Mitchell Haaseth/NBC
Lynette Rice
January 21, 2014 AT 03:52 PM EST

Alison Sweeney — who has spent 21 years in NBC daytime playing the popular character Sami Brady — will leave Days of Our Lives.

Sweeney announced her decision on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that will air today. “I’m celebrating my 21st year … and I decided that it’s going to be my last year with the show,” she says. “I have worked so much, and my daughter just turned 5 and my son is 9, and I just want to be with them.”

The actress is expected to leave the sudser at the end of the season.

Sweeney first joined the soap in 1993 and went on to win a special fan award from the Daytime Emmys in 2002. She also moonlights as host on The Biggest Loser and has authored books like All the Days of My Life (So Far) and The Star Attraction.

Watch her interview with Ellen below.

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