Vale: Bill Hayes

Veteran Days of our Lives actor Bill Hayes, regarded as the longest-working actor in America, has died.

Veteran US actor Bill Hayes, best known for Days of Our Lives and vocalist on The Ballad of Davy Crockett, has died aged 98.

Hayes was regarded as the longest-working actor in America, who began his TV career in 1949 when he starred on Olsen & Johnson’s Fireball Fun-for-All and later worked on Sid Caesar’s Your Show of Shows.

Hayes joined Days of our Lives as Doug Williams in 1970, five years after the show’s debut. He met his real-life wife, actress Susan Seaforth, on the series set in the fictional Illinois town of Salem. They were married in 1974, two years later, their characters were married on the show -both gracing the cover of Time.

His character was one of the longest-running characters on the soap, earning two Daytime Emmy nominations and lifetime achievement award along with Seaforth Hayes.

Hayes made sporadic returns to Salem including as recently as this week, stateside.

He also made his Broadway debut in the Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Me and Juliet in 1953, followed by national tours of Bye Bye Birdie, Student Prince, Anything Goes, Camelot, and The Pajama Game.

In 1955 he had a hit record with The Ballad of Davy Crockett, the theme song of the Disney series starring Fess Parker.

“I have known Bill for most of my life and he embodied the heart and soul of Days of our Lives, ” said executive producer Ken Corday. “Although we are grieving and will miss him, Bill’s indelible legacy will live on in our hearts and the stories we tell, both on and off the screen.”

Source: Variety

9 Responses

  1. I started watching when I was in school (on school holidays). My Mum would always watch, so I did. I started just before Doug and Julie got together. But they were the main reason I remained a loyal viewer for many years. Sadly, I don’t watch now. Bill was a true Gentlemen, from what I’ve heard. My heart goes out to Susan and their family. Watching for so long, they become part of our family. Vale Bill Hayes.

  2. He and his wife, co-star Susan Seaforth Hayes, never forgot the reception they used to get when they visited Australia, particularly as guests at the Logie Awards in 1977, appearing as guests on Bert Newton’s morning radio show, and meeting fans in Australia, with some events hosted by Anne Wills in Adelaide. When they were honoured at the Daytime Emmys with Lifetime Achievement Awards in 2018, in their acceptance speech Bert Newton and Anne Wills were among the few non-American names to be mentioned.

  3. So very sad to get this news yesterday. The fact that he was 98 and still working is such an amazing feat in itself. And he wasn’t just sitting there and saying nothing, they gave him quite a bit of dialogue and he was heavily involved in the start of the latest possession storyline, it was great when he referred to his wife Julie as ‘that bitch’! He really should have gotten an Emmy nomination for his work in that storyline (Though he may have not even submitted a reel)

  4. I know Nik. Such an achievement. I remember his smile when he came into his restaurant (I think it was called Bill but I was only little so I am not 100% sure)? He had such a lovely presence on screen.

    And I too, watched her alongside you when we were kids. RIP Bill.

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