Renowned US actor Bill Hayes, known for his iconic role in the soap opera “Days of Our Lives” spanning over five decades, has passed away at the age of 98.
Debuting as Doug Williams in 1970, he not only brought the character to life but also encountered his future wife, actress Susan Seaforth Hayes, during the production of the series.
In June of last year, he marked his 98th birthday while surrounded by co-stars on the set of the American daytime soap.
His agent told the BBC he died on Friday surrounded by family.
The cause of his death has not been revealed.
Born William Foster Hayes III in Harvey, Illinois, in 1925, Hayes began his career as a musician and had a hit with The Ballad of Davy Crockett.
h0t8PXJLkqoElc6hAuoilqYaTSTLeiJWVUXSBe Sa6NzgDjjhVihLzxPFC3qj4Y ZORTPez4AKSekrOh3kBill Hayes married his Days of our Lives co-star Susan Seaforth Hayes
He then began focusing more on acting, and landed his most notable role on NBC’s Days of Our Lives in February 1970 as a convict who was also a lounge singer.
He went on to portray the character of Doug Williams on and off over the next 50 years, through to 2023.
His co-star, Seaforth Hayes, joined the daytime soap two years before him, playing the character of Julie Williams.
The pair played an on-screen couple, and eventually became a real-life couple, tying the knot in 1974.
They went on to say “I do” again – this time on television – when their characters got married to each other two years later.
The popularity of their romance even led to them appearing on the cover of Time that year.
In 2018, both he and Seaforth Hayes received the Daytime Emmys Lifetime Achievement Awards.
Hayes had five children from a previous marriage to Mary Hobbs.