Sonny Kiriakis has been through a lot on DAYS OF OUR LIVES, but even when he’s down, he’s never out. Every time things get rough and Sonny chooses to run away, he doesn’t stay gone for very long. The character was born off-screen in 1991 and made his adult debut in June of 2011 when Freddie Smith joined the cast of DAYS in the role. And while some fans might wonder if Freddie Smith is gay in real life, the actor actually married his girlfriend, Alyssa Tabit, on New Year’s Eve ringing in 2021! Sadly, in February of 2020, the actor admitted that he had been let go from the soap and Sonny would be written out. In August 2021, it was announced that Sonny would be returning for the DAYS spinoff BEYOND SALEM, but the role was being recast with Zach Tinker, as Smith revealed he’d left daytime behind.
The son of Justin and Adrienne Kiriakis, Sonny arrived in Salem in 2011 to come out to his family. He befriended Will Horton, Chad DiMera, and Gabi Hernandez, and launched a sports website with Chad and Will that had to be shut down when it was used for illegal gambling. The criminals kidnapped Gabi, Chad, Melanie Jonas, and Abigail Deveraux, forcing Sonny, Will, and Austin to come to their rescue. Next, Sonny and Chad opened a coffee shop, Common Grounds. Sonny suspected Will was keeping his distance because he was questioning his feelings, and when Will finally found the courage to come out, they began dating.
Sonny was hurt when he learned that Will was the father of Gabi’s baby, but they worked through it and Sonny actually helped deliver Arianna when Gabi went into labor in an abandoned shack. Will and Sonny invited Gabi to live with them so they can all raise the baby together, but her constant involvement with Nick caused trouble.
Eventually, Sonny popped the question and he and Will were married by Marlena Evans in April of 2014. The drama with Nick reached a tipping point when he was shot dead and Will confessed believing Sonny was guilty. However, it turned out Gabi had done it to protect them, and when she went to jail, Will and Sonny raised Arianna.
Sonny helped get Will a job as a reporter for True Vista magazine, but the new job kept Will so busy that he began neglecting Sonny. When Paul Narita arrived in Salem, the closeted baseball player wanted to reunite with his ex, but Sonny had to inform him he was now a married man. Unfortunately, Will began working on a story about Paul and got him to open up about his sexuality and the two ended up having an affair! Upon learning about it, Sonny went to confront Will only to be stabbed by one of Victor’s enemies. After recovering from his injuries, Sonny decided to separate from Will and went to Arizona to visit his brother followed by France to do some work for Victor.
After Will was murdered by Ben Weston, Sonny returned home to Salem for the funeral, but haunted by his memories, returned to Paris. But he soon came back again and rekindled his relationship with Paul. Eventually, Sonny was named CEO of Titan Industries and planned to marry Paul but Ben showed up at the wedding to reveal that Will was still alive! After tracking Will down in Nashville, Sonny’s joy at seeing him again was tempered by the fact that Will had no memories of his life, including their love.
Sonny watched as Will began a relationship with Paul, and met a guy named Leo Stark through a dating app on his phone. Leo began working for Titan and seeing Sonny, but then slapped him with a sexual harassment suit because he was actually working with Vivian to destroy the company. Sonny asked Will and Paul to dig up dirt on Leo and they learned he was a prostitute with a criminal record. Exposed, Leo flew into a rage and tried to strangle Will. Sonny intervened and sent Leo falling into the fireplace, killing him.
Sonny and Will grew closer as they covered up Leo’s death, but everything changed forever at John and Marlena’s wedding when Will’s memories came flooding back. Unfortunately, the couple had to put their reunion on hold when Paul was seriously injured and left paralyzed and Will couldn’t bring himself to leave him. Devastated, Sonny once again decided to leave town, but he soon returned with a new perspective. And when Paul left Salem for treatment, Sonny was finally free to reunite with Will… at least until Leo showed up very much alive!
Leo blackmailed Sonny into marrying him, threatening to expose their “murder” and cover-up, and quickly settled into a luxurious life at the Kiriakis mansion. Will and Sonny tracked down his mother, Diana Cooper, in the hopes she would help get him out of their lives, but that complicated things further when it turned out she was Diana Coleville, John’s ex!
After finally getting Leo out of their lives, Will was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor and Sonny remarried his true love in his hospital bed. Thankfully, Dr. Rolf’s serum saved Will’s life and the couple was happy… at least until a time jump of one year revealed that Will was in jail for killing Adrienne and Sonny had moved on with a handsome new man named Evan!
Sonny and Will decided to divorce but then it turned out Evan was a murderer and Will was innocent of causing Adrienne’s death, so the couple was finally reunited. Sonny and Will then discussed having another child and tried to adopt Allie Horton‘s baby, but Sami threw a monkey wrench into the works and turned Allie against them. When Sonny had the chance of a fresh start in Phoenix, he convinced Will to join him and they left Salem with Ari.
Stay tuned to see if Sonny comes back to continue his story!