Four Decades of Doug:
A Tribute to Bill Hayes


     William Foster Hayes III was born in Harvey, Illinois on June 5, 1925. After high school, Hayes was training to be a fighter pilot and about to go overseas when World War II ended in 1945. After the war, Hayes finished his schooling and graduated from DePauw University in 1947. In the summer of 1947, his younger brother Phil had a singing audition scheduled, but on the day of the audition, Phil had laryngitis. So, Bill decided to take his brother's place and did the audition himself. He was hired on the spot, thanks to his good singing voice (and thanks to his brother's laryngitis)! Throughout the next 23 years, Hayes would become a household name. He was a featured singer for many years on "Your Show of Shows" and appeared in tons of Broadway musicals and plays. In 1955, he sang "The Ballad of Davy Crockett." The song became a # 1 hit on the music charts for five weeks from March-April 1955.
     On February 5, 1970, Bill Hayes taped his first episode of "Days of Our Lives." He was playing the role of Brent Douglas, a con man who ended up sharing a prison cell with Bill Horton. The episode aired on February 18, 1970. Originally hired for just a few weeks to be Bill's cellmate, "Days" quickly signed Hayes to a contract a month later. In the storyline, Brent was released from prison and hired by Susan Martin to break up Julie Olson and Scott Banning. He started using the alias Doug Williams and, instead of just breaking up Julie and Scott, he also fell in love with Julie. Through many trials and tribulations, Doug and Julie were finally married on October 1, 1976. Although they would get divorced several times over the next few decades, Doug and Julie were always true soulmates, and they married for good in Switzerland in 1993.  
     While Doug was romancing Julie on "Days", Bill was romancing Julie's portrayer, Susan Seaforth, in real life. Bill and Susan were married on October 12, 1974, and their characters were married less than two years later on-screen. The Hayes' celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary in October, 2009. In January 2010, Bill appeared in his 2,000th episode of "Days", joining a select few to have done so throughout the history of the show. Here's to many more years of happiness to both Bill & Susan and Doug & Julie!

Click here for Doug's first episode script, February 18, 1970.

Bill's first page of dialogue as Doug (then going by the name Brent)
from episode # 1079, which aired on February 18, 1970. Bill 
autographed this copy of the script page for me in 2008.

Before joining "Days", Bill Hayes had success on the music charts.
In this photo, Hayes promotes his # 1 hit song from 1955, "The Ballad of Davy Crockett."

Denise Alexander (Susan), Bill Hayes (Doug) & Susan Seaforth (Julie) in 1970.
This was Bill & Susan's first-ever photo shoot together.

Susan Seaforth (Julie), Frances Reid (Alice), Macdonald Carey (Tom), John Clarke (Mickey), Edward Mallory (Bill), Susan Flannery (Laura), Denise Alexander (Susan) and Bill Hayes (Doug) celebrate the 1,500th episode of "Days", which aired on October 20, 1971.

Susan Seaforth & Bill Hayes on their wedding day, October 12, 1974.

Bill & Susan on the cover of Time Magazine, January 12, 1976.

The wedding party at Doug & Julie's first wedding, which aired on October 1, 1976. From left to right: Brooke Bundy (Rebecca), Suzanne Rogers (Maggie), Rosemary Forsyth (Laura), Mary Frann (Amanda), Susan Seaforth Hayes (Julie), Bill Hayes (Doug), Frances Reid (Alice), Macdonald Carey (Tom), Robert Clary (Robert), Edward Mallory (Bill), Peter Brown (Greg), John Lupton (Tommy) and Richard Guthrie (David).

Doug & Julie's second wedding, 1981.

The Horton Family in 2001: Suzanne Rogers (Maggie), John Clarke (Mickey),
Frances Reid (Alice), Bill Hayes (Doug), Susan Seaforth Hayes (Julie).

Bill & Susan's autographed photo, 2006.

Bill Hayes ("Santa" Doug), Susan Seaforth Hayes ("Mrs. Claus" Julie), Kristian Alfonso (Hope),
Peter Reckell (Bo) and Lauren Boles (Ciara) in December 2008.

Bill Hayes & Doug Williams: Through the Years
(Youtube links not associated with

Doug & Julie's First Wedding begins, October 1, 1976.

Doug & Julie's First Wedding concludes, October 1, 1976.

The Hortons sing "Always" at Tom & Alice's
50th wedding anniversary, March 7, 1980.

Click here for a scene from Doug & Julie's Second Wedding, 1981.

Bill sings "The Ballad of Davy Crockett."

Doug sings "Oh Danny Boy" at Tom Horton's funeral, June 29, 1994.

Bill & Susan reminisce about Doug & Julie
in the special Christmas 2001 episode.

After Doug's "death", his ghost sings "Always" to Hope & Julie, 2004.
(Doug would be back to life several months later when all
of the Salem Stalker killings were revealed to be a hoax).

An interview with Bill & Susan, November 2009.