Who is Alison Sweeney?
Alison Ann Sweeney is an actress, television personality, producer, director, and writer from America. She has garnered fame for portraying Samantha "Sami" Brady in the NBC soap opera ‘Days of Our Lives’. A California native, Sweeney had harboured acting aspirations since she was very young. She began her career at the age of five in a Kodak advertisement. In 1984, she starred in an episode of the CBS series ‘Simon & Simon’. Her big-screen debut occurred in 1990 in Dyan Cannon’s semi-autobiographical film ‘The End of Innocence’. In the ensuing years, she has guest-starred in a number of popular shows, including ‘Friends’ and ‘Las Vegas,’ and portrayed the role of Hannah Swensen in the ‘Murder, She Baked’ telefilm series. Sweeney also had important roles in the ABC sitcom ‘Family Man’ and the NBC comedy-drama series ‘Brand New Life’.
Childhood & Early Life
Alison Ann Sweeney was born on September 19, 1976, in Los Angeles, California, USA, to Polly and Stender Sweeney. She grew up with her two brothers, Ryan and Sten.
After graduating from high school, she enrolled at UCLA to study economics. However, she eventually had to drop out due to her busy schedule as a star of the series ‘Days of Our Lives’.
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When Alison Ann Sweeney was five years old, she debuted on television in a Kodak commercial. In 1984, she appeared in a season-three episode of the CBS detective television series ‘Simon & Simon’, portraying a character named Lyla.
In 1985, she guest-starred in the ABC sitcom ‘Webster’ and the NBC medical-drama series ‘St. Elsewhere’.
She portrayed the younger version of Dana Anderson’s character in the 1987 short film ‘The Price of Life’. Between 1986 and 1988, she appeared in two episodes of the syndicated show ‘Tales from the Darkside’.
She was part of the main cast of the short-lived ABC sitcom ‘Family Man’ (1988), playing the role of the mischievous adolescent Rosie Tobin.
From 1989 to 1990, she appeared in yet another short-lived show, the NBC comedy-drama series ‘Brand New Life’.
In ‘Brand New Life,’ she was cast as Christy McCray, one of the three teenage children of the struggling divorced mother and waitress, Barbara McCray (Barbara Eden). Their lives change when Barbara marries wealthy attorney and widower Roger Gibbons (Don Murray), who has three children of his own. NBC cancelled the show after airing five episodes.
In 1990, she starred in the first and only film of her career, ‘The End of Innocence’. Written and directed by Dyan Cannon, who also played the main protagonist, the film is a semi-autobiographical tale of Cannon’s own life. Sweeney portrayed one of the younger versions (12-15 years old) of Cannon’s character, Stephanie.
In 2015, she portrayed Hannah Swensen, a small-town baker with a penchant for solving mysteries in the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries channel’s telefilm ‘Murder, She Baked: A Chocolate Chip Cookie Mystery’.
Sweeney went on to reprise her role in all other ‘Murder, She Baked’ telefilms: ‘A Plum Pudding Murder Mystery’ (2015), ‘A Peach Cobbler Mystery’ (2016), ‘A Deadly Recipe’ (2016), and ‘Just Desserts’ (2017).
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Sweeney has also acted in several other Hallmark telefilms, including ‘Love on the Air’ (2015), ‘The Irresistible Blueberry Farm’ (2016), and ‘Christmas at Holly Lodge’ (2017).
In 2019, she played a podcast host turned mystery solver in the three Hallmark Movies & Mysteries channel’s The Chronicle Mysteries telefilms, ‘Recovered’, ‘The Wrong Man’, and ‘Vines That Bind’.
From 2006 to 2015, she served as the host of the NBC competition reality show ‘The Biggest Loser’. In 2011, She performed the duties of an executive producer on her TV Guide Network reality series ‘Hollywood Girls Night’. She has also executive-produced all her Hallmark projects.
In 2004, she made her directorial debut with the short film ‘A Cow Walks Into a Bar’. Sweeney also directed seven episodes of ‘Days of Our Lives’ between 2011 and 2015, and two episodes of the ABC soap opera ‘General Hospital’ between 2014 and 2015.
Alison Sweeney was ten or eleven years old when she made her first appearance in the NBC soap opera ‘Days of Our Lives’ in 1987 as a pre-teen Adrienne Johnson. In January 1993, she began portraying Sami Brady, a young teenager who quickly gains notoriety for her outlandish troublemaking behaviour.
As she gradually matures over the course of the show, ‘Days of Our Lives,’ she gets into volatile relationships with various men and becomes an extremely protective mother to her children.
After being associated with the show for 22 years, Sweeney left ‘Days of Our Life’ in 2015. However, she made her return to the show in 2017. For her performance, she was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award (2015) and received a Fan Voted Daytime Emmy Award (2002) and six Soap Opera Digest Awards (1996,1998, 1999, 2001, and 2005).
Family & Personal Life
Alison Sweeney began dating California Highway Patrol Officer David Sanov sometime in 1997. The couple got married on July 8, 2000. Their son, Benjamin, was born on February 25, 2005. On January 12, 2009, Sweeney gave birth to their daughter, Megan. At present, the family resides in Los Angeles, California.
In 2004, she published her memoir, ‘All The Days of My Life (So Far)’ through Kensington, in which she wrote about her struggles with her weight in the 1990s.