‘I Dream of Jeannie’ Star Dead at Age 91

By Dawn Geske 

Bill Daily, known for his role as Major Healey on the 1960s hit sitcom “I Dream of Jeannie,” has passed away at the age of 91, People magazine reported.

Daily, a comedic actor, also had roles on “The Bob Newhart Show” and “Alf.”

Daily played Major Healey — the wacky best friend of NASA astronaut Anthony Nelson played by the late Larry Hagman — on all five seasons of “I Dream of Jeannie.”

Barbara Eden, who stared as Jeannie on the show, posted a picture with her former costar on Twitter in honor of his passing.

“Our favorite zany astronaut, Bill Daily has passed,” Eden wrote. “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 his role on “I Dream of Jeannie,” Daily went on to appear on “The Bob Newhart Show” as an airline pilot and Newhart’s dupable neighbor Howard Borden.

Bob Newhart, 89, also remembered Daily on Twitter. “Bill Daily & I go back to Chicago in the 50’s,” he wrote. “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,” Newhart added.


Daily was on all six seasons of “The Bob Newhart Show,” wrapping it up in 1978.

Dailey is survived by his son J. Patrick Daily. J. Patrick confirmed the news of his father’s passing to Variety and The Hollywood Reporter.

J. Patrick said that his father died of natural causes in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on Sept. 4, 2018.

“He loved every sunset, he loved every meal,” he told Variety. “He just decided to be happy about everything.”

Daily was born on Aug. 30, 1927, in Des Moines, Iowa. He first appeared on the TV sitcom “Bewitched” in 1964.

On top of appearing on a variety of different shows throughout his career, Daily also went on to have his own sitcom, “Small & Frye.” The series lasted only three months in 1983.

The fun-loving Daily also made regular appearances on a series of popular game shows such as “Match Game” and “Hollywood Squares” as well as hosting a handful of magic shows.

Daily brought joy and laughter to audiences across the region, and he will be missed. We send condolences to the friends and family of Daily but know he will be remembered in the hearts of many.

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