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R.I.P.: Bill Hayes Has Died

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  • Errol changed the title to R.I.P.: Bill Hayes Has Died
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A maudlin thought, but it is remarkable that Bill and Susan never had children. 

However, it is a trip to think about if David would've SORASed so soon if Julie had gotten pregnant in the mid70s.  It might've changed the course of history in Salem. 

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May we all be that lively and inspiring at that age.  God bless him.

If/when DAYS decides to acknowledge Doug's passing - you know, fifteen years from now - I hope Kristian Alfonso will return for the memorial, and I hope Corday, Peacock and/or Sony will spring for a few extra bucks to replay him singing "The Look of Love," too.

Edited by Khan
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Back in 2010, when Frances Reid passed away, Bill Hayes sent me two eulogies he had written for her. It looks like they were written for different services. Here's the lovely words Bill spoke about Frances. He titled this one "Creampuff."
If Frances Reid was a dessert, she’d be a cream puff. Solid and crusty on the outside, soft and tasty on the inside.
Her exterior, of course, was what she showed. That was the tough talker who fought for actors’ rights on the AFTRA board for thirty years, who deleted the dreaded word “crediting” from her contracts, and never stopped being incensed over the unjust havoc fostered by Senator Joseph McCarthy.
My first Days episode was taped in February, 1970, so when I met Frances she was just 55. Stunningly beautiful! Formidable woman! Forthright. Those of you who knew Frances in recent years only experienced the embers of the fire that was Frances. I was privileged to know her when that fire was a hot flame. She would give you that pert smile, take a puff on her cigarillo, and CALL YOU OUT! Didn’t matter who you were—actor, writer, director, producer—she’d let you know you were wrong and how to fix it.
Superb actress. She, who had starred on Broadway as Roxane and Ophelia, who had faced life as Portia on TV and giggled with the girls in STAGE DOOR, took those words written by—how many, fifty?—different writers—in thousands of Days episodes—put them in her personal percolator and turned them into Alice Horton. She was so good, she made other actors better. That’s a talent. Mac was still drinking in the 70s, and many of her scenes were with him. I never saw her once “give him a look.”
Here’s my take on Frances: The inner Frances Reid was Alice Horton. Yeah. Loving, compassionate, helpful. Perfect casting. Ask the country. The millions who secretly wished that woman was in their family. She was in their hearts.
To me, Frances gave herself away. Prime example: The first several years I was on the show, she opened her beautiful Brentwood home at Christmas time for the cast to gather as a family. If you wanted to bring a potluck dish or a bottle, that was okay. But her edict was: “No presents! And no ornaments, because there will be NO CHRISTMAS TREE!”
Well, when Wesley Eure was driving over to her house for one of those parties, he spied a great big old tumbleweed that had bounced in from the desert. Stopped, picked it up and crammed that huge ball of springy dead weed into his back seat. He grandly brought it into her house, announcing: “Frances! I’ve brought you your Christmas tree!” She fell on the floor laughing. And she kept the damn thing. The following Christmas, there was that tumbleweed, and it had lights on it, and ornaments!
I treasure the scenes I had with Frances.
There was a time before Doug married Addie, or Julie, or Lee, or Julie again, or Julie one more time, when he used to flirt with Alice. Called her his best girl. It’s true. Once, when Tom wasn’t around, and Alice was gardening on her knees out in front of Horton House, Doug sang to her—a capella.
You’re my best girl
And nothing you do is wrong.
I’m proud you belong to me.
And if a day is rough for me,
Having you there’s enough for me.
But if, some day,
Another girl comes along,
It won’t take her long to see
That I’ll still be found
Just hangin’ around
My best girl.
Don’t you know, she lowered her eyelids and gave me a long sideways look, then went back to cutting her flowers.
Another favorite memory of mine is Frances playing Groucho in the Cat-Scanner Review, Days’s one courageous staging of a variety show. She wouldn’t rehearse extra hours to learn the sketch unless they paid extra; well, they couldn’t, so she didn’t rehearse. But she did the Groucho walk and flipped ashes off that big cigar perfectly.
Frances was always the star of the annual out-take reel. Why? Because the writers all loved to give Alice lines chock full of character names. For years, it seemed that at least once in every script Alice would blithely tell Tom, “Laura’s in the emergency room and Shawn went to check with Abe about Sami because Marlena told Jennifer Hope can’t find a parking place.” Frances would give the director a “Why me?” look and say, “Who are all these people?” Maybe the writers just gave her those lines to beef up the bloopers. It’s possible.
As I see it, all those family members who came and left, those who Alice reprimanded, those Alice cried over, joked with, advised, those Alice loved,…. I think that was Frances’s family.
But, not just them. We’re all her children and grandchildren. I mean everybody: the onstage crew, the makeup room artists, the production people. All of us.
So, it’s certainly fitting that we gather to remember our dear friend, to say thanks, Frances, for all you gave us, to collectively mourn the passing of such a bright link in our family chain. sure am grateful that I’ve been a part of this unique, long-running story, which gave me the opportunity to work with and get to know the special person who was Frances Reid. For me it’s been a wonderful meal, and Frances was indeed the dessert. The dessert was, as I said, … … … a creampuff.
Edited by JAS0N47
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And the thing is - this never stopped. Any time I'd watch an act or two of DAYS just to see how utterly ridiculous it still is, if there was a Doug/Julie moment, then it was a DOUG AND JULIE MOMENT like all Doug/Julie moments going back to 1970. Those two were so in love with each other, but it was a love that still felt new, no matter how many years had gone by. People can say what they want about Luke and Laura being daytime's signature couple, but I believe Doug and Julie are a better fit for that title.

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I am one of many soap fans who feel that LnL are not an iconic classic signature supercouple because they are disqualified from the outset because they began with a rape. Automatic disqualification. And Doug & Julie have often been called the first supercouple. But the way you describe it also makes them look like first choice. Other early couples that are often mentioned are ATWT's Jeff & Penny and AW's Steve & Alice. Of course they did not stand the test of time and Doug & Julie did. 

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ICAM, @All My Shadows.  Watching Doug and Julie/Bill and Susan still in love with each other after so many years was like watching two people share a secret that only they knew about and no one else (if that makes any sense, lol).  Compare that to the latter years of Luke and Laura, when it often looked as if Tony and/or Genie* were praying to get stabbed on the way to work so they wouldn't have to keep doing scenes with each other.

DAYS spent the next three decades attempting to replicate the magic that the Hayeses shared.  Some came very close; others didn't.  But no one on that show made you believe in the power of romance like Bill and Susan Seaforth Hayes.

Something that gets overlooked is how music used to play an integral part in the storytelling on DAYS - and that all began with Bill Hayes, too.  Whether it was in the form of live performances from him, or Patty Weaver, or Gloria Loring, or Marilyn McCoo, or in those MTV-inspired montages that came to define the Al Rabin/Shelley Curtis era in the '80's, music really enhanced the storylines and helped DAYS stand out from the rest of the pack; and although it can be tough to watch DAYS now with its' Goodwill Store/Salvation Army production values, to me, what really hurts is that the show no longer has the budget for music.  It's as if taking away the music took away the soul of the show, too.


(*But mostly, it was Tony, lol.)

Edited by Khan
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And here's the youtube of the same




And here's another copy of the same, filmed by another person in the same crowd.
This one captures the wonderful beginning when Bill flings on the scarf and is too sexy for his shirt.


Edited by janea4old
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