I Dream of Jeannie actor Bill Daily passes away 91

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Actor Bill Daily, known for his work in the sitcoms I Dream of Jeannie and The Bob Newhart Show, has passed away. He was 91.

Bill, who employed stand-up comedian and actor Bob Newhart as his accountant in Chicago before the two went on to show business fame, died on Tuesday of natural causes in Santa Fe, New Mexico, his son, J. Patrick Daily, told hollywoodreporter.com.

He spent five seasons on I Dream of Jeannie, which aired from 1965-1970, then worked for six seasons on The Bob Newhart Show, which ran from 1972-78. The whole time, he battled dyslexia and had to memorise all his lines to keep going.

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After appearances on the TV comedies Bewitched and The Farmer's Daughter, Bill attracted the attention of I Dream of Jeannie creator Sidney Sheldon and landed the role of Roger Healey, the best friend of another NASA astronaut, Anthony Nelson (Larry Hagman), on the fantasy comedy that starred Barbara Eden as a genie.

"I called him our bullpen man," Newhart said in a statement released on Friday.

"Whenever we were having trouble with a script on the show, we'd have Bill make an appearance. In recent years, we had hoped to have Bill be a part of 'The Bob Newhart Show' tributes at the TV Academy, but by then he was no longer travelling. He was one of the most positive people I ever knew, and we'll dearly miss him."

William Edward Daily was born on August 30, 1927, in Des Moines, Iowa.

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