Daily passed away on Sept. 4 in Santa Fe, N.M. He is survived by his son, J. Patrick Daily. A cause of death has not been disclosed.
The actor, whose earliest credits include episodes of Bewitched and My Mother the Car, was cast as Jeannie‘s Major Healey in 1965 and appeared in all five seasons, as well as follow-up TV-movies I Dream of Jeannie… Fifteen Years Later (1985) and I Still Dream of Jeannie (1991). Barbara Eden paid tribute to her former costar on Twitter. “Our favorite zany astronaut, Bill Daily has passed,” Eden said. “Billy was wonderful to work with. He was a funny, sweet man that kept us all on our toes. I’m so thankful to have known and worked with that rascal. Until we meet again Billy, xo.”
Following Jeannie, Daily was cast as a series regular on The Bob Newhart Show, playing Newhart’s neighbor, Howard Borden, from 1972-1978. He later reunited with Newhart in select episodes of Newhart and Bob.
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“Bill Daily and I go back to Chicago in the ’50s,” Newhart said on Twitter. “He and I were both trying to get into standup. Later, he joined The Bob Newhart Show. He was our bullpen guy — you could always go to him. He was one of the most positive people I’ve ever known. I will miss him dearly.”
Additional TV credits included starring roles on the short-lived series Aloha Paradise, Starting From Scratch and Small & Frye. He also recurred as Dr. Larry Dykstra on ALF, and appeared in episodes of Caroline in the City, CHiPS, The Love Boat and Love, American Style.