‘Days of Our Lives’ Icon Bill Hayes Passes Away at 98
Bill Hayes, renowned for his enduring portrayal of Doug Williams on the NBC soap opera “Days of Our Lives,” breathed his last on Friday at the age of 98. A fixture on the daytime serial since 1970, Hayes not only graced the screen but also found real-life love on the show with fellow actress Susan Seaforth, whom he married in 1974. The couple’s on-screen and off-screen union became an integral part of the soap’s narrative.
Executive producer Ken Corday fondly remembers Hayes, stating, “I have known Bill for most of my life, and he embodied the heart and soul of ‘Days of our Lives.’ Although we are grieving and will miss him, Bill’s indelible legacy will live on in our hearts and the stories we tell, both on and off the screen.”
Doug Williams, portrayed by Hayes, stands as one of the soap’s longest-running characters, facing a myriad of challenges alongside his on-screen partner. The couple’s enduring popularity was highlighted when they graced the cover of Time magazine in 1976, coinciding with their characters’ on-screen nuptials.
Hayes earned Daytime Emmy nominations in 1975 and 1976 for his outstanding work on the show, and in 2018, he and Seaforth-Hayes were honored with lifetime achievement awards at the Daytime Emmy Awards.
With a career spanning back to the early days of network TV in 1949, Hayes initially starred in “Olsen & Johnson’s Fireball Fun-for-All” and later contributed to Sid Caesar’s “Your Show of Shows.” Born in Harvey, Ill., Hayes, a versatile artist, made his Broadway debut in 1953 and achieved success in various stage musicals.
In 1956, Hayes scored a pop hit with “The Ballad of Davy Crockett.” Despite a successful career, it was his role as a reformed con artist turned nightclub singer on “Days of Our Lives” that resonated with audiences.
Hayes and Seaforth Hayes temporarily departed the show in 1984, returning in 2003 to reprise their roles despite characters being presumed dead. Hayes’ impact extends beyond the screen, as he earned a doctorate in education from West Virginia University.
His legacy as a beloved actor and consummate performer will undoubtedly endure in the hearts of fans and the annals of television history.
Today the soap world lost a legend. Days of our Lives Icon Bill Hayes passed away at the age of 98. He will forever be in our hearts 💔
For more soapy content check out https://t.co/tNoddWelql #billhayes #ripbillhayes #dougwilliams #dougandjulie #days #dool #daysofourlives pic.twitter.com/Oki9bAqyfo
— SoapHub (@Soap_Hub) January 13, 2024