Bill Daily
Bill Daily
Daily appeared as MAJ Roger Healey on the I Dream of Jeannie TV series, as well as the two made-for-TV movies which followed.
General Information:
Date of birth: (1927-08-30)August 30, 1927
Born in: Des Moines, Iowa[1]
Died: September 4, 2018(2018-09-04) (aged 91)
Died in: Santa Fe, New Mexico
Series/character information
Appeared on/in: I Dream of Jeannie
I Dream of Jeannie... Fifteen Years Later
I Still Dream of Jeannie
Number of
131 in series in Seasons 1-5
Character played/
Appeared as:
Roger Healey

Bill Daily (30 August 1927 - 4 September 2018) was an American comedian and dramatic actor, and a veteran of many television sitcoms. He is best known for playing astronaut Roger Healey on NBC-TV's I Dream of Jeannie and commercial airline navigator Howard Borden on The Bob Newhart Show.

Early Life and Career

Daily's father died when Bill was young, and he was raised by his mother and other family members. 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.

Daily 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 began performing stand-up and gradually began 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. He eventually became a staff director. Daily stated that preparing for a Chicago-area Emmy Award telecast, he asked a young Bob Newhart to come up with a routine about press agents which resulted in the routine "Abe Lincoln vs. Madison Avenue".[2]

I Dream of Jeannie (1965-70)

Daily played guest spots on such popular 1960s TV shows as My Mother the Car, The Farmer's Daughter and Bewitched. Veteran sitcom writer and IDOJ series creator Sidney Sheldon noticed Daily and hired him for a supporting role on I Dream of Jeannie.

The part on the show was that of a United States Army test pilot, Roger Healey, best friend of Larry Hagman's Tony Nelson. While Daily enjoyed his work on Jeannie, Hagman decidedly did not. Daily was witness to multiple Hagman tantrums on the set, but he and Barbara Eden stood behind Hagman, citing a possible substance problem (he was experimenting with marijuana at the time, not to mention his fondness for bourbon) and the progressively poorer scripts on Jeannie as the source of Hagman's fits.

Later Work

In 1972, two years after Jeannie was canceled, Daily was back at work and back in another aviator's uniform, in what is perhaps his signature role: Howard Borden in The Bob Newhart Show. Borden, a commercial-airline navigator who later became a co-pilot, lived across the hall from Bob Newhart's Bob Hartley character, and would frequently pop into the Hartleys' apartment to borrow things, mooch a meal, or have the Hartleys take care of his son when he had custody of him.

Daily would also occasionally serve as a panelist on the 1970s CBS game show Match Game. After Richard Dawson's departure, Daily was a semi-regular for the final three years of the show's CBS and syndicated run.

Personal Life

Daily married his first wife, Patricia Anderson, in 1949. In 1976, the couple divorced. Daily has two adopted children, a son, Patrick, and a daughter, Kimberley. His son is a key grip and stunt pilot in Hollywood, and his daughter is a retired teacher in Colorado. In 1980 he married Vivian Sanchez, with whom he traveled on the road performing Lover's Leap for two years, and with whom he had one child, Becca. He later divorced Sanchez.

In 1993, he married Becky Daily. The couple remained together until her death in 2010. Though retired, he still did some comedy and the occasional TV guest appearances. From 2006 to February 2009, he was a guest host on radio station KBQI, 107.9, in Albuquerque, on Thursday mornings. Bill Daily died 4 September 2018 in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


  1. "Bill Daily's Gemlike Assists to Make 'Dream of Jeannie' a Hit". Schenectedy Gazette: p. 13. October 19, 1968. 
  2. initially inserted under the claim of being from a "recent" PBS interview

External Links

  • Bill Daily at the Internet Movie Database (IMDb)