Bill Hayes Dies: ‘Days Of Our Lives’ Legend Was 98

The entertainment industry mourns the loss of a true legend, Bill Hayes, who graced the screens as Doug Williams on “Days of Our Lives” for over five decades. This article pays tribute to the iconic actor, delving into his remarkable career, contributions to the show, and the impact he left behind.

Remembering a Soap Opera Icon

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Early Life and Career Beginnings

Bill Hayes, a multifaceted talent, kickstarted his career in the early ’50s as a singer on “Your Show of Shows.” His journey unfolded through appearances on shows like “Decoy” and “True Story,” paving the way for a successful transition to television movies.

Days of Our Lives Legacy

In 1970, Hayes originated the role of Doug Williams on “Days of Our Lives,” leaving an indelible mark that lasted until 2023. The show’s statement acknowledged his enduring influence, emphasizing the pivotal role he and his wife, Susan Seaforth-Hayes, played in the Williams-Horton family.

A Lifetime of Achievements

Notably, Hayes and Seaforth-Hayes were honored with Lifetime Achievement Awards at the 2018 Daytime Emmys. Executive Producer Ken Corday expressed the profound impact Hayes had on the heart and soul of “Days of Our Lives.”

Beyond the Soap Opera: Bill Hayes’s Diverse Career

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TV Stardom Beyond “Days”

Despite his iconic role, Hayes continued to grace other television shows, showcasing his versatility. From “Matlock” to “Frasier,” his guest appearances reflected a career that spanned various genres, leaving an enduring legacy.

Musical Triumphs

Hayes’s success wasn’t confined to acting; his rendition of the “Ballad of Davy Crockett” soared to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1955, selling over 2 million copies. His Broadway stint in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Me and Juliet” in 1953 further showcased his artistic prowess.

The Enduring Legacy of Bill Hayes

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Impact on and off Screen

Executive Producer Ken Corday aptly summarized Hayes’s legacy, emphasizing that although the industry grieves his loss, his indelible impact will persist in the hearts and stories told both on and off the screen.

The Williams-Horton Family Foundation

Hayes’s on-screen partnership with Susan Seaforth-Hayes wasn’t just limited to acting; they remained the foundation of the Williams-Horton family, creating a lasting legacy that spanned more than 50 years.

FAQs about Bill Hayes

What is Bill Hayes’s most famous role?

Bill Hayes is best known for his role as Doug Williams on “Days of Our Lives,” a character he portrayed for over 50 years.

How long did Bill Hayes play Doug Williams?

Bill Hayes originated the role of Doug Williams in 1970 and played the part on and off until 2023.

What awards did Bill Hayes and Susan Seaforth-Hayes receive?

The duo received Lifetime Achievement Awards at the Daytime Emmys in 2018 for their contributions to the soap opera genre.

What is Bill Hayes’s significant musical achievement?

Hayes achieved musical success with the “Ballad of Davy Crockett,” reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1955.

How did Executive Producer Ken Corday describe Bill Hayes?

Ken Corday described Bill Hayes as someone who embodied the heart and soul of “Days of Our Lives.”

What other TV shows did Bill Hayes appear in?

In addition to “Days of Our Lives,” Bill Hayes made guest appearances on shows like “Matlock,” “Hooperman,” “Cop Rock,” and “Frasier.”

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In celebrating the life of Bill Hayes, we honor not just a soap opera legend but a multifaceted talent whose impact reverberates through decades of entertainment history. His contributions, both on and off-screen, have left an enduring legacy that will be cherished by fans and industry peers alike.

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