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Bill Daily
Bill Daily I dream of Jeannie 1969.JPG
Daily as Roger Healey, 1969
William Edward Daily, Jr.

(1927-08-30)August 30, 1927
Died September 4, 2018(2018-09-04) (aged 91)
Occupation Actor, comedian
Years active 1953–2010
Spouse(s) Patricia Anderson (1949–1976; 2 children)
Vivian Sanchez (1980–?)
Becky Daily (1993–2010, her death)

William Edward Daily Jr. (August 30, 1927 – September 4, 2018) was an American actor, comedian and best known for his performances in various sitcoms, most notably astronaut Roger Healey on I Dream of Jeannie and commercial airline navigator Howard Borden on The Bob Newhart Show.

Early life and career

Goodman Theatre 060409
Goodman Theatre where Daily attended and graduated

Daily's father died when Bill was young, and he was raised by his mother and other family members. In 1939, Daily and his family moved from Des Moines, Iowa to Chicago, where he spent the rest of his youth. Upon leaving Lane Technical High School, Daily left home to try to carve out a life as a musician, playing bass with jazz bands in numerous clubs across the Midwest.

He was drafted into the United States Army and served in the Korean War with an artillery unit, later being transferred to an entertainment unit.

Bill Daily (5844884927)
Bill Daily 2011

It was in his traveling-musician days that Daily began performing stand-up and gradually began playing some of the bigger clubs in the country. After graduating from the Goodman Theatre School, Daily worked for the NBC television station in Chicago, WMAQ, as an announcer and floor manager. He eventually became a staff director.

Television roles

Daily appeared in guest spots on My Mother the Car, The Farmer's Daughter and Bewitched. Veteran sitcom writer Sidney Sheldon liked Daily's work and hired him for a supporting role on I Dream of Jeannie.

In 1972, two years after Jeannie was cancelled, Daily was back on television in another aviator's uniform, as Howard Borden in The Bob Newhart Show. Borden, a commercial airline navigator who later became a co-pilot, lived across the hall from Bob Newhart's Bob Hartley character, and would frequently pop into the Hartleys' apartment to borrow things, have a meal, or have the Hartley's take care of his son.

For the two years that followed The Bob Newhart Show, Daily returned to stand-up, but in 1980, after years of making a living as a second banana (a comedian who plays a secondary or supporting role), Daily was offered his own show. Called Small & Frye, the show featured Daily as a unbalanced doctor.

Bob Newhart Show Suzanne Pleshette Bill Daily 1973
Bob Newhart Show, Suzanne Pleshette and Bill Daily 1973

Daily, a lifelong lover of magic, made three specials introducing young magicians called Bill Daily's Hocus-Pocus Gang which aired in 1982 and 1983. In 1988, Daily tried his hand again at starring roles, this time as another doctor on the sitcom Starting From Scratch.

Daily's most notable post - Newhart role was another supporting character, that of Larry the psychiatrist on the cult favorite ALF (1986).

During the 1980s–1990s, Daily repeated his I Dream of Jeannie role of Roger Healey in two made-for-TV reunion movies: I Dream of Jeannie... Fifteen Years Later (1985) and I Still Dream of Jeannie (1991).

In 1987, he was named director of the New Mexico Film Commission.

Daily also occasionally served as a panelist on the 1970s CBS game show Match Game.

Personal life and death

Daily married his first wife, Patricia Anderson, in 1949. In 1976, the couple divorced. Daily had two adopted children, a son, Patrick, and a daughter, Kimberley. In 1980 he married Vivian Sanchez and with whom he had one child. He and Sanchez later divorced.

In 1993, he married Becky Daily. The couple remained together until her death in 2010. Although mostly retired, he still did some live comedy and an occasional television guest appearance. From 2006 to February 2009, he was a guest host on radio station KBQI, 107.9, in Albuquerque, on Thursday mornings.

Daily died of natural causes on September 4, 2018 at the age of 91 in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, New Mexico. His death was announced by his family three days later. He is survived by his son J. Patrick Daily, a key grip for motion pictures.


Film and Television
Year Title Role Notes
1964 Bewitched Mr. Johnson Episode: "A Vision of Sugar Plums"
1965 The Farmer's Daughter Manfred Episode: "Katy by Moonlight"
1965–70 I Dream of Jeannie Major Roger Healey Main cast (131 episodes)
1965 My Mother the Car Phil Durkin Episode: "The De-Fenders"
1965 The Farmer's Daughter Gallery Manager Episode: "Forever Is a Cast Iron Mess"
1969 In Name Only Peter Garrity TV film
1971 The Barefoot Executive Navigator Feature film
1971 Inside O.U.T. Ron Hart TV pilot episode
1972 Love, American Style Larry "Love and the Single Sister" segment
1972 Getting Together McAdam Episode: "Broken-Hearted Melody"
1972 The Mary Tyler Moore Show Peter "Pete" Peterson Episode: "His Two Right Arms"
1972–78 The Bob Newhart Show Howard Borden Main cast (140 episodes)
1972 Love, American Style Donald Baxter "Love and the Country Girl" segment
1978 Murder at the Mardi Gras Jack Murphy TV film
1978 Flying High Bob Griffen Recurring role (2 episodes)
1979 $weepstake$ Fred Episode #1.1
1979 Rendezvous Hotel Walter Grainger TV film
1979 CHiPs Balford Episodes: "Roller Disco" (Parts 1 & 2)
1979 The Love Boat Paul Turner Segment: "Rent a Family" (Parts 1 & 2)
1980 Valentine Magic on Love Island Charles TV film
1980 Alone at Last Greg Elliott TV pilot episode
1981 Aloha Paradise Curtis Shea Main cast (8 episodes)
1982 The Powers of Matthew Star Frank Trenton Episode: "Daredevil"
1983 Trapper John, M.D. Mr. Stevens Episode: "The Spy Who Bugged Me"
1983 Small & Frye Dr. Hanratty Main role (6 episodes)
1985 Comedy Factory The Mayor Episode: "Honey, It's the Mayor"
1985 I Dream of Jeannie... Fifteen Years Later Col. Roger Healey TV film
1987–89 ALF Dr. Lawrence 'Larry' Dykstra Recurring role (4 episodes)
1988–89 Starting from Scratch Dr. James Shepherd Main cast (22 episodes)
1990 Newhart Sam Leary Episode: "Good Neighbor Sam"
1990 The Munsters Today Count Strimpkin Episode: "Thicker Than Water"
1991 I Still Dream of Jeannie Col. Roger Healey TV film
1991 The Bob Newhart Show: The 19th Anniversary Special Howard Borden TV special
1991 Alligator II: The Mutation Mayor Anderson Direct-to-video film
1992–93 Bob Vic Victor Recurring role (2 episodes)
1997 George and Leo The Pilot Episode: "The Cameo Show"
1997 The Naked Truth Doc Episode: "He Ain't Famous, He's My Brother"
1997 Caroline in the City Charlie's Father Recurring role (2 episodes)
2010 Horrorween GrandPa Feature film

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