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Character Actor Bill Daily Dies at 91

Actor Remembered for His Roles on 'I Dream of Jeannie' and 'The Bob Newhart Show'

Bill Daily, who is remembered for his roles on sitcoms “I Dream of Jeannie” and “The Bob Newhart Show,” died on Sept. 4 in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Born William Edward Daily on Aug. 30, 1927 in Des Moines, Iowa. Daily grew up in Chicago where he eventually would hire a CPA named Bob Newhart as his accountant. The two up-and-coming comics would soon move to Hollywood to seek their fame and fortune. Daily attended Lane Tech High School and studied for a time at the Goodman Theatre School.

Daily also worked for a period of time at WGN on Cubs game broadcasts. He moved on to WMAQ-TV Channel 5 where he was hired as a floor director for the NBC affiliate. It was there where his TV career began in earnest. Daily wrote and performed in the daily variety show “Club 60” while at Channel 5. At the same time he pursued stand-up comedy at local Chicago clubs. It was his standup work that eventually lead to his friendship with Newhart, who was a CPA by day and struggling comedian by night at the time, also honing his craft at local clubs.

Daily, additionally, had regularly scheduled roles on “Aloha Paradise” in 1981 and “Starting From Scratch.” His guest starring roles included “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “CHiPs,” “The Love Boat,” “My Mother the Car,” “Getting Together,” “Love, American Style” and “Caroline in the City.”

Daily was married three times and had three children, two of them adopted. According to reports, he was living with his lone surviving son and family at the time of his passing.

Written by Marc Berman

Marc Berman

Marc Berman has been writing professionally since 1999 and is the author of the “Mr. Television” for Campaign US (www.campaignlive.com). Most recently, Berman was the creator and Editor-in-Chief of website and newsletter TV Media Insights for Cross MediaWorks. From 1999-2011, he was the Senior Editor for Mediaweek and has also written for The New York Daily News, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and Emmy Magazine, among others. Berman has also appeared on “Entertainment Tonight,” “Extra,” “Access Hollywood,” “Inside Edition,” “The CBS Evening News,” E!, CNN, CNBC, Fox News and MSNBC.

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