Judi Evans (also credited as Judi Evans Luciano, born July 12, 1964) is an American actress,. She played Beth Raines on the CBS series Guiding Light from (1983–1986), but is best known for playing Adrienne Johnson Kiriakis a role she originated in 1986 on NBC's Days of Our Lives. She was a regular cast member from 1986 until 1991, then returned in 2003 to play Bonnie Lockhart, another role she originated and played until early 2007. Later in 2007, she returned to Days of Our Lives to reprise the role of Adrienne Johnson Kiriakis which she has played on a recurring basis since then.
Private life and weight loss
Evans was born in Montebello, California.
Evans married Michael Luciano, her second husband, on November 20, 1993. Their son, Austin Luciano, was born on May 26, 1996. Her pregnancy, in which she gained 80 pounds, and subsequent lack of weight loss, was highly publicized in the media. With Evans' input, her life experience led to a storyline on Another World in which her character, Paulina, became addicted to crystal meth to lose her pregnancy weight. Evans later spoke out against the storyline; while it was her idea to do a special-interest storyline that viewers could relate to, she was not happy with the "crystal meth" twist in the story.
In the August 17, 2004 issue of Soap Opera Digest, Evans delved into her weight-gain story. She wore a size 4 dress before she was pregnant with her child, and then, at her peak six months after she gave birth, she wore a size 18 dress. All in all, Evans said, she gained over 80 pounds (36 kg) in her pregnancy, and didn't lose any of it quickly. It took two years for her to lose half of the pregnancy weight she gained, and it was only in 2003 that she got down to a weight reminiscent of her life pre-pregnancy. Due to her weight troubles, she had indicated that she was very reluctant to have another baby.
Evans is currently an actress on 'Days of Our Lives, playing the role of Adrienne Kiriakis, on a recurring status. She now also plays Prissy Kincaide on The Grove: The Series co starring with and created by Former Days costar Crystal Chappell.
Evans' first soap opera role was as Beth Raines on Guiding Light (1983–1986). The character was part of the "Four Musketeers" storyline, and Evans' portrayal of Beth, a victim of sexual abuse from her stepfather, garnered her a Daytime Emmy Award as Best Supporting Actress in 1984. Evans was initially paired with Grant Aleksander, who played Phillip Spaulding. The duo made the cover of Soap Opera Digest during Phillip and Beth's escape to New York City. The character was subsequently paired up with Vincent Irizarry and his anti-hero character, Lujack, and became a "supercouple". Evans left the show in 1986; in subsequent interviews, she described the GL set as tense after her Emmy win, as people became angry with her for getting the attention and acclaim for the story.
After departing from Guiding Light, Evans originated the role of Adrienne Johnson Kiriakis on Days of our Lives (1986–1991). Like Beth, Adrienne was part of a blue-collar family and became involved with a rich young playboy, Justin Kiriakis, (played by Wally Kurth). Evans left Days of our Lives in 1991 and returned to the role of Adrienne from May 2007 until January 2008. In between her two stints as Adrienne, she played down-on-her-luck schemer Bonnie Lockhart on Days of our Lives from September 2003 until her return as Adrienne, a complete reversal from the "good girl" role she once played on the show.
After her first departure from Days of our Lives in 1991, Evans took over the role of Paulina Cory Carlino on Another World, which she played until the show was canceled in 1999. After a heavily-publicized pregnancy with her son, Austin, and a public struggle to lose the post-pregnancy weight, Evans took a break from acting when Another World was canceled.
In 2000, she played Patsy Ramsey in the television movie, Getting Away with Murder: The JonBenét Ramsey Mystery.
In June 2009, it was reported that Evans would be joining the cast of As the World Turns as Maeve, a new character on the show, scheduled to air in August 2009. The announcement ended speculation that Evans would be returning yet again to Days of our Lives, this time with former on-screen husband Wally Kurth.
Evans has been nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award in 2008 for Days of our Lives, 24 years after her first nomination and win for her role on Guiding Light.