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Bill Hayes Obituary: Longtime “Days of Our Lives” star, Bill Hayes dies at 98

Bill Hayes Obituary – Cause of Death: Longtime “Days of Our Lives” star, Bill Hayes dies at 98.

Actor and recording artist, William Foster Hayes III died on Friday, January 12, 2024, at the age of 98.

“I have known Bill for most of my life and he embodied the heart and soul of Days of our Lives. 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,” Days of Our Lives executive producer Ken Corday said.

Hayes’ song “The Ballad of Davy Crockett” hit the top of the Billboard charts in the spring of 1955.

Following a successful career as a musician which began in the late 1940s, he began to focus on dramatic acting parts in the late 1960s, which led him to be cast in a role that gained him additional fame to a younger generation. This new chapter began in 1970 when he originated the character of Doug Williams on NBC’s Days of Our Lives, which he continued to play until 2023.

Hayes graduated from DePauw University with majors in music and English and became a member of Lambda Chi Alpha. He earned a master’s degree in music from Northwestern University and a Ph.D. in education from West Virginia University.

Hayes was married to Mary Hobbs from 1947 to 1969; they had five children. He was then married to his Days of our Lives co-star Susan Seaforth Hayes beginning in 1974. Their relationship was so popular that they were featured on the cover of Time in 1976, the only soap opera stars to hold that distinction to date. In 2005, the couple published their joint autobiography, Like Sands Through the Hourglass. The couple also supported the West Texas Rehab Center, hosting the annual telethon in Abilene, Texas.