I Dream of Jeannie star Bill Daily died on Tuesday, September 4, at age 91, Daily’s rep confirmed to Us Weekly.
Daily’s costar, Barbara Eden, addressed the news with a tweet on Friday, September 7. “Our favorite zany astronaut, Bill Daily has passed,” the 87-year-old actress tweeted. “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 -B #RIPBillDaily.”
Daily’s son, J. Patrick Daily, told The Hollywood Reporter that the sitcom star died of natural causes on Tuesday in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
The retired actor’s rep tells Us that Daily had recently made the move to Sante Fe from his longtime home in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he lived for more than 30 years, to live with J. Patrick’s family.
Daily was known for his role as Major Roger Healey on I Dream of Jeannie. He starred on the series, which ran from 1965 to 1970, for five seasons. Eden and Larry Hagman — who passed away in November 2012 at age 81 — rounded out the cast as Jeannie and Major Tony Nelson in the sitcom about an astronaut who finds a genie in a bottle.
The ALF actor reprised his role as Major Healey in two made-for-TV movies: 1985’s I Dream of Jeannie… Fifteen Years Later and 1991’s I Still Dream of Jeannie.
In addition to his role on I Dream of Jeannie, Daily’s additional acting credits include Bewitched, Mary Tyler Moore, CHiPs, The Love Boat, Newhart and Bob. He was also among the main cast on The Bob Newhart Show from 1972 to 1978. He starred alongside longtime friend Bob Newhart as his neighbor, Howard Borden.
Newhart shared his condolences with a tweet on Friday. “Bill Daily & I go back to Chicago in the 50’s,” the actor, 89, tweeted. “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.”
Daily’s rep echoed Newhart’s sentiments, saying, “Bill’s philosophy in life was that happiness was a decision you make. That was how he lived. Bill enjoyed every bit of his life to the fullest.
The rep also confirmed that Daily would not hold a memorial service. “Bill’s final wish is for his friends, family and fans to throw a party in his honor. Remember the good times and be happy.”
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