Crystal Chappell

Crystal Chappell
Crystal Chappell
Born August 4, 1965 (1965-08-04) (age 46)
Silver Spring, Maryland, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1989–present
Spouse Scott Fanjoy (1988-1991) (divorced)
Michael Sabatino (January 6, 1997-present) 2 children

Crystal Chappell play /ʃəˈpɛl/ (born August 4, 1965) is an American actress. She played Carly Manning on Days of our Lives from 1990 to 1993, Maggie Carpenter on One Life to Live from 1995 to 1997 and Olivia Spencer on Guiding Light from 1999 to 2009. On October 2, 2009, she began reprising the role of Carly Manning. In May 2011, Chappell revealed she did not renew her contract with DAYS, and left the series on-screen in September.



Soap opera and serial roles

Chappell's first daytime appearance was as a day player on All My Children in 1989. In a July 2006 interview in industry magazine Soap Opera Digest, Chappell recalled actor Maurice Benard helping her through her first scenes.

After a brief run on Santa Barbara in 1990, (she played a classmate of Eden's who died of an ice overdose), Chappell was cast as Dr. Carly Manning Alamain (Katerina von Leuschner) on Days of our Lives. She portrayed the role from June 1990 to October 1993. Chappell and future husband Michael Sabatino met on Days of our Lives, where he played villain Lawrence Alamain. Chappell was front-burner for most of her time on the show, first when her character Carly was featured in a romance with lead character Bo Brady (Peter Reckell, Robert Kelker-Kelly), and then in a complex, Byzantine storyline that featured her heretofore unknown secret identity as a European blueblood. The story culminated in a controversial plot that had Carly buried alive by Lawrence's aunt Vivian (Louise Sorel). Chappell left after difficult contract negotiations and differences with head writer James E. Reilly.

Chappell's next role was as Maggie Carpenter on One Life to Live from October 1995 through September 1997. The character of Maggie was created for Chappell, and she was again paired with a romantic lead on the show, Max Holden (James DePaiva). Her main storyline revolved around the tension between her burgeoning romantic relationship and her plans to profess vows as a nun. The character was eventually written out.

From July 2, 1999 to September 18, 2009, she played complex villainess/anti-heroine Olivia Spencer on Guiding Light. The role of Olivia was initially only intended to be a short-term role, but Chappell's portrayal was so popular she was signed to a contract.

She won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Daytime Drama for her work as Olivia in 2002 and was nominated again in the same category in 2005 and 2006. In 2007, she earned her first nomination in the Outstanding Lead Actress category.

In 2009, her character Olivia Spencer and Jessica Leccia's character Natalia Rivera were involved in the hugely popular same sex paring, Otalia, which saw two presumably heterosexual women move from sworn enemies to a close friendship, to eventually, after a long period of dramatic angst, admitting their feelings towards each other and becoming a couple. The coupling of Otalia was embraced by fans and critics alike, and named a 'super-couple' by Nelson Branco, of TV Guide Canada and writes "In an age of contrived and soulless couples, Olivia and Natalia’s burgeoning romance felt natural, innocent, and most importantly, real." The final episodes of Guiding Light saw Natalia and Olivia move in and start a family together.

Chappell returned to her role on Days of Our Lives in September 2009 and begin airing in October.[1] In May 2011, her contract was not renewed and her character ended its run in late summer.

Following the phenomenal success of the pairing Otalia on Guiding Light, Chappell is currently producing the third season of her 2011 Emmy winning webseries, Venice: the Series, along with her friend and writing partner Kim Turrisi, which centers around the life of Gina (Chappell), a gay designer living in Venice Beach, California. Chappell stars alongside ex Guiding Light castmates Jessica Leccia as Ani, Gina's ex; Jordan Clarke as The Colonel, Gina's homophobic father; Galen Gering as Owen, Gina's brother; and Gina Tognoni as Sami, Owen's love interest. The show began airing in December 2009 and won the first Emmy for an online format in 2011. A third season of Venice is due to be released at the end of November 2011 and is available for view via a small subscription fee at

Chappell is currently working on creating a new soap webseries called 'The Grove,' with her husband, Michael Sabatino, which is slated to air in early 2012. She is also working on an autobiography of her experiences as a daytime soap opera actress.

Contract controversy

In 2005, Chappell was ambivalent about re-signing to Guiding Light, as her storyline had ebbed considerably. Shortly after re-signing her contract, she was offered the front-burner role of Paige on One Life to Live. Since Guiding Light had recently cut a number of its actors from the cast roster, Chappell met with the producers to see if she could be released from her contract with Guiding Light.

The show ultimately refused. In a July 2006 interview with Soap Opera Digest, Chappell indicated that, while there are no hard feelings, she wasn't sure why the show was so eager to keep Olivia as a character, since the character had not been used much, particularly since the pairing of Olivia and Phillip ended.

Other roles

Chappell has also made appearances in the prime time shows Poltergeist: The Legacy, Silk Stalkings, Pensacola: Wings of Gold, and Burke's Law.

Personal life

Chappell was born in Silver Spring, Maryland, and attended Arundel High School. She subsequently attended the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She was married to Scott Fanjoy from 1988 to 1991. She has been married to actor Michael Sabatino since January 8, 1997. They have two children, Jacob Walker (born May 11, 2000) and Dylan Michael (born September 2, 2003). [2] Chappell has said that she enjoys watching Grey's Anatomy, Desperate Housewives and reruns of Will and Grace.[3]


Year Film Role Notes
1989 All My Children unknown Episodes:unknown
1990 Santa Barbara Jane Kingsley Episodes:unknown
1990–1993,2009–2011 Days of our Lives Dr. Carly Manning Alamain Role since:June 1990-October 1993; October 2, 2009-September 22, 2011
1992 One Stormy Night Dr. Carly Manning
1993 Night Sins Dr. Carly Manning
1994 Bigfoot: The Unforgettable Encounter Samantha
Diagnosis: Murder Eve Laurie Episodes:2
Lady in Waiting Elizabeth Henley aka Hollywood Madam
Silk Stalkings Deborah Buchard/ Dr. Bertha Roberts 1994–1997,Episodes:2
1995 One Life to Live Maggie Carpenter Role from:October 1995-September 1997
Walker, Texas Ranger Stacy Episodes:1
Burke's Law Marilyn Divine Episodes:1
1998 Pensacola: Wings of Gold Lt. Cmdr. Keaton Episodes:1
Poltergeist: The Legacy Jessica Lansing 1998–1999,Episodes:2
1999–2009 Guiding Light Olivia Spencer Role from:July 2, 1999-September 18, 2009
(end of soap opera)
2009–Present Venice: The Series Gina Brogno




See also


External links

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