Salem will be missing two familiar faces in the weeks ahead. Jay Kenneth Johnson (Philip Kiriakis) and Shelley Hennig (Stephanie Johnson) will be exiting DAYS by spring. The decision to leave was that of the actors.
"It just feels right," Hennig told Soap Opera Digest of her decision to leave. "I have been preparing for this for awhile, so I have said my mental good-byes. I will miss the faces I see here every day, but everybody has been really encouraging and has embraced my decision."
Hennig joined the DAYS cast in April 2007. In 2010, she received her first Daytime Emmy nomination as Outstanding Younger Actress.
"It's a pleasant surprise, and I'm really thankful and blessed and excited. And it feels pretty good, because we all work really hard. So it's nice to have an awards ceremony where I can see all the people we watch every day and see their hard work and see them get rewarded for it," Hennig revealed last year on Soap Central Live when asked about her nomination.
Hennig will tape her final DAYS scenes on February 2.
Johnson's departure comes less than a year after the actor reportedly signed a four-year contract with the show. Many fans were surprised that the actor had reupped with the NBC soap because just two years prior he was said to have cleared out his dressing room and bolted from the studio over a pay cut. Johnson did return to the set because he was contractually obligated to do so.
Johnson joined the cast of Days of our Lives in 1999. He exited the show in 2002, and the role of Philip was recast before Johnson returned in January 2007.
Hennig wll last air on April 6. Johnson, meanwhile, last airs on April 19.