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I Dream of Jeannie

Bill Daily

Born in 1927 in Des Moines, Iowa, comedic actor Bill Daily's first passion was music. After serving in the army during the Korean War, Daily returned home and began traveling the Midwest as a bass player playing in various jazz clubs. Daily began to work comedy into his musical performances, and this blossomed into a full-blown stand-up act that landed him major club appearances around the U.S. While working behind the scenes as a writer and musician at NBC, he found his way in front of the camera performing regular comedy on The Mike Douglas Show. His talents got the attention of Steve Allen, who recruited Daily as his comedic sidekick in 1964. His first narrative TV series role was on Bewitched, which ironically was the direct network competitor of the show that would effectively transform his career: I Dream of Jeannie.

On I Dream of Jeannie, Daily employed his impeccable comic timing as Major Nelson's best friend and sidekick, NASA astronaut Roger Healy. Daily remained on the show until it was canceled in 197o, but it wouldn't be long before he was making fans laugh again. In 1972, Daily found himself in yet another co-starring role as Dr. Robert Hartley's airline pilot neighbor Howard Borden on The Bob Newhart Show. The role would rival the popularity of Healy, and he stayed with the show for all six seasons.

In the '80s, Daily had several guest-starring roles on shows such as CHiPs, The Love Boat and Trapper John, M.D. While two of his attempted returns to series TV didn't quite make it, Daily did have a recurring role on the oddball comedy ALF as well as appearances in the TV reunions I Dream of Jeannie: 15 Years Later, I Still Dream of Jeannie and The Bob Newhart Show 19th Anniversary Special. Since the '90s, Daily has effectively retired, occasionally working in theater and making occasional television appearances. He currently resides in Albuquerque, N.M.