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William Daniels Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (2)  | Trade Mark (4)  | Trivia (48)

Overview (3)

Born in Brooklyn, New York, USA
Nickname Bill
Height 5' 7" (1.7 m)

Mini Bio (1)

William Daniels is an American actor, born in Brooklyn, New York City. He was born in 1927, to bricklayer David Daniels and his wife Irene.

Daniels was a member of the singing Daniels family in Brooklyn. He made his television debut in 1943 at the age of 16, as part of a variety act. That same year, Daniels made his Broadway debut in the comedy play "Life With Father" (1939) by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. Until the 1960s, Daniels was primarily a theatrical actor, with a few guest star roles in television. For his role in the play "The Zoo Story" (1958) by Edward Albee, Daniels received an Obie Award.

Daniels made his film debut in 1963, at the age of 36. He debuted in the Cold War-themed thriller "Ladybug Ladybug" (1963), where he played school principal Mr. Calkins. His next film role was the comedy-drama film "A Thousand Clowns" (1965), where he played child welfare worker Albert Amundson. Daniels had a supporting role in "The Graduate" (1967), playing the father of protagonist Benjamin Braddock (played by Dustin Hoffman).

Daniels found his first major television role in the superhero comedy "Captain Nice" (1967). He played police chemist Carter Nash, who could transform into the superhero Captain Nice by drinking a super serum. In both identities, Nash was a mild-mannered mama's boy, who was pressured into a crime-fighting career by his mother (played by Alice Ghostley). He was clumsy as a hero, and had a crippling fear of heights. The series lasted only 15 episodes

In the 1970s, Daniel's most prominent role was that of John Adams in the film adaptation of "1776" (1972). He also played John Quincy Adams in the historical television series "The Adams Chronicles" (1976). He had a regular role in the sitcom "The Nancy Walker Show" (1976) as Lt. Commander Kenneth Kitteridge of the United States Navy. Kenneth was the loving husband of protagonist Nancy Kitteridge (played by Nancy Walker). The series lasted for 13 episodes.

In the crime drama series "Knight Rider" (1982-1986), Daniels voiced KITT, an artificially intelligent electronic computer module in the body of a robotic automobile. The series lasted for 90 episodes. The series was very popular in its time, and has had a large number of sequels and spin-offs.

Daniels also played surgeon Dr. Mark Craig in the medical drama "St. Elsewhere" (1982-1988). The setting was St. Eligius Hospital, a decaying urban teaching hospital in Boston. The series lasted for 137 episodes and garnered 62 Primetime Emmy Award nominations.

Daniels played KITT again in the television film "Knight Rider 2000" (1991). He had a prominent role in the sitcom "Boy Meets World" (1993-2000) as teacher George Feeny, a strict but loving mentor to protagonist Cory Matthews (played by Ben Savage). The series lasted for 158 episodes, and Feeny was one of Daniel's most recognizable roles.

Daniels guest starred as KITT in two episodes of the animated sitcom "The Simpsons" (1989-). The episodes were "The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace" (1998) and "Milhouse Doesn't Live Here Anymore". Daniels also voiced a Hospital Ship in the episode "Critical Care" (2000) of the science fiction series "Star Trek: Voyager" (1995-2001).

In the 2000s, Daniels provided voice roles for animated television series, such as "Kim Possible" and "The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy". His most prominent role in the 2010s was that of George Feeny again, who appeared in 5 episodes of the sitcom series "Girl Meets World" (2014-2017). It was a sequel series to "Boy Meets World" , featuring the life of Cory Matthews as a teacher and father.

By 2020, Daniels was 92 years old, one of the oldest living actors.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Dimos I

Family (2)

Spouse Bonnie Bartlett (30 June 1951 - present)  (3 children)
Parents David Daniels
Irene Daniels
Daniels (Bulger), Irene
Daniels, David Dryden

Trade Mark (4)

Perhaps best known for his roles as Dr. Mark Craig on St. Elsewhere (1982) and Mr. George Feeny on Boy Meets World (1993) and Girl Meets World (2014).
Moustache
His nasal voice
Boston Brahmin accent

Trivia (48)

He and his wife, actress Bonnie Bartlett, won Emmys for their portrayals of a married couple, Dr. and Mrs. Mark Craig, on the cult TV series St. Elsewhere (1982) in 1982.
As a child, he was part of the Daniels Family song-and-dance troupe that traveled in and around the state of New York. His entire family appeared on one of the first experimental TV broadcasts in 1941.
Nominated for a Tony as Supporting Actor in a Musical for his lead role of John Adams in the 1969 musical "1776." He could not be nominated for lead actor because he did not then have star billing (i.e., above the title). Adams is clearly the lead role in 1776 (1972), so Daniels declined the nomination.
1949 graduate of Northwestern University.
Elected president of the Screen Actors Guild, upsetting incumbent Richard Masur, as well as candidate Angel Tompkins, who conjoined her two names to call herself "Angeltompkins" so she could be listed first on the ballot(!) The SAG president serves a two-year term. [November 1999]
Worked conscientiously to lose the Brooklyn accent he grew up with, so that he could obtain a wider range of roles. His adopted accent is close to the Boston dialect he used as Dr. Mark Craig on St. Elsewhere (1982) and Mr. George Feeny on Boy Meets World (1993).
One episode of St. Elsewhere (1982) called for Dr. and Mrs. Craig to visit Philadelphia. Inspired by returning to Independence Square, he sang a few lines of the song "Sit Down, John" from 1776 (1972). The moment was included in the episode.
Is a member of the Sigma Nu fraternity.
Often plays members of the famous Adams family of early American history. Has played John Adams (in the feature film 1776 (1972), the television mini-series The Rebels (1979), and the original play of "1776" on Broadway beginning in March 1969) and his son John Quincy Adams (in the television mini-series The Adams Chronicles (1976)).as well as their cousin Samuel Adams (in the television mini-series The Bastard (1978)).
While performing on both St. Elsewhere (1982) and Knight Rider (1982) in the 1980s, Daniels made goodwill visits to children's hospitals. He discovered that not many children were thrilled to meet an actor who played a doctor, but the fact that he voiced the talking car KITT always appealed to them, so he shifted emphasis during his visits. He entertained the children with KITT-styled phrases, and answered their questions about "Knight Rider" while hardly mentioning his other, larger acting role.
Played George Feeny, who was the principal and a teacher at John Adams High School on the TV show Boy Meets World (1993). This is yet another John Adams connection for Daniels, who has portrayed him many times.
In an episode of Boy Meets World (1993), Daniels's character, George Feeny, is congratulating Cory on the quality of his film project. Cory then asks, "You think it's a great film?" George responds, "No, I think The Graduate is a great film," referring to his earlier role in The Graduate (1967).
The characters that Daniels and his real-life wife, Bonnie Bartlett, played in Boy Meets World (1993) married each other in an episode of that series, just as they are in real life.
Portrayed John Adams in the original Broadway stage version of 1776 and reprised his role in the movie 1776 (1972).
Played Dustin Hoffman's father in The Graduate (1967), but in reality is only 10 years older than Hoffman.
In addition to portraying John Adams in 1776 (1972), he portrayed his son John Quincy Adams in The Adams Chronicles (1976).
Lives in Studio City, California. [May 2002]
He has played the same character (George Feeny) on three different series: Boy Meets World (1993), Maybe This Time (1995) and Girl Meets World (2014).
He is the son of Irene (Bulger) and David Dryden Daniels.
He appeared in 129 of the 137 episodes of St. Elsewhere (1982), more than anyone else.
Best known by the public for his starring role as Dr. Mark Craig on St. Elsewhere (1982) and for his role as George Feeny on Boy Meets World (1993) and Girl Meets World (2014).
Acting mentor and friend of: Ed Begley Jr., David Morse and Howie Mandel.
Alongside fellow actor Norman Lloyd, Dick Van Dyke, Ernest Borgnine, Mickey Rooney, Betty White, Angela Lansbury, Christopher Lee, Ed Asner, Adam West, William Shatner, Marla Gibbs, Larry Hagman, Florence Henderson Shirley Jones, Hal Linden and Alan Alda, Daniels is one of the few actors in Hollywood who lived into their 80s and/or 90s without ever either retiring from acting or having stopped getting work.
Started dancing when he was 4.
Was born in the apartment that didn't have any tub nor shower.
Met his future wife Bonnie Bartlett at Northwestern University.
Met Bruce Paltrow and Blythe Danner while working on 1776 (1972); in 1982, a decade later, he would work with them on St. Elsewhere (1982).
His St. Elsewhere (1982) co-star, Ed Begley Jr., would be the total opposite of him. Coming from film, Begley came in to work late, had trouble learning his lines, while Daniels learned a lot of lines, coming from the theater.
His mother, Irene Daniels, was a telephone operator, and his father, David Daniels, was a bricklayer.
Long lives run in his family.
On St. Elsewhere (1982), his character was originally from Boston, in real-life, he has the Boston accent, since he was 15.
Prior to starring on St. Elsewhere (1982), producer Glen A. Larson asked Daniels if he would read for the voice of a car in another series, which was Knight Rider (1982). With memories of the infamous failure My Mother the Car (1965), he resisted, but Larson insisted it was a computer, not a car, talking, and coaxed Daniels into a small recording studio at Universal.
Until the 1980s, he was a heavy smoker.
Due to his popularity on St. Elsewhere (1982), Daniels was also invited to speak at medical school graduations, esp. at Northwestern, his Alma Mater. He turned each and every one of them down, because he wasn't a doctor, in real-life.
On the St. Elsewhere (1982) set, along with Ed Flanders and Norman Lloyd, Daniels had to pronounce medical terms using the medical dictionary. He also had to make a speech, before performing surgery.
In 1936, at almost 9, Daniels began performing on children's radio, for the first time, with one of his sisters.
Before he was a successful actor, he began his career in 1945, aged 18, he was drafted in Italy, where he served as an Army radio station disc jockey.
Has known Ed Begley Jr.'s family, when he was very young, years before he co-starred on St. Elsewhere (1982) with him.
Best friends of Ed Flanders and Norman Lloyd.
He got one of the lead roles as Dr. Mark Craig on St. Elsewhere (1982), primarily because of his longtime friendship with Bruce Paltrow and his wife Blythe Danner.
Lives not too far away from his ex-St. Elsewhere (1982) co-star, Ed Begley Jr..
He is most widely known to be a very private man.
His classmates at Northwestern included Paul Lynde, Georgann Johnson, and his future wife Bonnie Bartlett.
He endorsed Senator Bernie Sanders in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election.
He recorded his lines as K.I.T.T. in Knight Rider (1982) on his days off from St. Elsewhere (1982).
As of 2018, he has appeared in three films nominated for Best Picture Academy Award: A Thousand Clowns (1965), The Graduate (1967) and Reds (1981).
His sister is Carol "Termite" Daniels, who was a child radio star in the 1940s.

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