2020 wound up being a strange year for “Days of Our Lives,” as the soap became the only one to air new episodes throughout the year because an advanced production schedule allowed them to have new episodes. However, it was also a year marked by shocking cast departures, with several main members of the cast going off-canvas.

In some cases, the roles they had on the show were reduced or the actors were completely let go, while others voluntarily left the program. While many main cast members do remain in 2021, here’s where things left off for some of the biggest names that left the NBC series in 2020.

Kristian Alfonso

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Kristian Alfonso has confirmed she is leaving “Days of Our Lives.” Galen Gering also previously confirmed his departure from the NBC soap. Both actors are pictured in a scene from the show as their characters, Rafe Hernandez and Hope Brady. XJ Johnson/JPI Studios for NBC

Longtime “Days of Our Lives” fans were gutted when news broke in July of last year that Kristian Alfonso was leaving the show, and her legacy character, Hope Brady, after nearly 40 years in the role. She later revealed that she made the decision to leave after disagreeing with the direction her character was being taken in—and a planned four- or five-month hiatus. Because her announcement and decision to quit seemed abrupt, her character’s sendoff was also—with her simply disappearing off-canvas in October as she continued investigating whether her daughter, Ciara (Victoria Konefal) was really dead.

Alfonso revealed after announcing her departure that she had filmed her final scenes prior to the show shutting down because of the pandemic, which was why there was no proper send-off—and fans shouldn’t expect to see her come back, as she indicated no plans to return, even in small doses, like how Allison Sweeney continued making returns to the show after officially leaving her role as Sami Brady in 2014. She also said that, as far as she knew, there were no plans to recast her character either, meaning that Hope’s story really and truly had come to an end

Camilla Banus

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Gabi (Camila Banus) delivers tragic news to Jake (Brandon Barash) on the July 20, 2020 episode of “Days of Our Lives.” NBC

The woman behind the fiery Gabi Hernandez also caused a stir with rumors she was leaving the NBC soap in 2020, and she did make a brief exit. She was last seen in 2020 in November, when she headed to Arizona with her daughter, Ari, over her heartbreak with Jake (Brandon Barash), who had moved on from her going to Mexico by hooking up with Kate (Lauren Koslow). However, she made her triumphant return to Salem in January.

Galen Gering

One of the earliest announced planned departures from the show in 2020 was that of Galen Gering’s character, Rafe Hernandez after Gering revealed on the Cliff Dorman Show podcast that his contract had expired and he had stopped filming scenes on Feb. 13, 2020. However, things were eventually reconciled and he was brought back, Entertainment Weekly reported in August. He left later that month with his sister, Gabi, but returned to the canvas in November.

Stacy Haiduk

In May, Haiduk revealed that her character, Kristen DiMera, was going temporarily off-canvas, but that fans certainly hadn’t seen the last of her. Sure enough, she made a return and has gone on to pay for her crimes, as she sits in jail.

Victoria Konefal

Shortly after the news that Alfonso was leaving as Hope, news came down that Konefal, who portrays Ciara, was also leaving the show. Sure enough, her character was seemingly killed off in a car explosion. But, 2021 came in with a big reveal—she is actually still alive and is being held captive. While her husband, Ben (Robert Scott Wilson) and members of her family still don’t know it, she and Ben are starting to both have the same kinds of dreams about one another, which could help him try and continue to find her.

Chandler Massey & Freddie Smith

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Will (Chandler Massey) and Sonny (Freddie Smith) inform Lucas (Bryan Dattilo) of their plan on the June 24, 2020 episode of “Days of Our Lives.”  Xj Johnson/JPI Studios for NBC

One of the biggest shocks early in 2020 was the announcement that after the show’s hiatus in 2019, both Chandler Massey, who portrays Will Horton, and Freddie Smith, who portrays his on-screen husband Sonny Kiriakis, were let go by the show. They left in August, eager to start their lives over again somewhere other than Salem. It was revealed in September though that while their characters were no longer a part of Salem, they would make brief returns on and off.

Casey Moss

The first big character to leave in 2020 was JJ Devereaux, portrayed by Casey Moss. He left the canvas to start life over again in Africa, after his grandfather’s death, and following the death of the second woman he loved, Haley (Thia Megia), whom he had been planning to propose to the night Kristen killed her. He did make a brief return to the show in November but is off-canvas once again.

Melissa Reeves

Unexpectedly leaving the show was Melissa Reeves, who has portrayed Jennifer Horton for years, after the actress did not want to return when production started again because she would have to travel to Los Angeles from Nashville, and it was something she did not want to do during the COVID-19 pandemic. She was then replaced by Cady McClain, who has since also vacated the role, with a final airdate scheduled for Feb. 17. It’s unclear if Reeves, who was only supposed to be stepping away temporarily, will once again assume the role.

Greg Vaughan

Days of Our Lives
Eric (Greg Vaughan) and Nicole (Arianne Zucker) get an unexpected visitor on the June 10, 2020 episode of “Days of Our Lives.”  XJ Johnson/JPI Studios for NBC

Greg Vaughan announced in July 2020 that he would also be leaving the show, and his role as Eric Brady, in 2020, even though his character had finally wed longtime love Nicole (Arianne Zucker) not long before. He said he knew it was time to go when the cast had all been released from their contracts in 2019, and his character last appeared in September, where he left Salem to work as a missionary in Africa with Nicole’s blessing. He has not yet returned to the canvas, and it is unclear if the role, should it be brought back to Salem, would be recast.

“Days of Our Lives” airs weekdays on NBC.

Days of Our Lives
Will "Days Of Our Lives" be renewed or canceled? NBC