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Deidre Hall Shares a Beautiful Tribute to Her Dear Friend Bill Hayes


As the daytime community mourned the passing of the legendary DAYS OF OUR LIVES star Bill Hayes (Doug), heartfelt remembrances and tributes poured in from his friends and co-stars. And while it took Deidre Hall (Marlena) a little longer to put her own thoughts down in words, her beautiful message was worth the wait.

“When I say Bill and Susan Hayes, I think of the phrase with no separation between the words,” she wrote on Instagram. “If written, it would appear as Billandsusanhayes. I had the opportunity to see them up close and unguarded due to our professional and personal relationship. During any significant moment or event, it was each other’s eyes they sought out to share the experience. It could not be fully enjoyed until it was shared.

“Their deep and abiding faith made them pillars in their church community,” Hall continued. “Bill and Susan’s belief included action, not just providing emotional and substantive support. After 50 years of lending his voice to the Chancel Choir, he was honored by the church with the retirement of his choir robe and a permanent plaque that reads: ‘The Bill Hayes Chancel Choir Loft.’”

DAYS Marlena Doug
Hall and Hayes spent decades sharing the screen.XJJohnson/

Some DAYS fans might not be aware that Hayes was also a successful singer, who had a number-one hit with “The Ballad of Davy Crockett” back in 1955 and appeared on Broadway. “Many will speak of Bill’s unparalleled voice,” Hall said, “not just the quality but the emotion contained within. When being greeted by Bill, you could hear the smile contained in your name. ‘Billy, Dee’s here.’ ‘Deeeiiidddrrreeee!!’ I’m not describing it well, but anyone who knows him will be grinning at the memory.

“Regardless of where our last conversation ended,” she added, “Bill would pick up the next with: ‘Say, how did your monologue work?’ ‘Did you try that curry restaurant?’ And always: ‘How’s your sister?!?’”

Hayes could also be counted on to deliver some of the best advice. “Many years ago, clearly having no idea personally,” Hall recounted, “I asked Bill, ‘What makes a marriage work?’ He gave it much thought before saying, ‘In all the years I have known Susan, she has never given me an insincere kiss.’ It was not a casual response. I understood it to mean the consistency of sincere devotion. 

“Upon reflection, it is the glue that held them together,” she continued. “It is the deep and demonstrable love and affection for each other and the life that they had created. Yes, they taught us how to love, and it was truly a Master Class.”

Wrapping up, Hall concluded: “Bill Hayes was the most loving and generous man I have ever known. Anyone lucky enough to have spent time with this gentle man would surely agree they were ‘changed for good.’”

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