Beloved Days of Our Lives star Bill Hayes (Doug Williams) is the subject of a biographical film conceived by his grandson, David Samuel. It’s called World by the Tail.
Labor of Love
Hayes’ career spans from his singing appearances on the classic television show, Your Show of Shows in the 1950’s, to movie and television parts, to his current, longtime iconic role as Doug opposite his real life wife, Susan Seaforth Hayes (Julie). All of his career highlights, plus glimpses into his personal life, were put into the project.
“It [the film]is a gift from my grandson,” said Hayes in an interview with OutTakes’ Laurie Baker. “Folks can see it for nothing at billhayesmovie.com. He makes no money off the film. He just had it made for our family and for the public. I am indebted to him and Lee Levin [the film’s director/producer]for doing such a wonderful job. I love it!”
World by the Tail took about four years to make. “Putting a documentary together is mostly gathering bits and pieces, and that just takes time,” said Hayes. A wide range of his celebrity circle of friends make appearances in it, from Hayes’ fellow Days co-stars, including Kristian Alfonso (Hope), Deidre Hall (Marlena), and Drake Hogestyn (John), to Mel Brooks, Shirley MacLaine, Elliott Gould, Carl Reiner, and Shirley Jones, among other notables.
“It was all very exciting,” said Hayes. “The most fun–and probably the most difficult part of the process–was chasing down friends that I’d worked with in years past, and actually getting them to sit still long enough to record an interview.”
Hayes is philosophical about his life on film, and it all circles back to his closeness with his family. “As I say at the end of the movie, I am very proud of my career accomplishments,” he said. “I have worked on Broadway, been in films, have a gold record, have done over two thousand episodes of Days of Our Lives, etc. But, the thing that means the most to me is my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Family is where it is! That’s what I hope people take away from World by the Tail.”
Hayes and his wife are also accomplished authors, having had their memoir, Like Sands Through the Hourglass and a historical fiction piece, Trumpet, published. Now, they are hard at work on another book, this time the sequel to Trumpet. This new book, entitled Jubilee, takes place in 1821 Charleston, South Carolina.
“Trumpet took us a full seven years; we had so much research to do on that one!” exclaimed Hayes. “Jubilee is also about Elizabeth Trumpet, and it looks like we may need seven years to complete it, too. Writing is such fun!”
Put on Those Dancing Shoes!
One activity that Hayes also still takes time for is tap dancing, which the film also showcases. “I started going to tap class at age 65,” he said. “Here I am at 91, still doing it. I LOVE tap dancing!”
And we at Soap Cities love Bill Hayes and wish him the best with World by the Tail, acting, writing, tap dancing and all his endeavors!
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