Although she was born in Silver Spring, Maryland, Crystal Chappell didn't necessarily live there. The daughter of an retired D.C. fireman, Crystal lived a very nomadic life when she was a child. Her parents would purchase "unfinished" homes, move the family in, and renovate them while living there. Crystal and her brothers, one older and one younger, would participate in the process, often acting as the cleaning crew. When the house was completed, they'd sell it, and move on to the next.
It was in her junior year of high school that Chappell got involved with acting, although she was intrigued by the arts much earlier, when she landed the lead in her school play, Dark of the Moon. In high school, she won a drama scholarship, but instead of pursing acting, ended up enrolling in Coast Carolina College where she studied Computer Science. Next, she attended the University of South Carolina and majored in journalism, while at the same time working as an aerobics instructor to pay for her classes.
While taking time off from her classes, Crystal auditioned for the role in Beauty and The Beast at the University of Maryland. She not only got the part, but she enrolled in their acting program as well, believing that acting could be her future. While attending U of M Crystal performed in the National College Theatre Festival at The Kennedy Center.
After graduating, Crystal moved to the New York City, the home of Broadway. It was there that she read a book by thespian/actor Sanford Meisner and, after writing him, was invited to train with him and a few others in the West Indies.
When she returned to New York, Crystal got her first television job in 1989 as a day player on the ABC soap opera All My Children. Her next job came soon after that, when she was cast as a drug addict on the now defunct soap Santa Barbara. Now living in California and working with an agent, Crystal got her first role of a lifetime when she began playing Dr. Carly Manning on NBC's Days of Our Lives. The part not only garnered her a Soap Opera Digest Award for Hottest Female Star, but she also became the envy of women everywhere when her character was paired with Bo Brady. It was while playing Carly that Chappell met the man she would eventually marry, actor Michael Sabatino.
After leaving Days in 1993, Crystal joined the cast of One Life to Live as Maggie Carpenter. She played the part for over 3 years. On January 6, 1997, Crystal and Michael were married in Manhattan's City Hall. Then, in 1999, Crystal became a part of the long-running CBS soap opera Guiding Light, playing the role of vixen Olivia Spencer.
On May 11, 2001, Crystal and Michael became parents to a son they named Jacob Walker Sabatino. Two years later their family grew yet again when on September 2, 2003 Dylan Michael Sabatino was born. Today, the family splits time between California and New York and Crystal says she's never been happier.