The character of Julie Williams has been on DAYS OF OUR LIVES for decades, so it’s understandable if newer fans aren’t aware of her epic history on the soap! Julie Olson was introduced back in 1965 when the soap debuted, with Charla Doherty playing the teen. The role was recast twice with Catherine Dunn and Catherine Ferrar before Susan Seaforth Hayes took over in 1968. Over the decades, the actress has been nominated five times for Daytime Emmy Awards, and received the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018. Hayes also celebrated her 50th anniversary with DAYS in December of 2018. And even when things are at their darkest, Julie always seems to find a way to pull through!
From the start, Julie Olson was a rebellious teenager always getting into trouble. When her parents moved to Europe, Julie moved in with her grandparents, Tom and Alice Horton. She tried to steal David Martin away from her best friend, Susan, but then Susan killed David and during the trial, it was revealed that Julie was carrying his child. She gave David Jr. up for adoption, and he was raised by Scott and Janet Banning. After Janet died, Julie married Scott and they raised David Banning together.
In 1970, Susan paid Doug Williams to have an affair with Julie, but he and Julie fell in love with each other. Unfortunately, as they eventually prepared to marry, Doug disagreed with Julie’s desire to take David away from Scott. Furious, Julie walked out on Doug and her mother Addie stepped in and married him instead! Julie was crushed, and then things got worse when Scott was killed in a construction accident. Phyllis and Bob Anderson helped Julie get back on her feet, and then he divorced his wife to marry Julie. But Addie was pregnant with Doug’s child, and after giving birth to Hope, was killed in a car accident. After Julie suffered a miscarriage, she divorced Bob and went back to Doug.
Finally, Doug and Julie were married, but business troubles forced him to leave Salem temporarily. After Julie was badly burned by Maggie Horton’s oven, she feared Doug would no longer love her. After reconstructive surgery failed, Julie ran away to Mexico and got a divorce behind Doug’s back. After her beauty was restored, Julie was devastated to learn he’d married Lee Dumonde. But Doug dumped her and remarried Julie. They settled into a happy marriage, but after going on a cruise around the world, Doug returned to Salem alone and revealed they’d split up.
Julie returned to Salem in 1990, and Doug pretended to be dying in the hopes of winning her back. Their love couldn’t be denied, and the couple reconciled and resumed their world traveling. They continued to pop into town occasionally for big events and holidays. In 2004, they were caught up in the serial killer mystery when Doug was seemingly murdered. A grieving Julie distracted herself by helping Mickey Horton get over Maggie’s death while keeping him safe from the advances of Bonnie Lockhart. When it appeared Marlena Evans was the serial killer, Julie threatened to kill her, but thankfully everyone was actually still alive and Doug and Julie worked to help Maggie get Mickey back.
Doug and Julie continued to come and go, always being around for the important moments like saying a final farewell to Alice Horton after she passed away and helping Hope grieve the death of her husband, Bo Brady. In 2017, Julie was devastated to learn that her son, David, had been killed in a motorcycle accident, but overjoyed to find out that she has another grandson, Eli Grant. She also found herself being forced into a partnership with Chloe Lane as they reopened Doug’s Place. Julie wanted to help Abigail Deveraux prove that Gabi Hernandez had been scheming against her, but fighting with Gabi sent Julie tumbling down a flight of stairs and landed her in the hospital!
Thankfully, Julie is one tough cookie and quickly recovered to continue protecting her family members like the mama bear she is. She was delighted when Chloe left town for a job in New York so she could run the restaurant without any interference, but things took a turn when she suffered a heart attack and was rushed to the hospital! Julie needed a heart transplant, but due to her age, wasn’t able to get on the waiting list for a new organ. She very nearly received Kate Roberts‘ heart until the coma patient recovered, and ultimately ended up with Stefan DiMera‘s after he died and Gabi finally agreed to the transplant.
After a year passed in the blink of an eye, Julie was recovered but Gabi had a phone app that controlled her pacemaker and threatened to set it off if anyone interrupted her marriage to Eli. Thankfully, JJ Deveraux intervened and warned Julie so they could trick Gabi and expose her schemes at the ceremony. Julie agreed to officiate the wedding of Ben Weston and Ciara Brady, and continued to support Eli in his marriage to Lani Price. She also found herself caught up in various dramas around town like catching Xander Kiriakis in various schemes.
In September 2021, Julie began to worry about Doug when he started confusing names and accidentally locked her in the restaurant’s freezer! But it turned out that Doug was actually possessed by the devil, who used him to get back to Marlena again! The devil attempted to kill Julie, but she stood up to the evil and helped save her family. She also helped Jennifer face up to her addiction and offered Chad advice about moving on with Stephanie.
When Abe Carver was presumed dead, Julie comforted Paulina Price and when she ran into Gabi and Stefan celebrating their engagement, rehashed everything Gabi had done to her (though Stefan wasn’t bothered!).
Stay tuned to see how Julie’s story continues!