Stories

Whatever Happened To Bill Daily, Roger Healey From ‘I Dream Of Jeannie’?

ADVERTISEMENT

Magical mayhem doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It happens in a magic bottle. But even the most accidentally fortunate need someone to talk to, and for Tony Nelson of I Dream of Jeannie, his trusted confidante was Roger Healey, played by Bill Daily. But enduring fantastical misadventures with Barbara Eden wasn’t his only big hurrah.

Willard Carroll Smith James, born on August 30, 1927, began his career in the arts through music as an upright bassist. The call to serve took him to the Korean War in an artillery unit, then an entertainment unit. There, he began performing standup and used some of this experience for managing positions back in the states. While putting together programs and overseeing others, he actually consulted with Bob Newhart in the early stages of his own career, and this led to the “Abe Lincoln vs. Madison Avenue” routine. But that wouldn’t be the last time these two crossed paths.

ADVERTISEMENT

Dreaming of Jeannie for ages

Larry Hagman and Bill Daily / Everett Collection

In the meantime, though, Bill Daily became a name in the guest star slot of several iconic sitcoms of the time, such as Bewitched, My Mother the Car, and The Farmer’s Daughter. None other than Sidney Sheldon himself saw Daily’s work and recruited him to join the cast of I Dream of Jeannie. There, his character didn’t go through too much growth, but Daily himself brought his best game and made Healey a riot whenever he appeared on-screen. This might have been a missed opportunity for actor and show alike, though. Daily couldn’t do the reading as the producers envisioned because he suffered from dyslexia, “but thank God I had a chance to memorize it.”

ADVERTISEMENT
Daily as part of the Bob Newhart Show / Everett Collection

RELATED: ‘I Dream Of Jeannie’ Cast Then And Now 2021

Though technically the original I Dream of Jeannie series was canceled, Daily returned for its reunion specials I Dream of Jeannie… Fifteen Years Later (1985) and I Still Dream of Jeannie (1991). But until then, he had to keep himself busy in another way, and that chance came thanks to his earlier collaboration – and friendship – with Bob Newhart.

What happened to Bill Daily?

Bill Daily in 2004 / ImageCollect

It turned out Roger Healey wouldn’t be Bill Daily’s biggest and only comedic role. After Jeannie, Daily became Howard Borden on The Bob Newhart Show. Daily’s work became so prolific, Howard Borden became part of his legacy – and part of The Bob Newhart Show’s legacy. After that, Daily continued with other recurring roles of a mostly comedic nature. The most well-known would probably be Larry the psychiatrist on ALF.

Daily at Supernova Expo in Australia / Wikipedia

In his personal life, Daily was married three times and had two adopted children. He lived life grateful for his gifts, though as a performer he said they number in just one: “The only thing I do well is that I’m funny, and that’s a God-given thing. So thank you, God.” Sadly, we won’t get to hear any more “Hi, Bob” from Daily because he passed away in 2018 at the age of 91. But we can always celebrate his career in laughter.

Show comments
Share
Published by

Recent Posts

Paul McCartney’s Wife Of Over A Decade, Nancy Shevell, Is A Successful Businesswoman

An artist often needs a muse, someone that keeps the world spinning. When he’s not…

3 hours ago

At 82, Katharine Ross From ‘The Graduate’ Acted With Her Sweetheart In Three Films

Released in 1967, The Graduate was all about love, loss, and messy antics. In this…

5 hours ago

Palace Shares Final Look At Queen Elizabeth’s Resting Place

Queen Elizabeth II was laid to rest on September 19, buried alongside her husband Prince…

6 hours ago

‘Diff’rent Strokes’ Star Todd Bridges Just Married Designer Bettijo B. Hirschi

Actor Todd Bridges, best known for his role in Diff'rent Strokes, just got married! The…

6 hours ago

‘Full House’ Stars Come Together To Commemorate 35th Anniversary Of Sitcom

Full House is an American TV sitcom created by Jeff Franklin. It aired for the first…

8 hours ago

Shania Twain’s Brand New Song Is Inspired By The ’80s

Shania Twain just released her first new song in five years. The country music superstar…

8 hours ago