Think you know everything there is to know about Alison Sweeney, the actress who’s been playing fiery Sami Brady since 1993? Think again. There’s a lot more than meets the eye to the Days of Our Lives star, who also juggles being the host of The Biggest Loser, wife to LA highway patrol officer Dave Sanov, and mother to their two children: Benjamin, born February 25, 2005, and Megan, born January 12, 2009. Here are 25 facts about her.
1. Sweeney started multi-tasking as a child. She took voice, piano, violin, gymnastics, tennis, ballet, tap dancing and trampoline lessons.
2. Her pre-kindergarten teacher suggested an acting career might be right for Sweeney, when she was a chatty tyke. She told her mother, “Your daughter talks so much. Why don’t you send her out on auditions and make money for all that chatter,” recounts Sweeney.
3. Sami is not her first Days role. She played Adrienne Johnson as a child in 1987.
4. Sweeney got her first kiss on television, when she appeared on I Married Dora.
5. She credits her career success to working with “the experts,” Deidre Hall (Marlena), Drake Hogestyn (John) and Wayne Northrop (Roman), when she was a teenager. “I learned so many lessons from them,” she says.
6. Her favorite dramatic storyline was when Sami was convicted of Franco’s murder and was on death row.
7. Sweeney was excited, when Sami shot EJ in 2010. “I love that side of Sami and it was so much fun to play,” admitted Sweeney. “My only concern was you never want your character up against a brick wall.”
8. Sweeney’s first celebrity crush was Tom Cruise.
9. She is a game show veteran. She won the daytime stars edition of Weakest Link in 2002. She laid in a coffin filled with worms and scorpions on celebrity Fear Factor. And she appeared on 1 vs. 100 in 2007, but was eliminated after guessing the wrong postage rate to mail a standard letter.
10. Sweeney is an avid reader and particularly loved the Harry Potter series.
11. A huge basketball fan, Sweeney and Bryan Dattilo (ex-Lucas) have shared season tickets to the LA Clippers for years. She also admits she was “starstruck” upon meeting Shaquille O'Neal.
12. Despite her busy work schedule, she loves to cook and bake and cites Martha Stewart as an inspiration.
13. Sweeney loves to shop at the Los Angeles boutique, Intuition.
14. As for jewelry, she often wears pieces from Kristian Alfonso’s (Hope) Hope Faith Miracles line and headbands and necklaces from joleenerizzo.com.
15. When it comes to designer shoes, she’s a big fan of Jimmy Choos.
16. Sweeney often flies off on local weekend getaways with her family. Her husband is a pilot and they have a private plane.
17. She calls herself a “very strict parent. I’m crazy about that,” contends Sweeney.
18. Sweeney says her husband’s pet peeve is how she rolls her eyes. “He hates when I do that,” she admits.
19. Her homemade chocolate chip cookies are legendary at the Days studio. In fact, co-star John Aniston (Victor) thinks they’re good enough to market.
20. A movie buff, Sweeney loves quoting lines from films like, Princess Bride and Blazing Saddles. “Sometimes I’ll just say, ‘Could be worse,’” says Sweeney. “It’s from Young Frankenstein.”
21. She’s been part of a few Salem supercouples, including an all-female one: Sole, a tribute to Sami and Nicole. “Sami never stops trying to get what she wants out of life,” notes Sweeney. “That’s what she has in common with Nicole. That’s what makes Nicole more her sister than Carrie or Belle ever could be.”
22. Sweeney lost 30 pounds in the late nineties thanks to her dentist, who concluded her high sugar consumption was behind her tooth decay. She went cold turkey on sweets, white bread and processed carbs and watched her weight dramatically decline.
23. An extremely healthy eater, she forbids fast food in her home.
24. She admits to being a bit of a mother hen to TV son Chandler Massey (Will). “Galen Gering (Rafe) always says that I treat him like he’s my child,” notes Sweeney, who reminds Massey to bring a sweater to the set and to behave politely. “He needs to learn that stuff.”
25. The mother of two flaunted her figure in a bikini in People in April 2011. To get ready for the shoot she told the magazine, “I cut the crap out of my diet – cheese, dairy, carbs like bread and pasta, and fatty meats."