It has become a very sad time for the soap opera world. Within the last year, the losses have really racked up between those of Jackie Zeman, Billy Miller, Tyler Christopher, and now the loss of legendary Days of Our Lives actor, Bill Hayes.
Bill Hayes was an actor and singer along with real-life wife and co-star on Days of Our Lives, Susan Seaforth Hayes. He has starred for decades alongside his wife on the popular soap opera and passed this last Friday at 98 years old.
Who did Bill Hayes play on Days of Our Lives?
Hayes began his career on the hit NBC soap as Doug Williams back in 1970. He continued his role as Doug until 2023 in recurring appearances.
His final appearance as Doug Williams was back in December of 2022. Through the years in Salem, he had several wives including Kim Douglas, Addie Horton, and Lee DuMonde.
But it was Julie Olson Williams who truly won over his heart, whom he also married three times. Doug was a staple within the Horton family.
In 2018, Bill Hayes was awarded a Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award for his role as Doug Williams. Half a century is nothing to sneeze about for any career.
It was due to his role that he met his soon-to-be wife Susan Hayes who he married in 1974. The two of them became a super-couple both on and off-screen.
Hayes’ "The Ballad of Davy Crockett’" was a hit and has been sung and carried on by many popular artists. Along with Days of Our Lives he starred in productions like Frazier, Matlock, Miracle at the Gate, Ed Sullivan’s Toast of the Town, and Kiss Me Kate.
Bill Hayes positive influence
Star of Breaking Bad, Bryan Cranston had a few words to say about the singer and actor amid his passing.
Bill Hayes was truly remarkable and one of a kind. But I think at this time we should not worry about how the show will end Doug’s run but cherish Bill’s memory and the lasting mark he has had on Days of Our Lives.
This past June, Bill and Susan spent his 98th birthday on the set of Days of Our Lives with a double chocolate cake. The two of them shared nearly 60 years in daytime together.
Now, of course, they aren’t the first couple (even on Days of Our Lives) to fall in love after their characters did, but they shared the kind of relationship that we all look for; falling in love and growing old together. A life full of love and laughter.
We will forever miss Bill and Doug, but he will eternally live on with Hope, Ciara, Shawn, and Claire. Your music will live in our hearts forever Bill.
What is your favorite Bill Hayes role? Share your answers in the comments below, we'd love to read them!