Julie Olson Williams
Julie Olson
Susan Seaforth Hayes As Julie Olson Williams
Days of our Lives
Portrayed by Charla Doherty (1965-66)
Catherine Dunn (1967)
Catherine Ferrar (1967-68)
Susan Seaforth Hayes (1968-Present)
Current status Present; Recurring
Duration 1965–84, 1990–94, 1996, 1999–2014, 2016-
First appearance November 8, 1965
Created by Peggy Phillips and Kenneth Rosen
Introduced by Ted Corday
Alias(es) Julie Olson (birth name)
Julie Horton (referred to in the early nineties)
Gender Female
Born March 31, 1949
Age 70
Occupation Former Proprietor of the Martin Mansion Bed and Breakfast
Serves on the Board of Directors of Salem University Hospital
Former Owner of Wings
Former Owner/Operator of the Salem Spectator
Former Owner of Julie's Antiques
Former Owner of Doug's Coffee House
Residence Salem, Illinois
Family Horton Family
Parents Ben Olson
Addie Horton
Siblings Steve Olson
Hope Williams
Spouses Scott Banning (1969–73)
Bob Anderson † (1974–76)
Doug Williams(1976–79, 1981–86, 1994–)
Children David Banning
Robert Anderson Jr †
Hope Williams


Grandchildren Scotty Banning II
Eli Grant
Shawn Douglas Brady(step)
Zack Brady †(step)
Ciara Brady(step)
Great-grandchildren David Grant (via Eli) †
Claire Brady(step)
Grandparents Tom Horton
Alice Horton
Aunts and uncles Tommy Horton
Mickey Horton
Bill Horton
Marie Horton
Nieces and nephews Spencer Olson
Shawn Douglas Brady (maternal half-nephew)
Zack Brady † (maternal half-nephew)
Ciara Brady (maternal half-niece)
Claire Brady (maternal half-grand-niece)
First cousins Sandy Horton
Melissa Horton (adoptive)
Sarah Horton (legal)
Mike Horton
Jennifer Horton
Lucas Horton
Jessica Blake
Other relatives Jeremy Horton (maternal first cousin once removed)
Nathan Horton (maternal first cousin once removed)
Abigail Deveraux (maternal first cousin once removed)
JJ Deveraux (maternal first cousin once removed)
Will Horton (maternal first cousin once removed)
Allie Horton (maternal first cousin once removed)
Nick Fallon † (maternal first cousin once removed)
Arianna Horton (maternal first cousin twice removed)

Julie Olson Williams is a fictional character on the NBC soap opera Days of Our Lives and member of the Horton Family


The character of Julie was introduced as a 16-year-old when the show premiered in 1965, with 19-year-old Charla Doherty being the first actress to play Julie. The role is unsuccessfully recast twice with Catherine Dunn in 1967, followed by Catherine Ferrar from 1967 until 1968. The role is then taken over by actress Susan Seaforth Hayes in 1968, who still portrays the character to this day. Julie is the last remaining character from the pilot, and Hayes the earliest-appearing actor to currently appear on the serial. Hayes is most recognizable in the role, having portrayed the character in the show all six decades it has been on the air.

Doug Williams and Julie Olson were the first super couple in the history of the daytime industry. The January 12, 1976 cover of Time magazine featured Days of our Lives' Bill Hayes and Susan Seaforth Hayes, the first and only daytime actors to ever appear on its cover. The Hayeses themselves were a couple whose onscreen and real-life romance (they met on the series in 1970 and married in 1974) was widely covered by both the soap opera magazines and the mainstream press.

Julie was often the subject of notable press during the time on her serial. Widely read magazines would routinely publish forthcoming developments in her storylines. For her work as Julie, Susan Seaforth Hayes has been nominated for the Daytime Emmy Award for Lead Actress in a Drama Series in 1975, 1976, 1978, 1979 and 2018. No other actress has received as many nominations for their work on Days. She has also won two Soapy Awards for Best Actress and Favorite Romantic Female in 1977. She has been described as a legend, and television icon for the soap.


Ted Corday and Irna Phillips created Julie in the 1960s as part of the story bible for Days of our Lives, a light-hearted soap opera focusing on the troubles of its core family, the Horton's. The Cordays and Bell combined the "hospital soap" idea with the tradition of centering a series on a family, by making the show about a family of doctors, including one who worked in a mental hospital. The Julie character officially aired on November 8, 1965 when the show premiered on NBC in color. Julie was the sole character to represent the younger side of the series' main family compared to her adult co-stars. She was the first character to ever speak on the serial when it first broadcast in 1965, and was also the star of the two main scenes in the serial. Julie was also the first to mention the last name of the series when she gave a false name (Julie Horton) to a police officer when he arrested her for theft of a mink stole.


At the time, soap operas featured mostly older casts. To add a contemporary feel to the show, Corday and Philips focused on younger characters, while also mixing in older ones so as not to lose traditional soap opera viewers. Charla Doherty originated the role of Julie on November 8, 1965 when the show first premiered. Doherty had been in previous short roles on Wagon Train and Dr. Kildare. Charla was quite a bit younger than her co-stars when the show first aired in 1965. Frances Reid was in her fifties, as was MacDonald Carey. Maree Cheatham was in her early twenties, John Clarke and Patricia Huston were both in their thirties, with Doherty being in her late teens and early twenties during her first few years on the program.

On December 23, 1966, Doherty departed the serial to focus on other career options. The role went through a series of unsuccessful recasts in a short amount of time. The show replaced Doherty with actress Catherine Dunn from January 24 to June 20, 1967, who was in turn replaced by Catherine Ferrar that same year from July 13, 1967 until September 2, 1968. Both actresses proved to be unpopular in the role, and were both fired in the same year. William J. Bell - the show's main writer at the time - decided to give the character a short break from the serial. It was not until 1968 that the character resurfaced again.

On December 11, 1968, the character was brought back onto the canvas. The role was now played by newcomer actress, Susan Seaforth Hayes. At the time she was simply credited as "Susan Seaforth" because she had not yet met her husband Bill. Susan's previous soap roles included General Hospital and The Young Marrieds, but made a few appearances on Hallmark Hall of Fame, Bonanza, and Dragnet. In portraying Julie, the actress drew on the "s(step)elf-centered" and "haughty" traits she recognized in herself while in college. In 1970, Bill Hayes joined the cast as Doug Williams. The Hayeses themselves were a couple whose onscreen and real-life romance (they met on the series in 1970) was widely covered by both the soap opera magazines and the mainstream press. Bill and Susan eventually fell in love and married, becoming the first soap couple to be together in real life (they married in 1974). With Frances Reid's passing in 2010, Susan Hayes is the only cast member to have aired on Days of our Lives in all six decades that it has been on the air. Macdonald Carey often helped her in her early years on the show.

“ Mac had been helpful to me. earlier. Once I had a job, I had a tendency to read a script and point out the flaws and imperfections of other people’s writing. And often it was quite a list. After a few weeks of this, he said to me, “You’ll catch more flies with honey than vinegar here.”


Over the years Julie developed into different character archetypes. Soap operas once featured only one-dimensional characters who were either good or bad. By the 1970s, characters were written with more depth, fitting into archetypes consisting of the young-and-vulnerable romantic heroine, the old-fashioned villain, the rival, the suffering antagonist, Mr. Right, the former playboy, the meddlesome and villainous mother/grandmother, the benevolent mother/grandmother, and the career woman. Julie was established as the rival to Susan Martin's young-and-vulnerable romantic heroine. As the rival, Julie was written as a younger leading heroine, often portraying her vulnerable sides. Julie was generally positioned as the main protagonist being part of the prestigious Horton family.

By the late 1970s, a different set of character types was established, including the chic suburbanite, the subtle single, the traditional family person, the successful professional, and the elegant socialite. Julie was in the elegant socialite category which comprised "flashy", achievement-oriented characters that often loved their families and friends. Like others in this category, Julie was written as "flamboyant", "frivolous and carefree". Overall, Julie is the embodiment of "young hero", a soap opera archetype that "transformed and defined" the soap opera genre. Irna Phillips, Nixon, and William J. Bell created the archetype in the 1960s and it became one of their defining legacies. The archetype is an assertive Cinderella who goes after material things.

Lineage and personalityEdit

Julie is a headstrong teenager when Days of our Lives premiered in 1965. She is part of the soaps core family, the Hortons, around which the soap was originally structured. At the beginning of the serial in 1965, Julie was a 16 year old schoolgirl. The fictional history of her younger years has been told via behind-the-scenes books such as Days of our Lives: The True Story of one Family's Dream, and the second tie-in novel by Ken Corday, which explains that Julie was born and raised in Salem with the rest of her family before the show premiered.

Whereas most of the other female characters in Days of our Lives were portrayed in a somewhat more glamorous working class way, Julie Olson was the exception to the rule, being the sole character to represent the emotional side of the Horton family. As the serial progresses, Julie grew and matured much like the other characters. After the death of her mother Addie Horton in 1974, Julie matured into a young heroine, often helping to raise her baby sister, Hope Williams. Julie married Doug in the seventies and the two have remained relatively intact ever since. They are known as daytime's first super couple.

Cultural impactEdit

Julie has been described as one of Days of our Lives most high-profile characters. Hayes has won several awards for her performance as Julie. In 1997, she won a Soapy award for outstanding lead actress in a daytime drama. She has been nominated for a Daytime Emmy award five times; once in 1976, 1976, 1978, 1979 and another in 2018. The character has been received quite favorably. Hayes is known for "dominating the seventies" in the daytime genre.

Critics originally praised the show for its non-reliance on nostalgia (in contrast to shows such as As the World Turns) and its portrayal of "real American contemporary families." By the 1970s, critics deemed Days the most daring daytime drama, as it led the way in using then-controversial themes that other shows of the period avoided, such as artificial insemination and interracial romance. The January 12, 1976, cover of Time magazine featured Days of our Lives' Bill Hayes and Susan Seaforth Hayes, the first and only daytime actors to ever appear on its cover. The Hayeses themselves were a couple whose onscreen and real-life romance (they met on the series in 1970 and married in 1974) was widely covered by both the soap opera magazines and the mainstream press.


Julie was born on March 31, 1949, to Addie Horton and Ben Olson. As Days of our Lives begins in 1965, Julie is a rebellious teenager part of the series' Horton family. In the first episode, Julie steals an expensive mink from a department store and is caught by a security guard and arrested. Julie moves in with her grandparents, Tom and Alice Horton, when her parents move to Europe. She plans on eloping with David Martin, but backs out after talking to Tom about it. Later, Julie pursues David while he is married to her best friend Susan, and maintains hope that he will leave Susan one day and marry her. However, that dream is shattered in 1967 when Susan, who blames David for the death of their son, kills David. During Susan's court trial, Julie is exposed as being pregnant with David's child. Julie eventually gives birth to a son whom she names David and, following her Grandfather's advice, she gives the child up for adoption. The baby is adopted by Scott and Janet Banning. After Janet dies of a brain tumor, Julie marries Scott and they raise David together.

In December 1970, Julie meets Doug Williams who, at the time, is being paid by Susan Martin to have an affair with Julie. Incidentally, Julie falls in love with Doug and vice versa. In 1973, Julie's husband, Scott, is killed in a construction accident while working for Anderson Manufacturing. Phyllis and Bob Anderson feel guilty and offer Julie a house and financial support, and Bob soon divorces Phyllis and marries Julie. Julie deals with another blow when she learns her mother, Addie, is expecting a child with Doug and, on December 24, 1974, Addie gives birth to Hope Williams. Addie comes out of her coma and makes Julie promise to care for the baby and Doug. Shortly after, Addie goes into remission but, is the victim of a hit and run which she saves baby Hope from by pushing her out of the way.

In 1976, Julie divorces Bob Anderson, reunites with Doug and they become engaged. Shortly after, Kim Douglas shows up in Salem claiming to the legal wife of Brent Douglas, Doug's real name. After a few months, Kim eventually reveals that she and Doug had been divorced for many years, so Julie and Doug marry. In 1977, Doug falls on hard times when he loses his liquor license and, eventually, the club. Julie buys back the club and turns it into Doug's Coffee House, but Doug is forced to leave Salem for a while to take care of business elsewhere. During his absence, Julie faces problems with the club staff and Larry Atwood helps her through it. Julie is not aware that Larry has set Doug up in a dope bust to keep him out of Salem while he goes after Julie, raping her. When he turns up dead, Julie is accused of murdering him and Mickey is her attorney. She is found not guilty. In 1979, Julie is badly burned by Maggie Horton's oven when it blows up in her face. When Julie sees the scars from her injuries, she is sure that Doug will no longer want her as his wife. When a reconstructive operation fails, Julie flies to Mexico and gets a divorce behind Doug's back. She has a successful operation, but by this time, he has married his widowed sister-in-law, Lee Dumonde. Determined to hang onto Doug, Lee tries to have Julie killed by a hit man but fails. After divorcing Lee, Doug re-marries Julie, and they settle into a happy marriage. They become involved with an investigation of Stefano DiMera's criminal activities that ends with his presumed death Their contentment is interrupted by Doug's heart attack after finding Hope about to make love with Bo Brady. In early 1984, Doug and Julie decide to take a cruise around the world, but by 1986 have separated again. Doug comes back to town without her, indicating that Julie's opening of a dress shop in Paris became more important to her than their marriage. Later, Doug leaves for parts unknown, still not reconciled with Julie.

Julie returns to the show in 1990 when her partner Nick is murdered. She is on the cruise of deception where Hope is believed to be killed by Ernest Toscano. Doug, pretending that he is dying, convinces her to visit him, but it is only a ploy to win her back. Still very much in love with him, Julie reconciles with Doug, and they continue their world traveling. They visit later in the year to see an ailing Tom, and come back the following year for his funeral where they are reunited with an amnesiac Hope who has returned from being believed to be dead. Over the next couple of years, Doug and Julie are seen on and off, mostly at family holidays such as the annual Horton fourth of July picnic and the annual Christmas tree decorating. Julie and Doug come back to town for an extended visit in 2004 and are soon enmeshed in the Salem serial killer storyline. Julie is devastated when Doug is killed by the serial killer and begins to focus on helping Mickey get over Maggie while keeping him from the advances of his housekeeper, Bonnie. After Alice is also apparently killed, it is revealed that old family friend Marlena Evans was the culprit, and when Marlena shows up at the funeral to give her respects, Julie looses her cool and threatens to kill her. When Maggie and Doug turn up alive and well (along with Alice and the other alleged victims, including the actually innocent Marlena), Doug and Julie work to help Maggie get Mickey (who is now married to Bonnie) back. Their joint effort is ultimately successful.

In the summer of 2006, Doug and Julie come to town to discover that Lexie has been kept prisoner in the tunnels underneath the old "Doug's Place." They help rescue Lexie and nurse her back to health. Doug and Julie return the following summer in 2007 for Bo and Hope's 4 July BBQ and they advise Bo and Hope about dealing with Chelsea dating someone of whom they do not initially approve. They return a few weeks later to watch Bo and Hope renew their wedding vows. Julie and Doug later convince Maggie to get the very busy Mickey to take a cruise with her to strengthen her marriage, but are devastated when Mickey dies of a heart attack before they can leave. Several months later, Doug and Julie gather around the family with the news that Alice is nearing death. They are present to say goodbye to the Horton family matriarch with several other family members who had not been seen on screen in years. Julie (with or without Doug) has made sporadic appearances ever since (most notably when Nick Fallon was believed dead and, again, when he was actually killed). More recently, both Doug and Julie were highly involved with the show's 50th anniversary and were around to help Hope deal with the sudden death of Bo Brady from cancer and to comfort Maggie after her son, Daniel, was killed in a car accident.

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