Friends and family were sad to say goodbye to longtime comedic actor, Bill Daily, who recently passed away last week at the age of 91 in his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
You probably know him best for his break-out role on the 1960s TV series, I Dream of Jeannie, where he played Major Roger Healey, likeable sidekick to the late Larry Hagman, however, Daily’s career as an actor included a long list of memorable roles far beyond his time on I Dream of Jeannie.
While Daily’s role as Major Healey may have catapulted him into the spotlight, it was Daily’s persistently positive attitude and admirable work ethic that granted him a lifetime of success as an actor.
After capturing the hearts of viewers as Major Healey, Daily went on to play neighbor and airline navigator, Howard Borden, on 140 episodes of The Bob Newhart Show.
In addition to the recurring roles that he played on I Dream of Jeannie and The Bob Newhart Show, Daily also appeared on numerous other TV series, such as Mary Tyler Moore; CHiPs; The Love Boat; My Mother the Car; Getting Together; Love, American Style; Aloha Paradise; Starting from Scratch; Caroline in the City; ALF; and two of Newhart’s other shows, Newhart and Bob.
Finding success as an actor for most of his life wasn’t necessarily what gave Daily his cheerfully positive attitude though – his son, J. Patrick Daily explains that his father made a conscious decision to approach life with a happy, positive attitude.
“One of his favorite ethos in life was, ‘Happiness is a decision that you make’ and he made the decision to be a happy guy,” Patrick says.
Based off of recent Tweets from various celebrity friends and co-stars, it’s clear that Daily will be fondly remembered not only for his acting skills, but for his kindness and the positive impact that he had on others.
I Dream of Jeannie co-star, Barbara Eden, 81, tweeted, “Our favorite zany astronaut, Bill Daily has passed. Billy was wonderful to work with. He was a funny, sweet man that kept us all on our toes. I’m so thankful to have known and worked with that rascal. Until we meet again Billy, xo.”
Our favorite zany astronaut, Bill Daily has passed. Billy was wonderful to work with. He was a funny, sweet man that kept us all on our toes. I'm so thankful to have known and worked with that rascal. Until we meet again Billy, xo -B #RIPBillDaily pic.twitter.com/OVZjaWB9CP
— Barbara Eden (@Barbara_Eden) September 8, 2018
Friend and co-star, Bob Newhart also fondly remembered Daily on Twitter, writing, “Bill Daily & I go back to Chicago in the 50’s. He and I were both trying to get into standup. Later, he joined the Bob Newhart Show. He was our bullpen guy – you could always go to him. He was one of the most positive people I’ve ever known. I will miss him dearly.”
Bill Daily & I go back to Chicago in the 50's. He and I were both trying to get into standup. Later, he joined the Bob Newhart Show. He was our bullpen guy – you could always go to him. He was one of the most positive people I've ever known. I will miss him dearly
— Bob Newhart (@BobNewhart) September 8, 2018
For the last thirty years, Daily has enjoyed a breathtaking view of the beautiful Sandia Mountains from his high-rise in Santa Fe, a city that he loved dearly, and the place where his son recently moved to and will continue to live, honor, and remember his father fondly.
What is your favorite role that Bill Daily played? Were you a fan of I Dream of Jeannie or The Bob Newhart Show? How do you feel about honoring those who have passed by sending out Tweets? Join the conversation and share your thoughts below!