Invoice Hayes, an actor and singer whose 2,141 episodes of “Days of Our Lives” over 5 and a half a long time constituted the daytime drama model of an ultramarathon, and whose top-selling 1955 single, “The Ballad of Davy Crockett,” stays seared into the recollections of the infant growth era, died on Jan. 12 at his house in Studio Metropolis, Calif. He was 98.
His spouse and longtime co-star, Susan Seaforth Hayes, confirmed his loss of life.
To cleaning soap opera followers, Mr. Hayes was a staple of weekday afternoons from the times of rabbit-ear antennas into the streaming period.
He started his tenure on the long-running NBC present in 1970. His character, Doug Williams, was a suave and slippery con artist who, after leaving jail, discovered himself padding by way of the maze of the plot twists, double-crosses and large reveals that day after day drew viewers again to the fictional Midwestern city of Salem.
Whereas his character would ultimately abandon his delinquent methods and turn out to be a pillar of the neighborhood, Mr. Hayes had enjoyable within the early days enjoying a person with a previous.
“You by no means knew if he was serving to a woman throughout the road and being good or unhooking her brassiere as they went throughout the road,” he was quoted as saying of his character within the e book “Days of Our Lives: A Full Historical past of the Lengthy-Working Cleaning soap Opera,” by Maureen Russell.
The plot level that basically received issues buzzing was Doug’s romance with Julie Olson, an exquisite younger troublemaker performed by Susan Seaforth, his future spouse. They’d quickly grew to become a soap-world energy couple, each onscreen and off.
The couple married in actual life in 1974, and their characters adopted go well with two years later, in an episode that drew 16 million viewers. It additionally drew hundreds of followers to the present’s studio in Burbank, Calif., to greet them.
Such was their attain that in 1976 the couple, of their onscreen guise, even appeared on the duvet of Time journal, with the tagline “Cleaning soap Operas: Intercourse and Struggling within the Afternoon.”
“It was the script that introduced the couple collectively,” the article stated. “Emotionally exhausted from a messy divorce that left him to take care of 5 teenage kids, Invoice arrived on ‘Days’ in 1970 trying just for a buddy.” (Mr. Hayes and his first spouse, Mary, had divorced in 1969).
“However then,” Ms. Seaforth stated within the interview, “we began to do love scenes. That was simply in regards to the ballgame.”
The couple additionally shaped a touring nightclub act, and Time famous that they had been “mobbed once they seem in public,” with Mr. Hayes particularly being showered with consideration from feminine followers.
“They deal with me as if I had been Robert Redford,” he stated.
William Foster Hayes III was born on June 5, 1925, in Harvey, In poor health., close to Chicago. He was the second of three sons of Betty (Mitchell) Hayes, a schoolteacher, and William Foster Hayes II, an government at World Ebook, the encyclopedia firm.
Rising up listening to his father sing baritone with a vocal quartet, Invoice aspired to be a singer himself.
After graduating from Thornton Township Excessive Faculty in 1942, he enrolled at DePauw College, in Greencastle, Ind. With World Conflict II raging, he enlisted within the Navy and educated as a fighter pilot, though the battle ended earlier than he might be known as for energetic obligation.
He returned to DePauw and graduated with a liberal arts diploma in 1947. He later earned a grasp’s diploma in music from Northwestern College.
Turning his sights to indicate enterprise, Mr. Hayes made his mark onstage in a nationwide tour of the musical “Carousel” and on Broadway within the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “Me and Juliet,” amongst different productions. In 1949, he made his debut on tv, then in its infancy, as a singer on “Fireball Enjoyable for All,” an NBC selection present hosted by the longtime vaudeville act Ole Olsen and Stylish Johnson.
But it surely was a tv program that he didn’t seem on that offered him the chance for a success document. In 1954, Disney sparked a youth craze with its “Davy Crockett” serial, with the TV frontiersman’s trademark coonskin cap turning into essential for kids.
After seeing the present, the document producer Archie Bleyer determined that its theme tune, sung by a vocal group, had potential as a stand-alone single for a solo performer.
“He known as me up and stated come by, I’ve a tune,” Mr. Hayes recounted in “World by the Tail: The Bill Hayes Story,” a 2017 documentary about his life that he produced together with his grandson Dave Samuel. “We met that evening at 10 o’clock in an RCA recording studio, we did one take — one monitor, one take. It was a success document.”
The song grew to become the best-selling single within the nation for 5 weeks, beginning in March 1955. Davymania apparently knew no bounds: The present’s star, Fess Parker, and the singer Tennessee Ernie Ford would each rating hit singles with interpretations of their very own.
Along with his spouse, Mr. Hayes is survived by his daughters, Carolyn Huff and Margaret Jackson; his sons, Thomas and William Foster Hayes IV; 13 grandchildren; and 30 great-grandchildren.
Through the years, Mr. Hayes popped up on different tv reveals, together with “Matlock” and “Frasier.” He and his spouse taped their last scene collectively on “Days of our Lives” simply weeks earlier than he died.
“The final scene I received to play with him is about how a lot we love one another,” Ms. Seaforth-Hayes stated in a telephone interview, “and I used to be blessed with a possibility to hover over the phrases ‘Have I ever advised you ways a lot I really like you?’ And Doug solutions, ‘No, you by no means did.’ That was one thing Billy and I might say regularly in life.”