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“Farewell to a Soap Opera Legend: Bill Hayes, ‘Days of Our Lives’ Icon, Passes Away at 98”

In a bittersweet twist that echoes through the corridors of Hollywood, we bid adieu to an absolute titan of the silver screen. Bill Hayes, the age-defying maestro who graced our screens for decades as the indomitable Doug Williams on the iconic soap opera ‘Days of Our Lives,’ has gracefully exited the stage at the remarkable age of 98, as confirmed by the ever-reliable People magazine.

For over half a century, Hayes breathed life into the character of Doug Williams, etching his name into the golden pages of television history. His role wasn’t just a character; it was a living, breathing entity intricately woven into the DNA of the Williams-Horton family, a linchpin in the show’s enduring legacy.

A spokesperson for the series, with a heart weighed down by sorrow, shared the news of the loss, underlining that Hayes had been the heart and soul of ‘Days of Our Lives’ since he originated the role in 1970, portraying it with unwavering dedication throughout his lifetime.

Ken Corday, the maestro behind the scenes at ‘Days of Our Lives,’ painted a vivid picture of Hayes as more than an actor, describing him as the beating heart of the show. While the grief hangs heavy, Corday assures that Bill’s legacy will not fade; it will live on in the tales spun on and off the screen.

Last summer, Hayes marked his phenomenal 98th birthday on set, surrounded by a cast that felt more like family. Amid the festivities, his beloved wife, Susan Seaforth-Hayes, herself a luminary in the television cosmos, shared a tidbit that added a magical touch to the celebration—Bill Hayes was the first person to serenade daytime television, a milestone etched in history. The birthday bash featured a cake adorned with a snapshot from his youth, bearing the heartfelt inscription, “Happy Birthday Bill.”

In 2018, the Daytime Emmy’s bestowed upon Bill Hayes a Lifetime Achievement Award, a nod to his exceptional portrayal of Doug Williams. Beyond the screen, his life intertwined with the show’s narrative, as a scripted on-screen kiss in 1970 with Susan Seaforth-Hayes blossomed into a real-life romance and a marriage that spanned decades.

As we bid adieu to this luminary, we reflect on the indelible mark he left on ‘Days of Our Lives’ and the hearts of millions of viewers worldwide. Bill Hayes, an enduring icon, will forever remain in our memories and on our screens, a timeless maestro of the soap opera realm.

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