Former “Days of our Lives” star Alison Sweeney got her first big break in Hollywood when she was just seven years old.
The actress made her television debut in 1984 when she played guest role Lyla in “Simon & Simon.” The series, which explored how two brothers managed to run a private detective agency, aired from 1981 until 1989.
“I have tons of great memories from acting as a kid, but my favorites were from some plays,” the 41-year-old told Closer Weekly Tuesday. “I got to do one with [‘24’ star] Dennis Haysbert that I remember vividly.”
Sweeney credited her parents for keeping her out of trouble while enjoying fame and fortune as a child actress.
“Discipline and worth ethic were always instilled in me as a kid,” she explained. “I was really lucky to have rock-solid parents who helped me through the industry and didn’t pressure me to do it. It was my choice, and I always wanted to be a part of telling the story behind the scenes.”
Sweeney would go on to star as manipulative Sami Brady, or “the girl you love to hate,” on “Days of our Lives” from 1993 until 2017. She also hosted reality TV show “The Biggest Loser” from 2006 until 2015.
These days, Sweeney is keeping busy acting, all while serving as an executive producer for her Hallmark TV movies, as well as director on both her long-running soap opera and “General Hospital.” Sweeney insisted she doesn’t mind juggling several roles both in front of and behind the camera.
“I remember telling my dad when I was six years old that I was going to do this someday, and now I’m really doing it!” said Sweeney. “It’s a dream come true, quite literally.”
Sweeney added she has zero regrets about growing up “with a bunch of people watching you.”
“My parents gave me this great lesson that if you haven’t failed or made a mistake, you’re not trying hard enough!” she said. “You just have to get back up and try again.”
Back in 2017, Sweeney told Fox News she still missed playing bad girl Brady.
“I definitely had the opportunity to get out my aggression, feelings and frustrations in this character, who ran around town yelling, hitting, picking fights with people and crying her eyes out,” she explained. “I haven’t had a good hysterical cry since I left the show. It’s a funny thing to be in the habit of shedding tears and pulling on those pretty extreme emotions all the time for 21 years, and then you go back to your regular life. You’re like, ‘Oh yeah, that wasn’t normal.”
Sweeney added she had fond memories of her time on the set.
“… Sami was crazy, wonderful and such a great adventure for me,” said Sweeney. “That’s what I really miss about her. Every day you read a script and discover some new scheme she would cook up. I found myself in all sorts of really outrageous situations in her escapades. That was always fun.”