SPOTLIGHT: 'Days of our Lives' Star Susan Seaforth Hayes Shines In Poignant Scenes With Blake Berris

On November 8, 1965, the very first episode of Days of Our Lives aired. It featured a teenage Julie Olson (originally played by Charla Doherty), who had been arrested for shoplifting.

Julie believed her Grandfather Tom and Uncle Mickey weren't helping her, and she accused them of ganging up on her. She declared that no one cared about her in the entire world and she broke into tears.

On the May 9, 2014 episode, a loving, wise and protective Julie Olson Williams (played by Susan Seaforth Hayes since 1968) counseled her cousin Nick Fallon (Blake Berris) as he shared his deep feelings of isolation. Nick worried that everyone was out to get him, and it turned out he was right. As the episode came to close, Nick had been shot.

Before Monday arrives, and we segue into the “Who killed Nick Fallon?” story, I can’t let the beautiful performance of Susan Seaforth Hayes go without recognition, as well as the importance of the Julie character to Days of Our Lives.

Susan was absolutely magnificent as Julie. It was simply breathtaking watching her in a series of scenes with Nick as she exhibited a tenderness that felt as though it was seeping from her pores. She effortlessly radiated love and tenderness comforting the tormented Nick.

I was mesmerized by the powerful intensity she displayed as she told Nick, "I've been there honey. I know you want to push it off on everybody else but, darling, you have to deal with your own demons."

When Nick worried that he would be judged by her, Hayes was simply rapturous as Julie spoke the line, "God would strike me dead. I have no right to judge anybody. But I’m Exhibit A that things can get better. So, what do you say I take you out to dinner and then astonish you with stories from my misspent youth. I promise you will feel like a saint.”

Susan Seaforth Hayes is a treasure that Days of our Lives should be immensely grateful to have after all of these years.

The writing on Friday's episode was excellent and Blake Berris was flawless, portraying Nick as a tortured broken man, seemingly unable to change, as much as he would like to. Berris is going to be greatly missed but I have no doubt he is going to go far in the industry.

However, the light truly needs to shine on Seaforth Hayes, as this is the time to take notice of how important she is to Days, and how much viewers benefit from her presence in a storyline.

The history that Julie brings to Days is a goldmine just waiting to be tapped, and the character is ready to pick up the mantle from her beloved grandmother, Alice Horton (Frances Reid). I hope the show's producers and writers get this and will start using Julie more often.

Alice was the character that everyone turned to in their time of need, and was always ready to lend a helping hand, or doughnut. Julie greatly benefited from Alice's advice and matured into the character she is today. She has been through it all, and made it to the other side. Who is in a better position to offer comfort to her friends and family members?

As proud as I was of Susan Seaforth Hayes and her sensational performance, Alice would have been just as proud of Julie and the powerful sense of family she has developed over the years.

Watch Friday's Julie and Nick scenes below as well as a classic moment between Julie and Alice.



You can watch Friday's episode of Days in its entirety here.

9 comments:

  1. Dear Michael,

    I, too, adore Susan Seaforth Hayes and have always felt she was an underrated actress (not to mention looks GORGEOUS.) I haven't been following DAYS since the faux reveal of EJ/Abigail's affair. I may have to go online and watch the Julie/Nick scenes. Blake Berris is pretty great too playing Nick Fallon.

    Oh, and where's Doug these days?

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    1. Hey Joshua! I don't know where Doug is. But this is the time to keep Susan front and center. There are so many Hortons out there for her to be there for :) Would love to see Sarah Horton back, as well as Jeremy Horton.

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    2. Michael: In case you haven't realized, I'm a groupie! Keep telling it like it is! So glad to have your voice in the soap community.

      I find engaging dialogue about soaps as (if not more) fun than viewing. There's such rich history that can be mined in these lifelong serials. Just one of the reasons that makes soap operas such a special entetainment genre

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  2. Days does not do enough of this. As of late it has treated its vets shabby and with no respect at all. However, when vets get a chance to shine they really come through. Just like Susan did.

    Like Joshua, I am a lapsed Days viewer, having left in September 2012. However, I do check out scenes online from time to time. Not too late to recognize the value of your vets, Days. Oh, and thanks for throwing away another Horton connection for the sake of a cheap story.

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  3. I agree with Steve that Days does not do enough of this - but, the show has a depth that I do not see in daytime anymore. It's this sense of looking back to move ahead that drew me back into the show a few months ago.

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  4. I agree Chip. DAYS has a depth and heart that's lacking daytime. I love to see Julie, Adrienne, Kayla, Justin, Victor, Maggie, Marlena and Hope. Wish they were driving stories.

    My main problem with DAYS is that I don't find most of the stories engaging right now and, at worst, can't stand anything involving Daniel and/or Jennifer (and they dominate the show.)

    I wish the EJ/Abigail affair lasted longer (so soapy) and I'll definitely tune in when Eileen Davidson returns.

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  5. Out of our 4 soaps, DAYS has the most heart AND the most potential. It's hard to lose Nick, but that wasn't up to DAYS. What makes this "murder mystery," different than most, is that Nick was trying to change, AGAIN. If he hadn't been killed, would he have been able to change this time? It takes this story to a whole different level.

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  6. I have always loved Susan as Julie and her and Doug should come back to Salem and live at the house with Jennifer. She could take up where Alice left off. She is great and brings so much to the show. Her personality shines through as Julie and she is great actress.

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  7. Susan Seaforth Hayes was superlative in those scenes with Nick, but her character has been terribly screechy and irritating in the last year or so. And while it would be nice to see more veterans in the landscape of DAYS, let's face reality: SSH is 71 (and Bill is nearly 90). Peggy McCay (also in her late 80s) was EXCEPTIONAL at Will and Sonny's wedding, but you can't build a dynamic story around old people. Soaps ebb and flow, that's how it works. And while DAYS doesn't have a lot of 40s-ish actors on the canvas, it would be okay with me if Jennifer and Daniel fell down a rabbit hole on Smith Island never to be heard from again.

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