Actor Bill Hayes 


 Hayes has played Doug Williams on the daytime serial since 1970, five years after the show debuted.

Bill Hayes, a long-running character on NBC's "Days of Our Lives," died on Friday at 98.

Hayes has played Doug Williams on the daytime serial since 1970, five years after the show debuted. On the show, he met his real-life wife, actress Susan Seaforth, in the fictional Illinois hamlet of Salem.

Hayes and Seaforth tied the knot in 1974. On the show, their characters married two years later. The pair also appeared on the cover of Time magazine the same year, in a cover article about the popularity of daytime soaps.


“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.”


Hayes’ character was one of the longest-running characters on the soap, now produced by Sony Pictures TV. As pillars of the show, the couple faced numerous trials, ranging from Doug’s deranged ex-wife, an exploding oven and numerous serial killers.


Hayes earned two Daytime Emmy nominations for his work on the show in 1975 and 1976. Hayes and Seaforth-Hayes earned Lifetime Achievements award from the Daytime Emmy Awards in 2018.