×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Bill Daily, Major Healey in ‘I Dream of Jeannie,’ Dies at 91

Bill Daily, the affable TV actor who starred as Major Roger Healey in “I Dream of Jeannie” as well as on “The Bob Newhart Show,” died Sept. 4 in Santa Fe, N.M., his son J. Patrick Daily confirmed. He was 91.

“He loved every sunset, he loved every meal — he just decided to be happy about everything,” said his son.

The longtime New Mexico resident was a staple on series of the 1960s through 1980s, notably as Bob Newhart’s daffy neighbor, airline pilot Howard Borden, on CBS’ “The Bob Newhart Show” sitcom from 1972 to 1978. In the 1980s, he appeared as psychiatrist Dr. Larry Dykstra on NBC’s “ALF.”

Newhart remembered his co-star from their early days in the Chicago comedy scene in the 1950s.

“I called him our bullpen man. Whenever we were having trouble with a script on the show, we’d have Bill make an appearance,” Newhart said. “In recent years we had hoped to have Bill be a part of ‘The Bob Newhart Show’ tributes at the TV Academy but by then he was no longer traveling. He was one of the most positive people I ever knew and we’ll dearly miss him.”

On “I Dream of Jeannie,” he co-starred with Larry Hagman and Barbara Eden on all five seasons of the NBC sitcom as U.S. Army Captain and then Major Healey, the best friend and fellow astronaut to Hagman, who at one point summons Jeannie by mistake and briefly becomes her new master.

Barbara Eden tweeted, “Our favorite zany astronaut has passed.”

In 1980, Daily briefly had his own TV series, “Small & Frye,” but it lasted only three months. A longtime magic fan, he hosted several magic specials.

His other TV appearances included “Bewitched,” “Love Boat,” “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” and “Love, American Style,” as well as recurring roles in the 1980s on “Aloha Paradise” and “Starting from Scratch.”

He returned for several “I Dream of Jeannie” and “The Bob Newhart Show” reunion specials in the 1980s and ’90s. Daily also served as director of the New Mexico Film Commission in the late 1980s.

Born in Des Moines, Iowa, Daily was raised in Chicago and started out doing stand-up and announcing at a Chicago TV station, when he first met Newhart.

He is survived by his son J. Patrick Daily, a key grip for motion pictures.

More TV

  • Daniel Burman, Sebastian Borensztein, Lucia Puenzo

    Amazon’s Latest Latin American Deals: 5 Takeaways

    “The only absolute in history is change,” said the Victorian historian Lord Acton. He might have been talking about the streaming platforms’ current international strategies. Since they launched internationally, Netflix and Amazon’s focus and priorities have been in constant evolution. Current pressures – evolving demographies, new regulation, new competition, still untapped growth  – mean that [...]

  • Patrick Nebout and Henrik Hansson Schweizer

    U.K. Scribe Michael Robert Johnson Signs with Dramacorp for ‘Heritage’ Series (EXCLUSIVE)

    GÖTEBORG, Sweden  —  Swedish prodco Dramacorp has signed with U.K. scribe Michael Robert Johnson (“Sherlock Holmes,” “Mute,” “The Frankenstein Chronicles”) for the English-language supernatural thriller “Heritage” (a working title). Co-writers are Göteborg-based Morgan Jensen (“Thicker than Water”, “Hassel”) and Theo Gabay. The show, in early development, deals with modern elitism and hereditary. In it, a [...]

  • A still from LANCE by Marina

    'Lance': Film Review

    Late in the film “Lance,” a documentary that depicts the ascent and the crash of disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong, the subject recalls the disappearance of his lucrative sponsorships. These deals — with a massive market value and a perhaps more important intangible value of keeping him in the public eye as a figure of rectitude [...]

  • THE BACHELOR - "2404" - Peter

    'The Bachelor' Recap: Alayah Benavidez Returns Amid Chase Rice Appearance

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched the fourth episode of Season 24 of “The Bachelor.” After weeks of being cooped up in the Bachelor mansion, Peter Weber’s contestants were finally released to their first travel destination: Cleveland, Ohio. The first week’s one-on-one went to Victoria Fuller, and she and Weber [...]

  • Kobe Bryant Dead

    Kobe Bryant Was a TV Star With a Complex Media Legacy

    Mark Lazarus was an executive at Turner Broadcasting in the 1990s when the company was the NBA’s sole national cable-TV partner. As such, he had a front-row seat for the hand wringing that occurred when Michael Jordan abruptly left pro basketball in 1993. “There was a ratings hit,” says Lazarus, who became president of Turner [...]

  • Queen Latifah speaks at the Lifetime's

    ‘Equalizer’ Reboot Starring Queen Latifah Ordered to Pilot at CBS

    The “Equalizer” reboot in the works at CBS is taking the next big step. CBS has officially ordered the project, which has Queen Latifah attached to star, to pilot. The prospective show is described as a reimagining of the classic series in which Queen Latifah portrays an enigmatic figure who uses her extensive skills to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content