Kirsten Storms is taking a brief hiatus from General Hospital.
Storms, 39, who has portrayed Maxie Jones on the ABC soap opera since 2005, has been temporarily replaced by actress Nicole Paggi. Deadline reported on Thursday, December 28, that Paggi, 40, will be playing the role during Storms’ absence, which will last a few days. Soap Opera Digest was first to report the news.
Paggi made her debut as Maxie on the Wednesday, December 27, episode of the show. She is best known for her role as Sydney on the ABC comedy Hope & Faith starring Kelly Ripa and recently landed a guest spot on 9-1-1.
This isn’t the first time that Storms has taken a leave from the soap opera since she was cast as Maxie nearly two decades ago. In 2011, she was replaced by Jen Lilley while struggling with endometriosis. She returned in 2012, but later took additional temporary leaves in 2016, 2017 and 2018, when Molly Burnett took up the role. After brain surgery in 2021, Storms took another leave playing from Maxie during her recovery.
Storms herself initially took over as Maxie for Robyn Richards, who portrayed the character from 1993-2004. Storms previously starred on a different soap opera, Days of Our Lives, where she played Belle Black for five years from 1999 to 2004.
Since Storms began her stint as Maxie, she has run the gamut of storylines from a heart transplant, drug addiction, blackmail, cheating and murder. Most recently, Maxie welcomed a son, James, with on-screen love interest Nathan (Ryan Paevey).
In real life, Storms is a mother to daughter Harper, 9, whom she shares with former General Hospital co-star Brandon Barash. Storms and Barash, 44, met on the set of the soap and tied the knot in June 2013. They split three years later, but maintain an amicable coparenting relationship.
Storms has even posted sweet photos of daddy and daughter via her Instagram over the years. In 2022, she captioned a photo of Barash and Harper before a school event. “The Daddy/Daughter Dance preparty was a success. Baby rose corsages? Stop-the-cuteness,” she wrote.
Storms has been acting since she was a child. She was a mainstay on the WB drama, 7th Heaven, playing Laura Cummings, one of Simon’s (David Gallagher) girlfriends. She later made hearts go boom boom playing Zenon in Disney’s 1999 film Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century, which spawned two subsequent sequels in 2001 and 2004.