With the average retirement age hovering around 60 years old in the United States, one could imagine that 94-year-old Days of our Lives actor Bill Hayes (Doug Williams) and 76-year-old actress Susan Seaforth-Hayes (Julie Williams) would be seeking a slow, post-work lifestyle. But the real-life husband and wife say the opposite is true.
Much to the delight of the couple's fans who love to see them appear in Salem and read their self-penned romance novels, Bill Hayes says that work is foremost on their minds and center stage in their daily activities.
"Susan and I don't think of ourselves as retired," he shares on Twitter. "We may have passed the most frequent age of [retirement], but we still write every day and memorize and tape DOOL episodes when invited."
Susan and I don't think of ourselves as retired. We may have passed the most frequent age of retitlrement, but we still write every day and memorize and tape DOOL episodes when invited.- Bill & Susan Hayes (@DaysHayes) September 12, 2019
Luckily, the powers that be at DAYS have been inviting the pair to film episodes quite frequently recently. The result has been a plethora of Doug and Julie scenes -- which is exactly what fans of the show and the Hayeses desire.
In the past couple of weeks, Susan was given tremendous scenes in which Julie suffered a heart attack, and Gabi (Camila Banus) -- believing Julie was faking it -- didn't call for help. Luckily, Julie was rescued by Ben (Robert Scott Wilson) and Ciara (Victoria Konefal), but the serious event has created lasting health consequences that she and Doug, who learned of his wife's fate while spending time with Hope (Kristian Alfonso), are extremely worried about.
Shortly after some of the emotional scenes aired, Bill Hayes took to Twitter to congratulate DAYS head writer Ron Carlivati on work well done.
"Those scenes between Doug and Hope, and the ones between Doug and Julie were so beautifully written, we didn't have to act them. The love between us played them for us," he wrote, adding, "Thank you, Ron!"
Carlivati responded by saying it was an honor to write for the pair, which hopefully means that there will be a lot more Doug and Julie material to come!
Love you both. Honored to write for you. 😘😘- Ron Carlivati (@carlivatiron) September 12, 2019
Bill and Susan Hayes have been playing Salem characters Doug and Julie since 1970 and 1968, respectively. Bill Hayes began his career as a successful musician in the 1940s and managed to land on the Billboard Hot 100 with a version of The Ballad of Davy Crockett in the early 1950s. He segued into acting around that same time, landing a role in the 1953 Broadway production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Me and Juliet. His music background has been incorporated into DAYS; Doug was originally introduced as a convict with a background as a lounge singer.
Susan Seaforth began her acting career in early television series like The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and My Three Sons. She played General Hospital character Dorothy Bradley in 1964 and has made numerous appearances as Joanna Manning on The Young and the Restless (where her mother, Elizabeth Harrower, worked as a writer). She has earned four Daytime Emmy Award nominations in the Outstanding Lead Actress category for her work as DAYS' Julie.
Bill and Susan married in 1974, while their characters Doug and Julie married (for the first time) in 1976. Credited as daytime TV's first supercouple, they are the only soap opera pair to appear on the cover of Time magazine. In 2018, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences honored the pair with Lifetime Achievement Awards.
What are your thoughts on the recent material that DAYS has given Doug and Julie? Do you think Julie will really die? How do you feel about Bill and Susan Hayes continuing to work at DAYS and pen novels long after the average retirement age? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.