Remembering Bill Hayes: A Beloved Icon of Television

We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Bill Hayes, the celebrated actor known for his unforgettable portrayal of Doug Williams on the beloved soap opera series “Days Of Our Lives.” At the age of 98, Bill Hayes bid farewell, leaving behind a remarkable legacy that touched the hearts of millions.

Born on June 5, 1925, in Harvey, Illinois, Bill Hayes led a life filled with extraordinary achievements. He joined the Navy Air Corps in 1943 during his time at DePauw University, where he trained as a fighter pilot for over two years. Although his military service was during World War II, fate intervened just as he was about to be deployed for active duty.

After serving his country, Bill Hayes excelled in academia, earning Bachelor of Arts degrees in both music and English. In 1998, he achieved a doctoral degree from West Virginia University, a testament to his intellectual prowess.

Bill Hayes’ time on “Days Of Our Lives” began in 1970 when he originated the role of Doug Williams. From that moment on, he became an integral part of the show, leaving an indelible mark on the long-running series. Bill’s commitment to portraying the beloved character consistently spanned several decades, endearing him to both old and new generations of viewers.

But it wasn’t just his on-screen presence that captivated audiences. Bill Hayes shared a legendary bond with his real-life wife and co-star, Susan Seaforth Hayes, who portrayed Julie Olson Williams. Together, they represented the cornerstone of the Williams-Horton family, showcasing their enduring chemistry both on and off the screen.

Ken Corday, the executive producer of “Days Of Our Lives,” honored Bill Hayes by acknowledging his vital role in the heart and soul of the show for many years. Corday emphasized that Bill’s legacy would continue to resonate, not only within the show but also beyond, forever etched in the stories they tell.

Beyond his acting career, Bill Hayes was also a talented and versatile musician. In 1955, he recorded a popular rendition of “The Ballad of Davy Crockett,” showcasing his musical talents to the world. This was just one example of his multifaceted career.

In 2017, a documentary titled “World by the Tail” allowed fans and admirers to gain insight into the life and journey of Bill Hayes. Through this film, viewers were able to appreciate the man behind the iconic characters he portrayed, providing a deeper understanding of his remarkable talent.

Bill Hayes’ passing marks the end of an era, not only for the world of soap operas but also for the entire entertainment industry. His contributions and unforgettable performances will continue to resonate with generations of fans, reminding us of the enduring power of storytelling and the profound impact of a talented actor like Bill Hayes.

Today, we celebrate the life and legacy of Bill Hayes, a beloved icon of television. He will be dearly missed, but his memory will live on forever in our hearts.