One week after the death of longtime Days of Our Lives actor Bill Hayes, his wife Susan Seaforth Hayes — with whom he co-starred on the daytime soap for more than 50 years — is thanking fans for their incredible outpouring of support.
“To all of you who honored my Billy with a word of remembrance, a sense of personal loss, or even a tear, I thank you,” Seaforth Hayes wrote in an Instagram post on Thursday. “You touched my heart by seeing in him the goodness and joy I experienced every moment of our wonderful marriage. May we all embrace life with the gusto of Bill Hayes, and enrich it with grace and love.”
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Several of the couples’ Days co-stars replied with more kind words, including Brandon Barash (aka Stefan DiMera), who said that he has felt Hayes’ presence “reverberating in the halls and in stage all week,” celebrating the actors’ “true immortality” before sending his love to the entire family.
Hayes was twice nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for his work on Days, first in 1975 and again in 1976. He and wife Seaforth Hayes received Lifetime Achievement Awards at the 45th annual ceremony in 2018. Watch the Emmys’ touching tribute to the couple’s lasting love and careers below:
News of Hayes’ passing at age 98 was confirmed by Days on Jan. 12, along with this official statement on behalf of the show’s cast and crew: “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. He and his wife, Susan Seaforth Hayes, remained the foundation of the Williams-Horton family spanning more than 50 years.”
Added executive producer Ken Corday: “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.”
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It’s not yet known how the show will say goodbye to Hayes’ character, who appeared as recently as December 2023. As Days fans can attest, Christmas is a very big deal in the Williams-Horton household, and we’re already dreading the moment they place Doug’s ornament on the tree later this year.
See Seaforth Hayes’ full Instagram post below:
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