Kathryn Hays has passed away at 88 years old. The soap opera icon was best known for playing Kim Sullivan on As the World Turns for 38 years. Hays died in Fairfield, CT on March 25, per TV Line.
Her longtime on-screen husband Don Hastings — known to the audience as Bob Hughes — released a statement after news broke of her passing. “Our relationship as Bob and Kim was as close as Kathryn and my relationship, except we were not married,” the 88-year-old actor said. “We were more like brother and sister and we were great friends. Our biggest squabble was that she always wanted to rehearse and I wanted to take a nap. This is a huge loss to all who knew her,” he also said, fondly remembering Kathryn.
Learn more about the soap opera legend here.
1. She Was On ‘As The World Turns’
Kathryn made her debut on As The World Turns in 1972, and remained in the role of Kim Sullivan for 54 years — until the show ended in 2010. “I always say … it was the longest job I ever had,” she said in 2020, while on YouTube talk show The Locher Room. “Actors never have long jobs like that. I mean, they would play on Broadway a certain amount of times or whatever. But it was the longest job and the best partner I ever had,” Hays said of Hastings during the virtual reunion.” Her longstanding role earned her a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2019.
2. She was from Illinois
Kathryn was born Kay Piper on July 26, 1933, in Princeton, Illinois but raised in Joliet. As a young woman, she enrolled at the prestigious Northwestern University.
3. She was married and had kids
Kathryn’s first marriage was to Sidney Steinberg in 1957. The couple welcomed her only daughter Sherri, who went on to marry Bob Mancusi as an adult. Hays was also married to Glenn Ford from 1966 – 1969, and to Wolf Lieshke from 1984 – 1986. Hays is also a grandmother to Kate, Cameron and Garrett Wells, and great grandma to Jack.
4. She was nominated for an Emmy
Kathryn did numerous television guest starring roles over the years, including on one episode of Star Trek dubbed “The Empath.” She played Gem, a mute alien who had the incredible ability to heal wounds with her touch. The performance got her a primetime Emmy Nomination.
5. She acted on many series outside of ‘ATWT’
Hays was no stranger to daytime, also appearing on One Live To Live and Guiding Light. She also had appearances in the 60’s on shows like Hawaiian Eye, Dr. Kildare, Route 66, Bonanza, and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Hays was known to Broadway, too, with The Irregular Verb to Love, Hot September, and Ladybug, Ladybug, and more.