Nothing hurts like one of your favorite stars leaving one of your favorite shows. That’s something that soap opera fans know better than many. Through the years, stars of Days of Our Lives, The Bold and the Beautiful, The Young and the Restless, General Hospital, and many more have shocked audiences when deciding to leave.
Alison Sweeney, for example, surprised longtime Days of Our Lives fans in 2014 when she announced that after 21 years on the soap opera, she’d be exiting.
“I’ve been on Days of Our Lives since I was 16 years old, and I have never had more than a two-week vacation in that whole time,” the actress, who joined Days in 1993, said on The Ellen DeGeneres Show at the time. “I’m celebrating my 21st year, and I decided that it’s going to be my last year with the show. I have worked so much, and my daughter just turned 5 and my son is 9, and I just want to be with them.”
She also noted that balancing Days with The Biggest Loser, which she began hosting in 2007, just got to be too much.
“For seven years I’ve done both shows,” Sweeney said. “I’m really just excited to be with my kids and be with my husband and, I don’t know, have fun. And I write. My second book’s coming out. I love directing and just finding things to do.”
Other times, it’s not exactly the star’s choice.
In 2019, The Young and the Restless‘ Daniel Goddard, who joined the show to play Cane Ashby in 2007, shared via social media that he had been ousted.
“It is with a heavy heart that I share the news that I will no longer be part of the cast of the Young and the Restless,” he posted on Twitter and Instagram at the time. “I am as shocked and gutted as you are. I almost didn’t post but I felt that the most loyal & loving fans an actor could wish for deserved to know and watch the last story arc knowing the rich meaning behind it. I am forever grateful for the 13 years I have been a part of the Y&R family, but sadly it seems that without Neil and Lily there just is no Cane.”
Scroll through the gallery below for more shocking soap opera exits through the years.