NBC's "Days Of Our Lives" star Kristian-Joy Alfonso was welcomed into the world on September 5th in the Boston suburb of Brockton, Massachusetts, by her parents, Gino and Joanne, and her older sister, Lisa. Always smiling even as a baby, Kristian's agreeable nature and sunny disposition warmed the hearts of family and strangers alike. Kristian's parents recall that their youngest child's "star quality" was apparent very early on. Her father recounts stories of people staring at the little beauty in the grocery store even when she was only a few years old. As a young girl, Kristian developed a passion for both ice skating and dancing. Always the go-getter, Kristian became an accomplished athlete, winning the gold medal in figure skating at the Junior Olympics when she was only 13 years old and establishing herself as a strong contender for the upcoming Olympic Games. That dream was shattered when Kristian was injured in a tobogganing accident that resulted in a severe multiple fracture of her landing leg. Sadly, Kristian was forced into early retirement, as was the toboggan, which Kristian's father is said to have chopped up for fire wood.
Prior to the accident, Kristian had been approached at one of her competitive events by the Wilhelmina modeling agency, but at the time she was far more interested in her ice skating and dancing so she declined the opportunity. After hanging up her skates, however, she decided to give modeling a shot after all and Wilhelmina enthusiastically signed her to a contract. Kristian's face soon graced the covers of over 30 international magazines, including Vogue and Bazaar, all by the time she was just 15 years old.
Before long, Kristian was in search of a new challenge. This time she chose acting. Her very first role at the tender age of 16 had her starring opposite Rock Hudson in the NBC movie, The Starmaker. After completing the film, Kristian was asked to audition for the role of Hope Williams on Days of our Lives. But young Kristian wasn't yet ready to pick up and leave home in the event she won the role (not to mention she was petrified of L.A.'s infamous earthquakes), so Tammy Taylor was chosen to play Hope instead. Little did Kristian know that she would make the character of Hope Williams famous only a couple of years later.
In 1983, Kristian was again tapped to audition for the role of Hope. It seemed serendipitous that the role should open up again, and this time -- older and more confident -- Kristian decided to go for it. Poor Kristian thought for sure she had blown it when she tripped and fell down the staircase in the Horton house during her screen test. But quite to the contrary, instead of costing her the role, her endearing clumsiness so captivated the producers that they knew right away no one but Kristian would do. Soap opera history was made that day as Kristian was cast in the role of Hope Williams, a character whom she would make undeniably hers and hers alone in the coming years.
Kristian became a fan favorite almost immediately after coming on board at Days of our Lives, but living the life of a popular soap star was not always as glamorous as it seemed. Kristian recalls that during the eighties, her schedule was very often grueling. Thirteen-hour work days were not uncommon for her, and for some storylines, she was often called on to memorize upwards of 100 pages of dialogue daily. But as always, Kristian relished the challenge and faced it head on. And just as Hope's fascinating lifestyle took her to all corners of the globe, Kristian was privileged to experience those new adventures right alongside her alter ego. Whether racing backwards down the raging Kern River with nothing but a life vest, or diving in the waters off the coast of Florida, or performing against the backdrop of romantic cities such as London, Stockholm and New Orleans, Kristian never gave less than her best and her adoring public couldn't seem to get enough of her.
In 1987, after four successful years as beloved heroine Hope Williams Brady, Kristian decided it was time to say goodbye to Days of our Lives and pursue other avenues. During her time away from Days, Kristian portrayed the sultry Pilar Ortega on the primetime drama, Falcon Crest. She also guest-starred on several network television programs including Full House and Who's the Boss? But Days of our Lives was still home to Kristian so when the producers asked her to return for a brief 13-week stint in 1990, she happily agreed, much to the delight of her fans everywhere.
Kristian wrapped her second run on Days just in time to give birth in October of 1990 to her son, Gino, who is named after her father. Even motherhood was not enough to slow her down, however. In addition to spending as much time as possible bonding with her boy, Kristian continued to nurture her successful acting career by branching out into primetime and films. Aaron Spelling was so impressed with Kristian's performance on Melrose Place as bitchy, high-priced madam, Lauren Etheridge, that he parlayed her guest appearance into a regular recurring role. Kristian also starred in movies such as Blindfold: Acts of Obsession, with Shannen Doherty, and Army of One, with Dolph Lundgren.
In 1994, Days of our Lives was once again beckoning Kristian home. This time she returned as an amnesiac named "Gina" who was ultimately revealed to be the long-presumed-dead Hope. In this most recent run on Days of our Lives, Kristian has had the opportunity to truly test her mettle as an actress in a way few other daytime performers have, portraying simultaneously the multiple roles of Hope, Gina-within-Hope, and an entirely separate character, Princess Gina. Kristian has demonstrated a remarkable ability to make each character distinct and real to the audience, delighting cast, crew, and fans alike with her talent and accomplishment.
On October 6, 2001, Kristian married long-time beau Danny Daggenhurst in a spur of the moment private ceremony at her home. Kristian and Danny, along with their sons Gino and Spartan, welcomed the most recent addition to their family on July 18, 2002. His name is Jack.
Surely the next challenge awaits Kristian just around the corner, and as always she will face it with her usual optimism and determination to succeed. In the meantime, she continues to prove herself everyday to be one of the most skillful and talented actresses in television, and indisputably one of the most beautiful (Soap Opera Digest declared her so three times). Still, Kristian's greatest success is likely that of being a devoted mother, a loving sister, daughter, and friend, as well as a woman who is compassionate and appreciative of the support of all of the fans who have watched and adored her through the years.
Kristian Alfonso is living a fairytale
Kristian Alfonso talks about her new husband, the baby on the way, and what it's like to be part of a supercouple. With a new hubby, a baby on the way and a front-burner storyline, Kristian Alfonso is living a fairytale.
Kristian Alfonso is positively glowing. She flashes her 100-watt smile and waves hello and good-bye to every crew member as she leaves the DOOL studio for the dy, then manages to produce a smile from a very cranky waiter at lunch in a Burbank eatery.
Dressed in a pair of jeans and a sweater, you'd never know that she was five months pregnant unless she flashed her barely swelled belly. "I'm very pregnant. I'm happy. I'm thrilled," she smiles. And why shouldn't she be? The actress wed Danny Daggenhurst in a lovely ceremony in their home in October and manage to keep both their relationship and nups a secret from the press until after the "I dos." "Relationships are so private anyway, and I'm a very private person," notes the actress. "I like the way that things have come along."
The baby was conceived soon after and is expected to make his or her debut in July. The pair is already raising Gino, 11, from Alfonso's previous marriage and Spartan, 8, from Daggenhurst's. The boys are very excited about the baby. "I was a little nervous about how they would take it because they're both only children, but they've had time to adjust, especially to living with each other," says Alfonso. "Gino desperately wants a girl, and Spartan wants a boy. Of course, my husband is beside himself with glee."
Pregnancy, she reports, has been different the second time around. "I'm much more tired- I'm up a good portion of the night. Every night. That's why I'm exhausted throughout the day. I get home, throw my jammies on and go back to bed. Then, I get a high again. But there hasn't been any block of time that I've been sick or nauseated. It's been a pretty good pregnancy so far. Everything sort of comes in waves."
This time around, Alfonso is "hoping to have more patience," she laughs. "I love being a mother. Even though Gino and Spart have the same hobbies and everything, they're tow different little personalities and ages, and I love the ages that they're at right now. It's great."
Blending the two families wasn't difficult, says the actress. "It was natural; it just came together. I think it has to be that way because anything that's forced is not real. It takes time and trust. My husband had a great way of explaining it: he says that just because another child comes into the household, it doesn't mean that they'll occupy more of my heart or my husband's heart. Our hearts only get bigger. So, everyone always gets the same amount of love, and they gt even more love because our hearts get bigger. We say that, and it registers with them and they understand it.
When describing her marriage to Daggenhurst, Alfonso is understandably guarded. "I almost hate to talk about how magical this relationship is," she says. "I think it scared me (initially) because I've had some bad experiences. I think I fought it a little bit and I was in denial, but we let it take its course. I was tentative, absolutely. I didn't think I'd ever marry again. Let's leave it at, ‘It's magical.'"
While preparing for her walk down the aisle, the actress also had business matters to attend to: She signed a new contract with Days the same week. For Alfonso, who has left the soap before- in 1987 and 1991- and pursued prime-time and film roles, it wasn't a difficult decision. "It wasn't a question: I'm happy where I am," she enthuses. "It's a great environment- I love the people I work with, and Ken (Corday- executive producer) has always been incredibly kind. It's a dream job. I'm 15 minutes from work when I'm not stuck in traffic. I'm 15 minutes from the boys' schools. It's perfect. I've always felt and said that when I do return, I feel like I'm returning home again."
Though not to the same predictable role. "I've stayed with the show for as long as I have because I feel that Hope is a very unusual character," she says. "I never really feel like I'm stuck in this one-note character I'm playing. I had the Princess Gina storyline- Hope is Gina, Gina's Hope, this one is that one. Now, I have the babies, and I'm confused with all their names. There is always something going on, and I've worked with everybody on the show which is phenomenal."
Working consistently with Peter Reckell (Bo) has kept Alfonso in one of daytime's hottest pairings for two decades. "I think there's a lot of history there, and there is a trust factor," she notes. "We have worked together for so many years. For some reason, it just works. I don't know what makes chemistry, and I can't question it because it's helped me keep my job."
As for the future, "I've been happy with the way everything is written and unraveling," she says. "I'd love to know what will happen next, after we resolve the baby storyline. Where do we go from there? What lies ahead?
Kristian Alfonso attends Benefit Gala for Adopt-A-Minefield
On Thursday, October 15, Kristian attended the 4th Annual Los Angeles Benefit Gala for Adopt-A-Minefield. The gala, which is hosted by Goodwill Ambassadors Paul McCartney and Heather Mills McCartney, was chaired in part this year byDays' executive producer Ken Corday and his wife, Sherry. Adopt-a-Minefield is a charitable organization that engages individuals, community groups and businesses in the United Nations effort to resolve the global landmine crisis.
The Campaign helps save lives by raising funds for mine clearance and survivor assistance and by raising awareness about the landmine problem. Adopt-a-Minefield seeks national and international sponsors to adopt minefields that the United Nations has identified as being in urgent need of clearance. Sponsors raise funds in their communities to clear their adopted minefields and return land to productive use. Every dollar raised for Adopt-A-Minefield® is earmarked for mine clearance projects.
The aim of the benefit gala is to raise awareness about the problems of abandoned landmines, a problem that affects one-third of the world's nations. During its first three years, the gala raised over $2.3 million, and has attracted the staunch support of celebrities and concerned citizens worldwide, and Kristian was proud to be a part of this year's event. To learn more about Adopt-a-Minefield, check out their website at www.adopt-a-minefield.com.
Kristian Alfonso shares her beauty secret
I was introduced to AminoGenesis by Renee Jones, my good friend and castmate who plays Lexie on Days. For years I would keep trying different skin care products and none of it worked. You know how you look in the mirror, trying to see a difference, and you think you do but you really don’t? That was me. I had jars and pots and tubes all piled up on my counter. Then I started using AminoGenesis and all of that changed. I’ve been using it for two years now, and I see and feel a definite difference.
Other people notice as well. I work long hours under really hot lights and wearing really heavy makeup. That’s hard on my skin. But people always tell me my skin looks so good, and they always want to know what I use! Even my makeup artist and people in my family notice the difference.
AminoGenesis was developed by a doctor for burn patients and it’s really good for reversing skin damage. I had a real problem with my skin after the Princess Gina storyline, because I had to wear those prosthetics. AminoGenesis has a new product called Photolagen and it helped correct the damage.
Today, I use the whole system, which consists of five products. But it’s different from other skin care systems because it’s quick and there aren’t a whole lot of complicated steps. For instance, I can put on the serum and wait for it to dry while I’m doing something else, and then put on my moisturizer and sunblock -- never leave the house without sunblock! and I’m out the door. And I love the cleanser because it smells so good, and my face always feels refreshed after I use it, not tight and dry like with some cleansers.
I was asked to endorse AminoGenesis after the owner read an interview I did in one of the magazines. I was asked what skin care products I use and of course, I said AminoGenesis! I was happy to become a spokesperson because this is a product I stand by. You can spend hundreds of dollars on skin care products and never see a difference, but that’s not the case with AminoGenesis. AminoGenesis is not only affordable, it's light and absorbant, and it works!