Bill Daily was Born in Des Moines, Iowa on August 30, 1928.
In 1939, Daily and his family moved 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.
Bill was drafted into the Army and served in Korea with an artillery unit, later being transferred to an entertainment unit.
It was in his traveling-musician days that Daily found his true calling: comedy. He began to do stand-up in the same clubs he had once filled with music, and he soon moved up in the comedy ranks to the point where he was 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.
By the mid-1960s he earned guest spots on sitcoms like My Mother the Car, The Farmer’s Daughter, and Bewitched. Veteran sitcom writer Sidney Sheldon noticed Daily in one of his myriad small roles, and decided that he would be perfect for a character in his new sitcom, I Dream of Jeannie. Looking back, it was the moment that made Daily’s career.The part on Jeannie was that of a U.S. Army test pilot and NASA astronaut named Roger Healey, who would be sidekick and best friend to Larry Hagman’s main character, Tony Nelson.
In 1972, two years after Jeannie was canceled, Daily was back at work and back in an aviator’s uniform, in what is perhaps his signature role — commercial-airline navigator Howard Borden in The Bob Newhart Show: Borden, who lived across the hall from Bob Newhart’s Bob Hartley character, was a divorced father struggling to care for his son while keeping his flying schedule.
After Richard Dawson’s departure, Daily was a semi-regular in the lower tier middle seat for the last three-plus years of the show’s CBS and syndicated run. After six years of success, The Bob Newhart Show ended its run. In 1988, Daily tried his hand again at starring roles, this time as another doctor on the sitcom Starting From Scratch. 1986 saw Daily as ‘Larry’ the Psychiatrist on the cult favorite ALF.
During the 1980s-1990s, Daily reprised his I Dream of Jeannie role of Roger Healey in two made-for-TV reunion movies: I Dream of Jeannie: 15 Years Later (1985) and I Still Dream of Jeannie (1991). Also in 1991, he reprised the role of Howard Borden in “The Bob Newhart Show: 19th Anniversary”, which aired in February of that year.
More recently Bill followed on to play Charlie’s father in Caroline in the City (1997).
Bill looks forward to seeing all his fans at the Sydney and Perth expos and will be appearing each Saturday 10.30am to 5.30pm and each Sunday 11am to 5pm for autograph* and photo* sessions, a Q&A session the Sunday of each expo and an exclusive Friday night Opening Ceremony Q&A with Barbara and Larry (purchase of a Supa-Fan Weekend Pass required to attend).
* Autographs are $40 each and professional photos are $50 each.
- Guest confirmed health and other commitments pending.