The loss of Bill Hayes continues to weigh heavily on the soap world nearly three weeks after his death at age 98.
For Days of our Lives fans, that means wondering if Bill’s final episode as Doug Williams has already aired.
After all, the last time Days fans saw Bill on-screen was for the annual Horton family Christmas ornament hanging.
It was a heartfelt moment that involved Bill’s real-life wife of 50 years, Susan Seaforth Hayes, who plays Doug’s wife, Julie Williams.
The scene has some Days of our Lives viewers convinced that was the final episode for Bill because it was truly perfect.
However, that’s not the case with more episodes of Bill and Doug to come this year.
When is Bill Hayes’ final episode as Doug Williams on Days of our Lives?
Amy Shaughnessy, a close friend of Bill and Susan, took to X (formerly Twitter) to reveal that Bill taped his last scene as Doug on December 13. The hit Peacock soap tapes six months in advance, which means more Doug and Bill scenes for a good part of the year.
According to Amy, Bill’s final episode as Doug will air on July 11, which also happens to be Susan’s birthday. Based on the filming scheduled for the daytime drama, the July date seems spot on.
That doesn’t mean Days will immediately say goodbye to Doug. The writers need time to craft a send-off worthy of the legend, so that likely won’t happen until next fall sometime.
It was 10 months after John Aniston’s death when Days of our Lives had Victor Kiriakis die in a plane crash. Perhaps the show will wait until November sweeps to air what everyone knows is coming — Doug’s death and a tribute to Bill.
Susan Seaforth Hayes talks Bill Hayes’ final episode on Days
As Monsters and Critics previously reported, Susan shared a heartfelt message following her husband’s death to thank people for the love and sharing memories of him.
In an interview with The York Times via Soap Hub, remembering Bill, Susan opened up about their final scene together on Days of our Lives and how it mirrored their real life together.
“The last scene I got to play with him is about how much we love each other and I was blessed with an opportunity to hover over the words ‘Have I ever told you how much I love you?’ And Doug answers, ‘No, you never did.’ That was something Billy and I would say frequently in life,” she expressed to the outlet.
Bill Hayes will be forever be remembered as Doug Williams on Days of our Lives. The actor was beloved by his costars and soap family.
Many tributes have been pouring in since Bill died, including a tearjerker from Deidre Hall (Marlena). You can read that and more tributes honoring Bill here.
Days of our Lives airs weekdays on Peacock.