Actor Bill Daily, best known for his role as Roger on I Dream of Jeannie in the 1960s, passed away at the age of 91 on September 4, 2018. His family confirmed his passing a few days later.
Daily was born in Des Moines, Iowa on August 30, 1927. After his father passed away, he and his family moved to Chicago, where he spent much of his adolescence. Following his high school graduation, Daily worked as a professional musician, working various clubs throughout the region in jazz bands on upright bass. He was eventually drafted into the U.S. Army and served in the Korean War.
After returning home from his time in the service, he began working as a stand-up comedian, and later returned to school to study theater at the Goodman Theatre School. By the 1960s Daily had started to appear in guest sports on My Mother the Car and Bewitched, and was eventually cast as Roger Healey on I Dream of Jeannie. The show ran for five seasons, from September 1965 to May 1970, before being cancelled.
Daily continued his run on television on The Bob Newhart Show beginning in 1972, in the role of Howard Borden. The Howard character was a neighbor to Bob Hartley (Bob Newhart) and was a regular on the show. Later television appearances included roles on shows such as Small & Frye and ALF, and in the two television movies, I Dream of Jeannie… Fifteen Years Later and I Still Dream of Jeannie.
Though he was mostly retired by the end of the 1990s, he still occasionally performed live stand-up comedy and was often a guest host on a radio station in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
“One of his favorite ethos in life was, ‘Happiness is a decision that you make’ and he made the decision to be a happy guy,” his son J. Patrick Daily said in a statement.