Veteran actress Billie Hayes has died at the age of 96. She passed away on April 29 at Cedar’s Hospital in Los Angeles from natural causes. Although best known as the flamboyant Witchiepoo on the Saturday morning children’s show H.R. PUFNSTUF, she also had a recurring role in the early ‘80s as international spy Agent Brighton O’Reilly on GENERAL HOSPITAL.
“My dear wonderful Billie Hayes has died,” tweeted Tristan Rogers (Robert) when he heard the news. “Sadly, I only got to work with her on GH but it was a magical relationship. Right away, Gloria Monty saw something unique and ran with it. I cannot tell you how her passing saddens me.” Hayes’ GH character was a WSB agent who was shot and killed by Victor Cassadine in 1981.
Hayes had a long and storied career that spanned stage, screen, and television. She played Mammy Yokum in the Li’l Abner Broadway musical in 1956, the subsequent film version, and a 1971 television special! Her distinctive voice could also be heard in animated films like The Black Cauldron and The Nightmare Before Christmas and TV series like Rugrats and The Batman.
Our thoughts are with Hayes’ family and friends during this difficult time.