Bill Hayes of ‘Days of Our Lives’ Passes Away at 98

By Ehtesham - Senior Editor
4 Min Read
Bill Hayes of 'Days of Our Lives' Passes Away at 98

In a somber moment for soap opera enthusiasts, the iconic US actor Bill Hayes, renowned for his enduring role in the beloved series ‘Days of Our Lives,’ bid farewell at the age of 98.

A Legacy in Soap Opera History

Bill Hayes made his indelible mark on the small screen when he first stepped into the shoes of Doug Williams in 1970. Little did he know that his journey on ‘Days of Our Lives’ would extend for over five decades, becoming a cherished figure for fans worldwide.

Love Found on Set

As destiny would have it, the on-screen tales transcended into reality when Hayes met Susan Seaforth Hayes, his co-star and later his real-life partner. The two embarked on a journey that intertwined both their professional and personal lives, creating a love story that endured through the years.

A Birthday Celebration on Set

In a heartwarming twist of fate, Hayes marked his 98th birthday surrounded by the camaraderie of his co-stars on the set of the daytime soap just last June. Little did they know it would be one of his final moments among the cast and crew.

A Loss Felt Across Generations

Bill Hayes, born William Foster Hayes III in 1925, wasn’t just an actor; he began his artistic journey as a musician, leaving an indelible mark with ‘The Ballad of Davy Crockett.’ Transitioning into acting, he brought life to the character of Doug Williams, a role that spanned from 1970 to 2023.

A Real-Life Love Story

The chemistry between Hayes and Seaforth Hayes wasn’t confined to the screen. Their on-screen romance blossomed into reality, resulting in a real-life marriage in 1974. Their characters mirrored their journey, exchanging vows on television two years later, even gracing the cover of Time due to the public’s fascination with their love story.

Honoring a Soap Opera Legend

In recognition of their immense contributions, both Bill Hayes and Susan Seaforth Hayes were honored with the Daytime Emmys Lifetime Achievement Awards in 2018, a testament to their enduring impact on the soap opera landscape.

A Family Man Remembered

Beyond the glitz of Hollywood, Bill Hayes was a family man. His legacy includes five children from a previous marriage to Mary Hobbs, adding another layer to the multifaceted persona of this soap opera legend.

As the curtain falls on Bill Hayes’ remarkable journey, his memory lives on in the hearts of those who cherished his performances and the timeless love story he shared with Susan Seaforth Hayes.


How long was Bill Hayes on ‘Days of Our Lives’?

Bill Hayes portrayed Doug Williams on the soap opera for over five decades, from 1970 to 2023.

Did Bill Hayes find love on the set of the show?

Yes, he met Susan Seaforth Hayes while filming ‘Days of Our Lives,’ and their on-screen romance blossomed into a real-life marriage.

What other accomplishments did Bill Hayes have in his career?

Bill Hayes began as a musician with a hit song, ‘The Ballad of Davy Crockett,’ before transitioning into acting.

How did Bill Hayes celebrate his 98th birthday?

He celebrated his 98th birthday on the set of ‘Days of Our Lives’ surrounded by his co-stars.

What recognition did Bill Hayes and Susan Seaforth Hayes receive in 2018?

In 2018, they were both honored with the Daytime Emmys Lifetime Achievement Awards.

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