‘Days of Our Lives’ Comings and Goings: Thaao Penghlis Returns, Alison Sweeney Departs

If you’re a Days of Our Lives fan, this week’s comings and goings feature a bit of “good news, bad news.” The good news is, Thaao Penghlis will be returning to the canvas as none other than Tony DiMera. The bad news is, Alison Sweeney will be departing the canvas as Sami Brady.

Days of Our Lives comings and goings focus on Thaao Penghlis, pictured here in sunglasses and a blue short sleeved shirt
‘Days of Our Lives’ | Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images

On ‘Days of Our Lives,’ Thaao Penghlis returns to the role he made famous

Soap opera fans, this one is for you. Soaps.com reports that none other than Thaao Penghlis will be returning to the canvas as Tony DiMera, a role he first made famous back in 1981. Prior to being cast in the role, Penghlis was known for playing Victor Cassadine (currently being played by Charles Shaughnessy) on General Hospital.

Penghlis has been nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award three times for his role as the Salem bad boy.

Naturally, Penghlis’s return also means the return of Leann Hunley, who plays his longtime (and, arguably, long-suffering) wife Anna DiMera. The pair will be returning to the canvas on the Friday, January 7 episode of the show.

Alison Sweeney departs the canvas

And now, for the bad news. According to SoapHub, this is the week that Alison Sweeney departs the Days of Our Lives canvas. As fans who have been watching the show inevitably know, Sami has decided on Lucas — for now — and the couple decided to jet off to Europe to “work things out” with their relationship.

This departure also means that Brian Datillo — who plays Lucas — is off the canvas, as well.

Rounding out the departures are Matthew Ashford and Melissa Reeves, who portray Jack and Jennifer Deveraux respectively. Fans will recall that Reeves’ return to the canvas was “mired in controversy” because of her anti-Black Lives Matter stance prior to re-joining the canvas.

Sweeney previously said that she wouldn’t be returning full-time

If Days of Our Lives fans are disappointed that Alison Sweeney left after just a short stint as Sami Brady, they needn’t fear. While there’s a good chance she’ll be returning to the canvas, it definitely won’t be on a full-time basis.

“I love playing Sami but no, full-time is not the plan for me,” she previously stated. “The opportunity to go back to Days, it feels like going home again, to be honest with you. It’s like visiting my family during the holidays. I get to see everyone, play Sami, [and] go home.”

But that said, Sweeney also said that Sami is a delightful character for her to play — and that she appreciates her unpredictability. “She definitely has an unusual way of looking at life,” she said. “So for this Christmas special he really came at me with a different, fresh perspective. And it was just such a fun twist on the character, and on the situation, on her, and what the fans want to see. So I really loved this idea from the get-go.”

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