When it comes to American Horror Story, Sarah Paulson has been a mainstay, appearing in every single season of AHS since its inception in 2011. In eight seasons, she's played at least 10 characters: a medium in AHS: Murder House, an undercover reporter in Asylum, a witch in Coven, conjoined twins in Freak Show, a drug addicted ghost in Hotel (and reprised her role as that medium from season one, thus connecting the AHS universe), a British actress who plays a woman who lives on a haunted property during a dramatization in Roanoke, a paranoid liberal and the Manson Family member Susan Atkins in Cult, and a dystopian leader in Apocalypse. Some of Paulson's characters have had recurring roles across seasons and time.
However, fans of Ryan Murphy's number one muse may be disappointed when they tune in to the show's ninth season, known as American Horror Story: 1984. According to Variety, Paulson will not appear in a major role on the show.
Now, Paulson's absence as a "major" character does not necessarily signal that the actress will not have a small cameo in season nine. She has not commented on her AHS sabbatical, but could potentially reprise an old role from a prior season, as she has done in the past.
It was previously reported that Evan Peters, another mainstay of the series, will not return for AHS: 1984. Both Paulson and Peters have also been heavily involved in other projects produced by Murphy, like American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson (for which Paulson won an Emmy) and Pose.
For those looking for more of Paulson in the Murphy-verse, there will be at least two projects to keep an eye out for in the near future: Mrs. America, a limited series from FX that will follow the movement to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, and Ratched, a Netflix series told from the perspective of Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.