Bill Daily, known for his comedic characters on the classic sitcoms “I Dream of Jeannie” and “The Bob Newhart Show,” died Tuesday in Santa Fe, N.M., his family said. He was 91.
Daily died of natural causes, his son, J. Patrick Daily, told the Hollywood Reporter.
The actor starred as Maj. Roger Healey, the comical sidekick to Larry Hagman’s Air Force Capt. Anthony Nelson, in all five years of NBC’s “I Dream of Jeannie,” which starred Barbara Eden in the title role and ran from 1965-1970. Hagman died in 2012 at age 81.
Daily would go on to play Bob Newhart’s neighbor, divorced airline navigator Howard Borden, on CBS’ “The Bob Newhart Show” for six seasons, from 1972-1978.
His other TV credits include roles on “Alf,” “Bewitched,” “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “Love American Style,” “Aloha, Paradise,” and “Starting from Scratch.”
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Daily battled dyslexia and had to memorize all his lines.
After Daily’s own TV series, “Small & Frye,” lasted only three months in the 1980s, the longtime Albuquerque resident became director of the New Mexico Film Commission, Deadline reported.
Daily was born in Des Moines, Iowa, grew up in Chicago, and began his career as a standup comedian, according to Variety.
“He loved every sunset, he loved every meal — he just decided to be happy about everything,” his son told the outlet.