Kathryn Hays, who played Kim on CBS’ As the World Turns for 38 years, died on March 25 in Fairfield, Conn. She was 87.
No cause of death has yet been stated.
Hays’ career began in the early 1960s, with roles on series such as Hawaiian Eye, Dr. Kildare, Route 66, Bonanza and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. In 1966, in The Road West, she landed the role of Elizabeth Reynolds, which she played for all 29 episodes of the 1860s-set serial.
Hays is also well remembered for playing the titular Gem in the 1968 Star Trek episode “The Empath.” All told, she made guest appearances on over 40 TV shows, most recently in a 2007 episode of Law & Order: SVU.
It was in August 1972 when Hays originated the role of As the World Turns‘ Kim Sullivan Hughes, whom she would play until September 2010 (when the CBS sudser went off the air after 54 years).
In a statement, ATWT scene partner Don Hastings said, “Our relationship as Bob and Kim was as close as Kathryn and my relationship, except we were not married. 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.”
Hays’ career also included Broadway productions of Ladybug, Ladybug, The Irregular Verb to Love and Hot September, plus summer stock productions of Showboat, Richard Rogers’ Two By Two, Follies, Dames at Sea and A Little Night Music.
Hays is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Sherri and Bob Mancusi; three grandchildren, Kate, Cameron and Garrett Wells; plus her great-grandson Jack. Those wishing to honor her memory may contribute to The Greater Bridgeport Symphony in Bridgeport, Conn., The First Church of Christ Scientist in Westport, Conn., or your favorite dog rescue organization.