more about Days of Our Lives? Check out our Days of Our Lives reviews and Days of Our Lives Round Table discussions.

Days of Our Lives continues to air on NBC on weekday afternoons. Check your local listings for airtimes.

Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. His debut young adult novel, Reinventing Hannah, is available on Amazon. Follow him on Twitter.

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Days of Our Lives Quotes

Ciara: It was so humiliating, Mom. I put it all out there and I was so sure he was... but it turns out Theo doesn't want anything to do with me.
Rafe: Well, you can still be friends.
Ciara: Yeah, that'll work.

I'm not asking you to dance with them. I'm just asking for you to sit in the corner drinking martinis and making some snide remarks.

Chad [to Kate]