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Credit: Image: Jill Johnson/JPI

A legend for 50 years and counting.

Days of our Lives star Bill Hayes marks 50 years playing Doug Williams, Salem’s iconic and memorable character, in February 2020. To celebrate, takes readers back through Doug’s colorful life, sharing 15 interesting character facts readers may have forgotten or not even known about, even from last year’s things to know about Doug and Julie as we celebrated their 25th anniversary.


The character was introduced in 1970 as a singer and con artist serving prison time for a con job, where he met cellmate, Brent Douglass. It was also there that he met his first Salemite, Bill Horton (Edward Mallory). After hearing all about Salem from Bill and learning that Salem resident Susan Martin (Denise Alexander) was set to inherit a large fortune, Brent traveled to Salem and assumed the name, Doug Williams, in order to con Susan out of her fortune.


One of Doug’s first jobs in Salem was as a singer at Sergio’s restaurant. The restaurant eventually became the first place to bear the name ‘Doug’s Place.’


Before and during his life with Julie, Doug had been married three times – to Kim Douglas (Helen Funai), Lee DuMonde (Brenda Benet) and even to current wife Julie Olson Williams’, Hayes’ real-life wife, (Susan Seaforth Hayes) mother, Adelaide Horton (Patricia Huston).


The Doug and Julie pairing began as an affair Doug had been paid by Susan Martin to instigate.


The original Doug’s Place turned into ‘Doug’s Coffee House’ after shady businessman Larry Atwood (Fred Bier) sabotaged Doug’s Place’s liquor license. Unfortunately, Doug’s Coffee House was a failure.


Doug was arrested in a cocaine drug bust, set up by continually troublesome Larry Atwood. Later, Doug was also a suspect in Larry’s murder and even confessed to it in order to protect Julie.


Doug has a son – Douglas “Dougie” LeClair – who had been conceived by artificial insemination after Doug donated sperm. He didn’t know that Rebecca North (Brooke Bundy), Doug’s long-ago housekeeper and nanny to daughter Hope, turned out to be the surrogate. When Doug finally found out the truth, he set up a trust fund for his son, but when the only father Dougie knew learned of this, there was tension. Dougie still has a Horton family ornament on their Christmas tree each year.


Prince Doug? When Doug was about to marry Julie, Kim let him know that she never signed divorce papers four years earlier, which meant legally, he was still married to the Polynesian princess, making him a prince who would inherit a large island in the Pacific Ocean. Soon, Doug learned that it was all a sham. Kim had signed divorce papers. Of course, by then, Julie was already promised to another.

More: Celebrating the renewal of Days


Doug was a victim of the infamous ‘Salem Stalker’ serial killer and was sent to Tony DiMera’s (Thaao Penghlis) replica Salem Island, Melaswen. He was one of the few island residents to survive and return to Salem.


Doug had a heart attack after witnessing his daughter Hope (Kristian Alfonso) and lover Bo Brady (Peter Reckell) about to make love.


Originally, Doug was not meant to be with Julie, but rather Marie Horton (Maree Cheatham). However, head writer at the time, William J. Bell changed his original story after sensing the chemistry between actors Hayes and Seaforth Hayes. The rest is history…


Shortly before his long-awaited marriage to Julie, Doug was involved in a terrible accident while driving late at night. He suffered minor injuries and he and Julie finally married.


Doug once served a stint as Salem’s mayor.


Doug and Julie became involved in an adventure with Stefano DiMera (Joe Mascolo) involving titanium deposits. Geological maps showed titanium deposits underneath Doug’s place, but it turned out to be a hoax in the end.


Doug is on the long list of Salemites who have tried to kill Stefano DiMera.