Bill Hayes, who starred in Days of Our Lives since 1970, has died at 98, a representative for the long running NBC soap opera confirmed.
“It is with a heavy heart that we share the passing of our beloved Bill Hayes. One of the longest-running characters on Days of our Lives, Bill originated the role of ‘Doug Williams’ in 1970 and portrayed him continuously throughout his life,” the rep said Friday.
“He and his wife, Susan Seaforth-Hayes, remained the foundation of the Williams-Horton family spanning more than 50 years.”
Hayes had for years starred alongside his real-life wife, Susan, on the iconic TV show.
“I have known Bill for most of my life and he embodied the heart and soul of Days of our Lives,” Days of Our Lives executive producer Ken Corday said. “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.”
Hayes celebrated his 98th birthday on the soap’s set, alongside his wife and costars.
Before he was renown for his daytime TV role as Doug Williams, Hayes had the number one song in America in 1955 with “The Ballad of Davy Crockett.”
In 2018, Hayes won the Daytime Emmy’s Lifetime Achievement Award for his decades portraying the classic Days of our Lives character.