The character of Julie Olson has been on "Days of Our Lives" since the day it premiered on November 8, 1965. In fact, Julie was the star of the first two scenes ever shown on "Days." The series opened with Julie trying to impress her two friends, Carol and Diane, by stealing a mink stole from Bartlett's Department Store. As they try to walk casually out of the store, a detective watching the store for recent crimes catches them. The scene fades to black and, for the first time ever, these words are spoken: "Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives." Upon returning from its first commercial break (a commercial for Ocean Spray Cranberry Relish), the detective is questioning Julie. When he asks her what her full name is, she lies and says: "Julie Horton", becoming the first character ever to mention the name Horton on "Days." As Julie turns around to give a sly smile to Carol and Diane, the scene dissolves to an exterior of the Horton House and the introduction of Julie's grandparents, Tom (Macdonald Carey) and Alice Horton (Frances Reid).

The mink stole that Julie stole in the first-ever scene on "Days." Julie (Charla Doherty) is questioned at the police station.

48 years have passed since those scenes aired at 2:00PM on the East Coast on Monday, November 8, 1965. While much has changed in Salem in those 48 years, three things remain the same from that first episode: Macdonald Carey's voice is still heard each day saying "Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives", the Horton House set is still used, and the character of Julie is still on the show.   

Charla Doherty and Macdonald Carey pose for a promotional photo taken on the police station set during the first episode taping on October 29, 1965.

     "Days" went through many recasts of Julie in its first three years on the air. Four actresses portrayed Julie from 1965-1968. When the role was originally cast in the summer of 1965, two of the finalists were Susan Seaforth and Charla Doherty. Seaforth brought along a reel of her scenes as model Carol West from "The Young Marrieds." Her agent called her and said she had lost the part because Julie was a meddlesome teen, and her work on "The Young Marrieds" made her seem too sexy and old for the part. The role instead went to 19-year-old Charla Doherty. Doherty played the part just for over a year, and left the show in December 1966. Doherty continued to act in and direct Los Angeles theater productions until her death from an accidental fall in 1988.
     From January 1967-June 1967, Julie was played by 20-year-old Broadway veteran Kathy Dunn (who had received a Tony nomination for her role as one of the children in "The Sound of Music."). Dunn decided to leave show business as soon as she left "Days." She left California and married the son of a former president of the tobacco company Philip Morris and never acted again. She is now 67 and lives in Virginia with her husband of 46 years, Robert Roper Jr.
     From July 1967-February 1968, 20-year-old Cathy Ferrar portrayed Julie. Born Cathy Ferraro, she dropped the last letter of her name when she became an actress. After leaving "Days", Ferrar continued to act for many years. She had a regular role on the short-lived series "The Sixth Sense" in 1972 and continued appearing in guest spots until 1985. She is now 67 and a realtor in Beverly Hills, California.


The "three faces of Julie" from 1965-1967: Charla Doherty, Kathy Dunn and Cathy Ferrar.

     Three years had passed since "Days" debuted in November 1965. It was now November, 1968 and head writer Bill Bell decided to give Julie a fresh start with a fourth actress. Julie had been away from Salem since February, living in San Francisco. 25-year-old Susan Seaforth, who had tried out for Julie in the original casting call in 1965, decided to give it another try and audtioned again. Fittingly, when trying out to be the fourth Julie, Susan had just appeared in four different roles on "Dragnet" in 1968. Here is what happened at the audition, as described by Susan herself in her autobiography "Like Sands Through the Hourglass": "All the actresses reading the audition scene would work opposite Denise Alexander (Susan)...Julie, older now, pregnant out of wedlock, attempts to terrorize her archenemy Susan into having a heart attack. In the verbal duel, Susan survives and Julie brings on her own labor pains. There would be no screen test, so this time it was do-or-die in the casting office. Denise and I tattered the scene...I once asked Bill Bell what he remembered about my performance that morning: 'Your smile', he admitted.'...Wanting it so much, I felt an almost out-of-body experience when (my agent) called, this time full of good cheer because Betty Corday had chosen me and the job would start immediately...I was the fourth ingenue to attempt the role and everybody understood I was on trial, especially me."

Susan Seaforth: "The Early Years"
LEFT: 12-year-old Susan with Billie Burke (best known as Glinda the Good Witch in "The Wizard of Oz") in the 1955 play "Mother Was a Bachelor."
RIGHT: Susan, now 14, in a guest spot with the star of "The Loretta Young Show" in 1957.

Susan (then a cast member of "General Hospital") congratulates Dick Clark on "American Bandstand's" seventh anniversary, August 15, 1964.

Susan appears as Carol West on "The Young Marrieds" in 1965. 


An article from the December 8, 1968 San Antonio (TX) Light announces Susan's arrival in Salem.

On December 3, 1968, Susan taped her first episode, # 780. In her first scene, Julie calls Alice from San Francisco and decides to leave California and return home to Salem in time for Christmas. The episode aired on Wednesday, December 11, 1968. Now 45 years later, Julie (and Susan) tries her best each year to be home to celebrate Christmas at the Horton house.

Click here for Susan's first episode script, episode # 780, from 12/11/68

The cover page of episode # 780, Susan's first-ever "Days" episode.

Julie & Alice Chat
Episode # 878
Air Date: May 1, 1969

     Julie's first love interest on the show was Scott Banning, who was played by Mike Farrell. After leaving "Days", Farrell would become famous for his long-running role on "M*A*S*H." In February 1970, Bill Hayes was cast as con man Brent Douglas, a prison mate of Bill Horton's. Brent was eventually released from prison, changed his name to Doug Williams, and moved to Salem. After a few years on the show together, Bill and Susan began dating, and on October 12, 1974, they got married. Two years later, on October 1, 1976, using the same wedding vows they used in real life, Doug and Julie were married.

Doug & Julie's First Kiss
Episode # 1189
Air Date: July 23, 1970

Susan & Bill on their wedding day, October 12, 1974...A trade ad from September 1976, in the form of a wedding invitation, alerts viewers to Doug & Julie's upcoming wedding.

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 First Wedding
Episode # 2740
Air Date: October 1, 1976

     Doug and Julie broke up, got remarried, and, in the end, stayed together through many trials and tribulations. They left the series in March, 1984. Two years later, in April 1986, Doug reappeared in Salem (with no explanation as to where Julie was; in real life, Susan was appearing as Joanna Manning on "The Young and the Restless"). He stayed in town for a year until April, 1987 when his daughter Hope and son-in-law Bo departed on an around-the-world cruise. Then in January 1990, Julie reappeared in Salem, this time without Doug. It was later disclosed that she and Doug had broken up and divorced. For three years, Julie was a single woman, dating, amongst others, Victor Kiriakis and Chip Lakin. On her final contract appearance on January 28, 1993, Doug showed up unexpectedly and she moved with him to Switzerland. They returned for Christmas in December 1993 and announced that they had gotten remarried in Switzerland. They've stayed married since then and show up from time-to-time in Salem. 
     Susan Seaforth Hayes holds a special record on "Days of Our Lives." She is the only actor to have appeared on "Days" for the six different decades it has been on the air (1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s). Congratulations to Susan on her 45 years in Salem and to "Days of Our Lives" on its 48th anniversary!


LEFT: The Horton clan in 1975: Bill Hayes (Doug), John Clarke (Mickey), Frances Reid (Alice), Susan Flannery (Laura), Macdonald Carey (Tom), Edward Mallory (Bill) and Susan Seaforth Hayes (Julie). RIGHT: Bill & Susan appear on the cover of Time Magazine, January 12, 1976.


LEFT: Susan with Mark Tapscott, who portrayed one of Julie's earlier love interests, Bob Anderson, in 1973...CENTER: A promotional photo celebrating the sixth anniversary of "Days" in 1971. Macdonald Carey (Tom) is surrounded by six actresses holding one candle each, to signify each year the show was on. From left: Denise Alexander (Susan), Maree Cheatham (Marie), Susan Flannery (Laura), Frances Reid (Alice), Heather North (Sandy) and Susan Seaforth (Julie)...RIGHT: Susan and Macdonald Carey (Tom) promote the expansion of "Days" from a half-hour to one-hour show in April, 1975. Susan is holding the small hourglass (representing the half-hour version), while Mac holds the large hourglass (representing the one-hour version).

Doug & Julie's Second Wedding
Episode # 3940
Air Date: May 22, 1981

LEFT: Doug and Julie's second wedding in 1981. The wedding party included Suzanne Rogers (Maggie), Frances Reid (Alice), Macdonald Carey (Tom) and Gregg Marx (David)...CENTER: Susan and John Aniston (Victor), Julie's love interest in the early 1990s...RIGHT: Susan and Bill with executive producer Ken Corday at the 40th anniversary party in 2005. It was thanks to Ken's mother, Betty, who cast Susan in 1968 and Bill in 1970, that she and Bill met and eventually married.

Doug sings "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World" to Julie
Episode # 7188
Air Date: January 4, 1994

Doug & Julie Sing "Always"
Episode # 11681
Air Date: September 27, 2011

An autographed photo of Bill & Susan from 2006. Susan has been playing Julie on-and-off for 45 years, while Bill celebrates his 44th anniversary of playing Doug in February, 2014. The couple celebrated their 39th wedding anniversary in real life on October 12, 2013. Susan summed it up best in the October 5, 1999 issue of Soap Opera
Digest: "The magic was always Julie with Doug. Julie wasn't too magical until Doug came along, and I don't know if she ever has been without."