IN MEMORIAM: Bill Hayes remembered as warm, generous, delightful, and a "true gentleman"

Posted Saturday, January 13, 2024 1:05:55 PM

Bill Hayes, a star of stage and the long-running soap opera Days of our Lives, died on January 12 at the age of 98. Here are some of the tributes to the actor.

Bill Hayes, the multi-talented performer best known to daytime fans for his role as Doug Williams on Days of our Lives, passed away on Friday, January 12, at the age of 98. For more on his life, continue reading here.

During his five decades in daytime, Hayes touched countless lives with not only his talent, but also his warmth and generous spirit. Here are some of the tributes being shared for a man that topped the pop charts and received the Daytime Emmys' Lifetime Achievement.

Kristian Alfonso (Hope Brady):
"You will forever be in my [heart] Billy. Thank you for welcoming me, the girl from Boston, with warm open arms on my 1st day and all of the days that followed, for the love and support you always gave me."

Matthew Ashford (Jack Deveraux):
"Dear Bill - Music informed your whole life. You always had a song on your lips and a song in your heart... Now you are singing with the music of the spheres.

Brandon Beemer (ex-Shawn-Douglas Brady):
"He was one of a kind"

Blake Berris (Everett, DAYS):
"this man is an icon. Watched him wish Salem merry Xmas for the last time this year and wept. What a talent. What a life. sending love to Susan [Seaforth Hayes, Julie, Hayes's wife]."

Nadia Bjorlin (Chloe Lane):
"Bill, you were an incredible talent & true gentleman. I am honored to have known you & worked with you. You were loved by so many, & my heart goes out to your amazing wife Susan & the entire Hayes family. Heaven is a little bit brighter now. #RIPBillHayes"

Darin Brooks (ex-Max Brady; Wyatt Spencer, The Bold and the Beautiful)
"Awww man... One of the SWEETEST people I have ever met... So sad to hear this... Such a talent and kind person! RIP Bill... Love, Thoughts and Prayers go out to the Hayes family!"

Cary Christopher (Thomas DiMera):
"Bill, what an honor it was to have gotten to work with you. You were always so kind to me and everyone ??"

Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad; ex- Douglas Donovan, Loving)
"One of my first professional acting jobs was on Days of Our Lives. It was 1980 and I won a 3-day gig on the show. My first day was a disaster. I failed to fully extend the stem on my alarm clock and missed my call time…Panicked, I raced to NBC and arrived over two hours late…I was embarrassed, and failed in my first attempt at making a positive impression. I missed the rehearsal of my two scenes, and the irritated stage manager arranged for an assistant to give me a quick review of the blocking, then I was on my own. Trying not to fall into a shame spiral, I was alone in my tiny dressing room when there was a knock on the door. I opened it to see Bill Hayes – the star of the show. For a moment I thought he was coming to fire me personally! Instead, he said some comforting words, commiserating with my situation, and asked if I wanted to know the backstory to the character and the scene. I was shocked. He spent 20 minutes helping a stranger to feel a little less humiliated. He really cheered me up. I will never forget his kindness and patience. From that moment, I think of Bill whenever I see an actor in need. Bill Hayes was a Prince, and a damn fine actor. Rest now, Bill, and thank you.”

Kassie DePaiva (Eve Donovan):
"My heart is saddened this morning to read of this amazing man's passing. Bill is one of the kindest and sweetest people I have ever met. My thoughts of comfort are with Susan and all the Days fans that have lost a friend. RIP dear man."

Farah Fath (ex-Mimi Lockhart):
"There's nice people and then there's NICE NICE people. Bill Hayes was NICE NICE. He and Susan left a lasting impression on me for many years. They radiated kindness, love, & gratitude every time I was around them. My condolences go out to Susan and all those who loved him."

Galen Gering (Rafe Hernandez):
"Loved this man and truly thought he'd outlast us all. A man full of light, infectious energy and love of his craft. What an inspiration of a life well lived. Rest in power Bill. #dool#days"

Wally Kurth (Justin Kiriakis; Ned Quartermaine, General Hospital): "Bill was just a joy to be around. Always up and positive- just like Doug. He is someone I really admired and will be terribly missed at the studio. My condolences to dear Susan and his family. Thank you all for sharing him with all of us."

Jen Lilley (ex-Theresa Donovan):

Martha Madison (Belle Black):
"He was a talented man and a warm and delightful soul. My heart goes out to Susan and all who loved Bill."

Peter Reckell (Bo Brady):
"We had powerful moments together on the show, but what really touched me was listening to his stories. Being a pilot in the military, huge celebrations with his family, the many musicals he was in. Boundless talent, energy, and spirit. RIP"

Lisa Rinna (Billie Reed):
"Oh Bill rest in peace sweet Prince"

Paul Telfer (Xander Kiriakis):
"All our love and sympathy to @billsusanhayes family, friends and colleagues."

What are some of your favorite memories of Bill Hayes's career? Would you like to send a message of condolence to his family and loved ones? We want to hear from you -- so drop your comments in the Comments section below, tweet about it on Twitter, share it on Facebook, or chat about it on our Message Boards.

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