Interviews Soaps

A “Day of Days” With Bill and Susan Hayes

A 'Day of Days' With Bill and Susan Hayes

A sit down interview with Bill Hayes and Susan Seaforth Hayes during Days of our Lives and NBC’s second annual “Day of Days” event.

TVSource Magazine’s Assistant Editor William Dallman attended the second annual “Day of Days” event on Saturday, November 7, 2009. The following interview was conducted at the Samba Brazilian Steakhouse and Lounge in the Universal Studios Hollywood: CityWalk.

“I thought we had seen the last of Doug & Julie… And then we got a call to do the Christmas Eve show.” Susan Hayes said explaining the return of soaps’ first super couple to Days of Our Lives.  “We are working on Friday the 13th where I give a lot of advice. Billy’s doing that and then he’s doing another show where he has a heart to heart with Hope.”

On-screen and off-screen husband Bill Hayes chimed in with, “[Hope] needs a little advice right now.” Susan Hayes continues to elaborate, “We know for sure we have those episodes, after that we have no idea.”

Bill spoke highly of his on-screen daughter Hope. “I’ve gotta tell you what a thrill it is to work with Kristian Alfonso (Hope).” The seasoned actor went on to explain that the two have a nice father/daughter chemistry that, “Feels like it’s not acting,” when sharing scenes with Alfonso.

“I think I do a pretty good job of playing his wife,” Susan Hayes added with a smile.

In a shift to real life conversation, Susan Hayes said they recently celebrated their thirty-fifth anniversary in the month of October. “All because of Days of Our Lives,” Bill Hayes exclaimed happily.

“Writing the book was a terrific experience,” Susan said of Like Sands Through The Hourglass, a joint autobiography the couple wrote together.  “It’s a love story,” he added, going on to explain that it covers both backstage and onstage drama at Days, their personal love story, and pretty much everything else you could imagine.

The Hayes’ are currently writing a second book, this time a novel. “It’s about show business in another time and place,” Susan Hayes reveals. The book, with the working-title Trumpet, is looking for a publisher. [Please note their first book, Like Sands Through The Hourglass, is no longer in print but is available at billhayes.net]

As we spoke about soaps in general, Bill was passionate about the need for actors to be prepared for the job. “You know how every once in a while you hear a soap is a good place to learn your craft? I think that’s a lot of bull. I think you better know, very well, what you’re doing. You better study acting and you better have some experience and you better know what you’re doing!”

Susan agreed with her husband and followed up with, “The turnover in the younger cast is pretty dramatic sometimes. And that’s because you’ve got to bring something to it in addition to beauty. You have to bring the power to become a performer.”

When I asked the Hayes’ about being the first soap opera couple on about being on TIME magazine, Susan Hayes admitted it was a surprise. “At the time, TIME magazine photographed every soap on the air. They did cover stories for every show and they chose us.” The actress revealed, “[It] bothered Procter & Gamble a lot, because it wasn’t a Proctor & Gamble show and I was astonished. We had the opportunity of walking on the commissary at NBC and being handed the cover and oh my god.”

“They didn’t tell us ahead of time,” added Bill.

“It was thrilling,” Susan smiled.

Fun Facts from the interview:

  • Susan’s mother, Elizabeth Harrower, was an actress and later a writer on The Young & the Restless. She also served as head writer for Days of Our Lives.
  • Bill was one of the first actors to sing on soaps. At one point he even sang about one-hundred songs a year!
  • The Hayes’ have fond memories of soap star Tracey E. Bregman (ex-Donna, Days; Lauren, Y&R), who Susan worked with on Days and The Young and the Restless. “When she was on Days of our Lives she was just a kid,” Bill said.”It’s been terrific watching her grow up,” Susan said proudly. “Watching her grow out of something like that into a mother of teenage boys.”

TVSOURCE MAGAZINE “DAY OF DAYS” COVERAGE

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