|Ryan Phillippe as Billy Douglas|
|One Life to Live|
|Portrayed by||Ryan Phillippe|
|First appearance||April 1992|
|Created by|| Michael Malone|
|Introduced by||Linda Gottlieb|
|Occupation||College student at Yale University|
|Residence||New Haven, Connecticut|
William "Billy" Douglas is a fictional character on the ABC Daytime soap opera One Life to Live. The role was originated by newcomer actor Ryan Phillippe from April 1992 until 1993. Phillippe's Billy was one of the first regular gay characters in an American soap opera, garnering widespread acclaim for the series.
Reverend Andrew Carpenter proved to be a trusted advisor to Joey Buchanan's teenage friend, Billy Douglas. Billy was gay and he agonized over whether or not to tell his parents. Billy came to rely on both Joey and Andrew.
One day in the rectory of St. James Church, a distraught Billy came to Andrew once again for help. The trusting minister placed a comforting hand on the boy's shoulder. Just then, troubled Marty Saybrooke peered in the door. For weeks, Marty had been trying to seduce Andrew, but he had gently spurned her overt advances. Jealous and angry to see Andrew expressing warmth and care for someone other than her, Marty went to Billy's parents, William and Virginia Douglas, and proceeded to tell a vindictive lie that the pastor was trying to seduce their son!
William Douglas was very homophobic and began to seek Reverend Carpenter’s resignation. The charges against him spread through Llanview like wildfire! Andrew, claiming a basic right to privacy, refused to publicly reveal his sexual orientation. Massive homophobia ensued, and a vicious war of hate lead by William Douglas divided the citizens of Llanview. Through it all, Andrew held his head high -- even sustaining a brutal beating from a homophobic bigot, all the while proudly refusing to quit his post. Cassie Callison, who was now dating Andrew, began receiving hate letters.
Andrew angered his father, Sloan Carpenter, when he publicly announced that his own brother, William, was a gay man who died of AIDS. Sloan was further enraged when Andrew declared that he had arranged for the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt to come to Llanview, and he planned to add a special square honoring his brother to the tapestry. He was joined in his anger by William Douglas who urged his fellow citizens to join him in boycotting the ceremony.
In a touching scene at St. James Church, Andrew delivered an impassioned speech about the destructive danger of hate and the divine power of love. At the end of the speech, Billy publicly announce he was gay. Virginia Douglas was moved by Billy’s speech and embraced her son saying, “Nothing could ever make me stop loving you! Nothing in this world!”
Andrew then dared the emotionally-drained procession to join him as he took the newly fashioned panel, honoring his brother, to the church lawn, where he proceeded to add it the sprawling quilt. Suddenly, Andrew felt a hand gently touching his shoulder. Looking up, he saw the tear-stained face of his father, who offered to help lay the panel. Over the past months, his love for Viki had enabled Sloan to grow significantly as a human being. Now, he was finally ready to come to terms with his son William's death. After the quilt ceremony, father and son embraced tightly - and Llanview began the slow and rewarding process of healing.