It has been over 10 years since CBS soap fans have been able to enjoy her character Kim Hughes on the now-defunct As the World Turns, but Kathryn Hays thrilled for decades in the beloved role. Now comes word that the actress has passed away.
Kathryn Hays — A Legendary Star
According to Tribute Archive, the actress — known for her work on stage and screen — died on Friday, March 25 in Fairfield, CT, at the age of 87. No cause of death was given.
“Our relationship as Bob & Kim, was as close as Kathryn & my relationship except we were not married,” shared longtime co-star, Don Hastings, who played her on-screen husband Bob Hughes. “We were more like brothers and sisters 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.”
Hays was born on July 26, 1933, in Illinois to Daisy and Dick Gottlieb and raised in the midwest. According to the Tribute Archive, “Her family and friends knew her as a source of love and laughter. Raucous laughter, much of the time, because she had a spot-on sense of humor. No one who was present will ever forget when she dressed up to play Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny.”
On Broadway, she took on roles in Ladybug, Ladybug, The Irregular Verb To Love, and Hot September. She secured her spot in pop culture history with the role as Gem in a Star Trek episode titled “The Empath.” She also appeared in many episodic in the 1960s, including Dr. Kildare, Route 66, Bonanza, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., as well as a regular role as Elizabeth in The Road West. In later years, she also guested on Law & Order and Law & Order: SVU.
But it was her soap career that she was embraced by fans for, beginning in 1971 when she appeared as Leslie Jackson Bauer on Guiding Light before landing the role in 1972 that would cement her legendary status — Kim Hughes on ATWT, where she would remain until the show’s cancellation in 2010.
On the personal front, she was married a few times, including a brief marriage to legendary actor Glenn Ford and leaves behind daughter and son-in-law Sherri and Bob Mancusi, as well as three grandchildren. Soap Hub sends condolences to Kathryn Hays’s family, friends, and fans during this difficult time.