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DAYS OF OUR LIVES Icon Bill Hayes Dead at 98


The daytime community has lost a true icon. Bill Hayes, who has played Doug Williams on DAYS OF OUR LIVES for over five decades, died on Jan. 12 at the age of 98. “I have known Bill for most of my life and he embodied the heart and soul of DAYS OF OUR LIVES,” said the soap’s executive producer Ken Corday in a statement. “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.” 

After enlisting in the Navy Air Corps and training to be a fighter pilot, Hayes was awarded the American Campaign Medal and the World War II Victory Medal before resigning for civilian life. He graduated from DePauw University with a dual major in Music and English and then moved into show business singing on the Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca variety series YOUR SHOW OF SHOWS in the ‘50s. He also had a number-one hit single with “The Ballad of Davey Crockett” in 1955.

DAYS Julie & Doug - NBC/Getty
Hayes and his wife have been stars of Days for decades.Herb Ball/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Of course, soap fans will always remember Hayes for playing the beloved character of Doug Williams on DAYS, where he starred alongside his longtime wife, Susan Seaforth Hayes, who plays Julie. The couple tied the knot in 1974 and were famously the only soap stars to be featured on the cover of Time Magazine, in an issue published in 1976.

Hayes received Daytime Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor in 1975 and 1976 and was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award alongside his wife at the 2018 Daytime Emmys.

Our thoughts are with Hayes’ family and friends during this difficult time.

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