|Years active 1950 – present|
Spouse Bonnie Bartlett (m. 1951)
Height 1.70 m
Name William Daniels
|Full Name William David Daniels|
Born March 31, 1927 (age 88) (1927-03-31) Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Alma mater Northwestern University
Occupation Film, television, stage actor
Children Michael Daniels, William Daniels Jr., Robert Daniels
Parents Irene Daniels, David Daniels
Movies and TV shows Boy Meets World, Knight Rider, St Elsewhere, The Graduate, 1776
Similar People Rider Strong, Ben Savage, Danielle Fishel, Bonnie Bartlett, Will Friedle
William David Daniels (born March 31, 1927) is an American actor and former president of the Screen Actors Guild from 1999 to 2001.
- William daniels
- William daniels and john cullum interviewed by gene shalit today 8apr1986
- Early life
- Personal life
- Awards and honors
- Video games
He is known for his performance as Dustin Hoffman's character's father in The Graduate (1967), as Howard in Two for the Road, as John Adams in 1776, as Carter Nash in Captain Nice, as Mr. George Feeny in ABC's Boy Meets World and its sequel, Disney Channel's Girl Meets World, as the voice of KITT in Knight Rider, and as Dr. Mark Craig in St. Elsewhere, for which he won two Emmy Awards.
William daniels and john cullum interviewed by gene shalit today 8apr1986
William Daniels was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Irene and David Daniels, although in many of his roles he has spoken with a Boston Brahmin accent, with some transatlantic influence. His father was a bricklayer. He has two sisters, Jacqueline and Carol.
He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1945 and stationed in Italy, where he served as a disc jockey at an Army radio station. At the suggestion of Howard Lindsay, co-author of Life With Father, who recommended he use the GI Bill to attend a college with a good drama department, he enrolled at Northwestern University. He graduated from Northwestern in 1949, and was a member of Sigma Nu fraternity.
Daniels began his career as a member of the singing Daniels family in Brooklyn. He made his television debut as part of a variety act (along with other members of his family) in 1943, on NBC, then a single station in New York. He made his Broadway debut in 1943 in Life With Father, and remained a busy Broadway actor for decades afterwards. His Broadway credits include roles in 1776, A Thousand Clowns, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever and A Little Night Music. He received an Obie Award for The Zoo Story (1960).
Daniels's motion picture debut was as a school principal in the 1963 anti-war drama film Ladybug Ladybug. In 1965, he reprised his Broadway role as a child welfare worker in the screen version of A Thousand Clowns. In 1967 he appeared in The Graduate as the father of Dustin Hoffman's character. In 1969, Daniels starred as John Adams in the Broadway musical 1776; he also appeared in the film version in 1972. Two years later, he co-starred in Richard Donner's telefilm Sarah T. - Portrait of a Teenage Alcoholic.
Daniels's first network television appearance came in 1952 when he portrayed the young John Quincy Adams, eldest son of John and Abigail Adams in the Hallmark Hall of Fame drama A Woman for the Ages. In 1976, he reprised the role as the middle-aged and elder John Quincy Adams in the acclaimed PBS miniseries The Adams Chronicles. He starred in the short-lived series Captain Nice as police chemist Carter Nash. He appeared as acid-tongued Dr. Mark Craig in St. Elsewhere from 1982–88, for which he won two Emmy awards. Concurrently, he provided the voice of KITT in Knight Rider from 1982–86. Daniels said in 1982, "My duties on Knight Rider are very simple. I do it in about an hour and a half. I've never met the cast. I haven't even met the producer."
He reprised the voice-only role of KITT in 1991 for the television movie Knight Rider 2000, again in the movie The Benchwarmers. He performed the role in AT&T and GE commercials about talking machines, and twice in The Simpsons as well as at the Comedy Central Roast of his co-star David Hasselhoff. He reprised the role of KITT in the 2015 Lego-themed action-adventure video game Lego Dimensions.
Daniels portrayed teacher (later principal) George Feeny at John Adams High School in Boy Meets World from 1993 to 2000. In addition to the previously mentioned 1967 superhero sitcom Captain Nice, he was a regular on the 1970s TV series Freebie and the Bean and The Nancy Walker Show.
A familiar character actor, he has appeared as a guest star on numerous TV comedies and dramas, including Soap, The Rockford Files, Quincy, M.E., Kolchak: The Night Stalker, and many others. In 2012, Daniels appeared in the ninth season of Grey's Anatomy as Dr. Craig Thomas, an unlikely mentor to the character of Dr. Cristina Yang played by actress Sandra Oh. His character, Dr. Thomas, died in the operating room while performing a procedure to repair a heart defect midway through the season, which forced Yang to move back to Seattle.
In 2014, Daniels reprised his role as Mr. Feeny in the pilot episode of the Boy Meets World spinoff, Girl Meets World. His role was a cameo at the end credits praising the adult Cory Matthews for his parenting. He made two additional appearances in the second season.
Bartlett and Daniels both served on the Screen Actors Guild's Board of Directors.
Daniels has been married to actress and fellow Emmy Award-winner Bonnie Bartlett since June 30, 1951. In 1961, Bartlett gave birth to a son, who died just 24 hours later. They later adopted two children: Michael, who became an assistant director and stage manager in Los Angeles, and Robert, who became an artist and computer graphics designer based in New York City.
Awards and honors
Daniels refused the 1969 Tony Award nomination for Featured Actor in a Musical in 1776 due to his insistence that the part of John Adams was a leading role rather than supporting. He was ruled to be ineligible for the Best Actor nomination because of the technicality that his name was not billed above the title of the show.
In 1986, Daniels and Bartlett, who played his fictional wife on St. Elsewhere and Boy Meets World, won Emmy Awards on the same night, becoming the first married couple to accomplish the feat since Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne in 1965 for a production of The Magnificent Yankee for the Hallmark Hall of Fame.
Daniels, William (2017). There I Go Again: How I Came to Be Mr. Feeny, John Adams, Dr. Craig, KITT, and Many Others. Potomac Books, Inc.