Alison Sweeney

Alison Sweeney

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Alison Sweeney
Alison Sweeney 2009.jpg

Sweeney in 2009
Born Alison Ann Sweeney[1]
(1976-09-19) September 19, 1976 (age 40)
Los Angeles, California, United States
Occupation Actress
Director
Years active 1981–present
Spouse(s) David Sanov (m. 2000)
Children 2

Alison Ann Sweeney (born September 19, 1976)[2] is an American dramatic actress, reality show host, director and author. Sweeney is best known for her portrayal of Samantha “Sami” Brady on the NBC soap opera Days of Our Lives,[3] a role she has played under contract with the show since January 6, 1993.[4] In this role, she has earned a Daytime Emmy Award nomination, four Soap Opera Digest Awards and a Fan Voted Daytime Emmy Award.[5] In 2007, she became the host of The Biggest Loser, and left the series at the end of the sixteenth season in 2015.

Personal life[edit]

Sweeney has two brothers.[6][7] She studied Economics at UCLA but left due to her commitment to Days of Our Lives.[8][9] On July 8, 2000, Sweeney married David Sanov, after dating for nearly three years.[10] The couple has two children: a son born on February 25, 2005, and a daughter born on January 12, 2009.[11] The family currently lives in Los Angeles.[12][13]

Career[edit]

Sweeney in 2011

Her television debut was at age five in a Kodak advertisement.[12] A few years later, she was in an episode of Tales from the Darkside. The episode, titled I Can’t Help Saying Goodbye, first aired on October 5, 1986. She played the part of a young girl named Karen who could sense when others were going to die shortly before their deaths.[14] In 1988, she appeared on the short-lived ABC sitcom Family Man,[15] and the following year, was cast as Christy McCray on Brand New Life, a miniseries from future X-Files creator Chris Carter that aired within NBC’s Magical World of Disney in October 1989. The miniseries, which co-starred Barbara Eden as Sweeney’s mother and Don Murray as her new stepfather, was considered for pick-up as a stand-alone series beyond its Disney tryout, but the regular series never materialized.

On January 6, 1993, Sweeney first appeared in the role of Samantha “Sami” Brady in the NBC soap opera Days of Our Lives—a show of which she was a fan.[16]

In the 1990s, Sweeney struggled with her weight. She eventually was a US dress size 12 (UK dress size 16), not obese by medical standards, but still larger than her television peers. She documented all the tabloid talk and personal anguish in her 2004 memoir, All The Days of My Life (So Far).[17]

In 2002, she appeared on a celebrity episode of the NBC reality game show Fear Factor.[12] She has appeared in other NBC shows such as Friends, where she played an actress on Days of Our Lives, and Las Vegas.[13] In 2007, she joined the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon as a co-host for the live television broadcast.[18] She returned to her co-hosting duties for the 2008, 2009, and 2010 telethons.[19][20]

In 2007, Sweeney took over hosting duties on The Biggest Loser, replacing Caroline Rhea since the fourth season. She was surprised but happy to be offered the role, where she is able to cheer on contestants and share their victories.[16]

Sweeney has written three books: “The Star Attraction” (released in May 2013),[21] “Scared Scriptless: A Novel” (released in June 2014)[22] and “Opportunity Knocks” (released in April 2016).[23]

In July 2013, Sweeney appeared in Second Chances, a Hallmark Original Movie, alongside Days co-star Greg Vaughan. The movie was filmed before Sweeney and Vaughn became siblings on Days of Our Lives.[24]

On January 20, 2014, Sweeney announced on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that after 21 years of being on the air on Days of Our Lives, she will be leaving the show, to focus on spending more time with her family, as well as more time to work on her other show, The Biggest Loser. She stated in the interview that she would be on the show throughout 2014, and that she would like her character on the show to have a happy ending with a Breaking Bad twist.[25]

On July 9, 2014, it was announced that Sweeney would be joining General Hospital behind the scenes as a director, starting later that month[26] On April 26, 2015, Sweeney announced that she will be returning to Days of Our Lives to be part of the show’s 50th anniversary celebrations.[27]

Since 2015, Sweeney has appeared in the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries film series Murder, She Baked, based on Joanne Fluke‘s books.

On August 25, 2015, it was announced that Sweeney would not be returning to The Biggest Loser.[28]

Filmography[edit]

Television
Year Title Role Notes
1985 St. Elsewhere Chrissy Episode: “Santa Claus Is Dead”
Webster Beth Episode: “The Uh-Oh Feeling”
Tales from the Darkside Karen Episode: “I Can’t Help Saying Goodbye”
1987-2015 Days of Our Lives Adrienne Johnson
Samantha Brady
Colleen Brady
Role: 1987 – Flashbacks
Role: January 1993 – October 2014; October 2015 – November 2015
Role: July 2007 – September 2007; February 2008 – Flashbacks
1988 Family Man Rosie
2001 Friends Jessica Ashley Episode: “The One With Joey’s Award”
2002 Fear Factor Herself Episode: “Celebrity Fear Factor”
2004 American Dreams Miss USA Episode: “Old Enough to Fight”
Las Vegas Caroline Pzarchik Episode: “Nevada State”
2007-2015 The Biggest Loser Herself Host
2010 Mercy Becky Sorensen Episode: I Did Kill You, Didn’t I?
Television
Year Title Role Notes
1987 The Price of Life Young Alice
1989-1990 Brand New Life Christy McCary
1991 The End of Innocence Stephanie 12–15 years old
2013 Second Chances Jenny McLean Hallmark Original Movie[29]
2015 Murder, She Baked: A Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder Hannah Swensen Hallmark Movies & Mysteries[30]
Love on the Air Sonia Hallmark Original Movie[31]
Murder She Baked: A Plum Pudding Murder Mystery Hannah Swensen Hallmark Movies & Mysteries[31]
Murder, She Baked: A Peach Cobbler Mystery Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
2016 Murder, She Baked: A Deadly Recipe Hallmark Movies & Mysteries[32]
The Irresistible Blueberry Farm Ellen Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
2017 Murder, She Baked: Just Desserts Hannah Swensen Hallmark Movies & Mysteries[33]

Awards and nominations[edit]

List of acting awards and nominations
Year Award Category Title Result Ref.
1994 Young Artist Award Best Youth Actress in a Soap Opera Days of Our Lives Nominated [34]
1996 Soap Opera Digest Award Outstanding Villainess Days of Our Lives Won [35]
1997 Young Artist Award Best Performance in a Daytime Drama: Young Actress Days of Our Lives Nominated [36]
1998 Soap Opera Digest Award Outstanding Villainess Days of Our Lives Won [37]
1999 Soap Opera Digest Award Outstanding Villainess Days of Our Lives Won [38]
2000 Soap Opera Digest Award Outstanding Younger Lead Actress Days of Our Lives Nominated
2001 Soap Opera Digest Award Outstanding Younger Lead Actress Days of Our Lives Won [39]
2002 Daytime Emmy Award America’s Favorite Villain — Special Fan Award Days of Our Lives Won [40]
2003 Soap Opera Digest Award Outstanding Supporting Actress Days of Our Lives Nominated
2005 Soap Opera Digest Award Favorite New Couple (shared with Bryan Dattilo) Days of Our Lives Won [41]
2005 Soap Opera Digest Award Outstanding Supporting Actress Days of Our Lives Won [41]
2015 Daytime Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Days of Our Lives Nominated [42]
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