Soap Star Also Had 'Davy Crockett' Hit Song

'The last scene I got to play with him is about how much we love each other,' says Bill Hayes' widow
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 26, 2024 9:26 AM CST
Bill Hayes Was Half of a 'Soap-World Power Couple'
Susan Seaforth Hayes and Bill Hayes arrive at the 45th annual Daytime Emmy Awards at the Pasadena Civic Center on Sunday, April 29, 2018, in Pasadena, Calif.   (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)

Susan Seaforth Hayes is mourning Bill Hayes, her husband in real life and on Days of Our Lives for decades. Hayes, who joined the daytime soap opera's cast in 1970 as con artist-turned-lounge singer Doug Williams, taped his final scene with his wife just weeks before he died on Jan. 12 at age 98. "The last scene I got to play with him is about how much we love each other," she tells the New York Times. "I was blessed with an opportunity to hover over the words 'Have I ever told you how much I love you?' And Doug answers, 'No, you never did.' That was something Billy and I would say frequently in life."

The Dec. 22 episode was the last of Hayes' 2,171 appearances on the show. When he joined the show, he was the recently divorced father of five teenage children. Hayes and his future wife quickly became a "soap-world power couple" on and off the screen, per the Times. They married in 1974 and their characters followed suit two years later. Variety reports that as main characters, they "faced numerous trials, ranging from Doug's deranged ex-wife, an exploding oven, and numerous serial killers." Hayes was born in the Chicago area in 1925. He trained as a Navy fighter pilot during World War II but the war ended before he saw active duty.

Early in his career, Hayes performed as a singer and dancer in stage musicals and TV variety shows. He had a huge hit in 1955 with "The Ballad of Davy Crockett," the country's top-selling single for five weeks. Hayes' agent, David Gregory Mayo, told CNN that he died peacefully at his home in Studio City, California, surrounded by family members including his wife. "Bill Hayes meant the world to me—he is simply the best that a person could ever hope to be," Mayo said. "He was not only a client, but a trusted friend and mentor." (More Days of Our Lives stories.)

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