Alison Sweeney

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Alison Sweeney
Alison Sweeney 2009.jpg
Alison Sweeney attending "Susan G. Komen's 8th Annual Fashion For The Cure" event - Hollywood, CA on September 24, 2009
Born Alison Ann Sweeney[1]
(1976-09-19) September 19, 1976 (age 38)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1981–present
Spouse(s) David Sanov (2000–present)
Children 2

Alison "Ali" 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 NBC's 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.

Personal life[edit]

She is the only daughter, and has two brothers, Sten and Ryan.[6][7] Sweeney attended UCLA, but left due to the commitment at the time.[8][9] On July 8, 2000, Sweeney married David Sanov, after dating for nearly three years.[10] The couple have two children: Benjamin, born in February 2005 and Megan, born in January 2009.[11] The family currently lives in Los Angeles, California.[12][13]


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's first novel, The Star Attraction, was released in May 2013.[21] Her second book, Scared Scriptless: A Novel, will be released in June 2014.[22]

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.[23]

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 has stated in the interview that she is going to be on the show in all of 2014, along with that she would like her character on the show to have a happy ending with a Breaking Bad twist.[24]

On July 9, 2014, it was announced that Sweeney would be joining General Hospital behind the scenes as a director, starting later that month[25] 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.[26]


Year Television Role Notes
1985 St. Elsewhere Chrissy Episode: Santa Claus Is Dead
1985 Webster Beth Episode: The Uh-Oh Feeling
1985 Tales from the Darkside Karen Episode: I Can't Help Saying Goodbye
1987; 1993–2014 Days of Our Lives Young Adrienne Johnson
Samantha Brady
Colleen Brady
Role: 1987 – Flashbacks
Role: January 1993–October 2014
Role: July 2007 – September 2007; February 2008
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
2004 Las Vegas Caroline Pzarchik Episode: Nevada State
2007–present The Biggest Loser Herself Host
2010 Mercy Becky Sorensen Episode: I Did Kill You, Didn't I?
Year Title Role Notes
1987 The Price of Life Alice
1989–90 Brand New Life Christy McCary
1991 The End of Innocence Stephanie 12–15 years old
2013 Second Chances Jenny McLean Hallmark Original Movie
2015 Murder, She Baked: A Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder Hannah Swensen Hallmark Original Movie
2015 Radio Hype Sonia Hallmark Original Movie (Filming)

Awards and nominations[edit]

List of acting awards and nominations
Year Award Category Title Result Ref.
Young Artist Award Best Youth Actress in a Soap Opera Days of Our Lives Nominated
Soap Opera Digest Award Outstanding Villainess Days of Our Lives Won
Young Artist Award Best Performance in a Daytime Drama: Young Actress Days of Our Lives Nominated
Soap Opera Digest Award Outstanding Villainess Days of Our Lives Won
Soap Opera Digest Award Outstanding Villainess Days of Our Lives Won
Soap Opera Digest Award Outstanding Younger Lead Actress Days of Our Lives Nominated
Soap Opera Digest Award Outstanding Younger Lead Actress Days of Our Lives Won
Daytime Emmy Award America's Favorite Villain — Special Fan Award Days of Our Lives Won
Soap Opera Digest Award Outstanding Supporting Actress Days of Our Lives Nominated
Soap Opera Digest Award Favorite New Couple (shared with Bryan Dattilo) Days of Our Lives Won
Soap Opera Digest Award Outstanding Supporting Actress Days of Our Lives Won
Daytime Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Days of Our Lives Nominated


  1. ^ "Alison Ann Sweeney". TV Guide. 
  2. ^ "Who's New: Growing Up Brady". Soap Opera Digest. February 9, 1993.
  3. ^ "Days of Our Lives". SoapNet. Archived from the original on 29 March 2009. Retrieved April 1, 2009. 
  4. ^ "Any Questions?". Soap Opera Weekly. February 27, 2007. p. 22. 
  5. ^ "Biography". 
  6. ^ "All American Girl". Soap Opera Weekly. August 30, 1994. p. 24 - 26.
  7. ^ All The Days Of My Life (so Far). Acknowledgments. July 2005.
  8. ^ "Leader of the Pack". Soap Opera Digest. February 27, 1996. p. 44.
  9. ^ All The Days Of My Life (so Far). July 2005. Sweeney talks about how she attended UCLA, but left since she couldn't commit at the time.
  10. ^ "Ali Chat". Soap Opera Digest. July 11, 2000. p. 38.
  11. ^ Dagostino, Mark, "Meet Alison Sweeney's New Baby!", People, March 19, 2009, Retrieved February 4, 2010
  12. ^ a b c "Alison Sweeney (Sami, Days of Our Lives)", Soap Opera Digest, Retrieved February 4, 2010
  13. ^ a b "Alison Ann Sweeney",, Retrieved February 4, 2010
  14. ^ "Tales from the Darkside: I Can't Help Saying Goodbye",, Retrieved February 4, 2010
  15. ^ "Family Man (1988) Cast and Crew",, Retrieved June 2, 2011.
  16. ^ a b Kroll, Dan J. (April 9, 2009). "Alison Sweeney reflects on 16 years as Sami and battling a common ailment". Archived from the original on 13 April 2009. Retrieved April 13, 2009. 
  17. ^ Sweeney, Alison (2005). All The Days Of My Life (So Far). Kensington Books. ISBN 978-0-7582-0610-7. 
  18. ^ "MDA Telethon Raises Record 63.8 Million Dollars", Medical News Today, September 5, 2007, Retrieved February 4, 2010
  19. ^ "Celebrities Line Up To Co-Host Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon", Muscular Dystrophy Association, August 15, 2008, Retrieved February 4, 2010
  20. ^ "MDA Telethon", Muscular Dystrophy Association, Retrieved February 4, 2010
  21. ^ "Alison Sweeney dishes on her new book and next season of the Biggest Loser". 
  22. ^ Dollycas (4 June 2014). "Scared Scriptless: A Novel". Barnes & Noble. Retrieved 27 October 2014. 
  23. ^ "TWICE AS NICE!" CBS Soaps In Depth. July 29, 2013. Pgs. 84 -87.
  24. ^ "Alison Sweeney Leaving 'Days of Our Lives'". Entertainment Tonight. Retrieved 27 October 2014. 
  25. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: ALISON SWEENEY TO GH!". Soap Opera Digest. Retrieved 27 October 2014. 
  26. ^ "It's Official: Alison Sweeney Back To Days". Soap Opera Digest. April 26, 2015. Retrieved April 27, 2015. 
  27. ^ "15th Annual Youth In Film Awards". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  28. ^ "The Soap Opera Digest Awards: 1996". Soap Opera Digest. Archived from the original on March 1, 2009. Retrieved March 15, 2013. 
  29. ^ "18th Youth In Film Awards". Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  30. ^ "The Soap Opera Digest Awards: 1998". Soap Opera Digest. Archived from the original on March 1, 2009. Retrieved March 15, 2013. 
  31. ^ "The Soap Opera Digest Awards: 1999". Soap Opera Digest. Archived from the original on March 1, 2009. Retrieved March 15, 2013. 
  32. ^ "The Soap Opera Digest Awards: 2001". Soap Opera Digest. Archived from the original on March 1, 2009. Retrieved March 15, 2013. 
  33. ^ "Alison Sweeney 411". Soap Opera Digest (United States: American Media. Retrieved March 21, 2015. 
  34. ^ a b "The Soap Opera Digest Awards: 2005". Soap Opera Digest. Archived from the original on March 1, 2009. Retrieved March 15, 2013. 
  35. ^ "The 42nd Annual Daytime Emmy Award Nominations". New York: and National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. March 31, 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 31, 2015. Retrieved March 31, 2015. 

External links[edit]