William Daniels has spent almost all of his long and successful life in show business. A versatile character actor, Daniels has performed on stage, in films and, most prolifically, on television.
William Daniels was born in Brooklyn, New York, and made his first stage appearance at the age of four and a half as a tap dancer. Later his sister Jacqueline joined the act and the two performed as a song and dance team on radio as well as in local clubs. They first appeared on television in The Horn and Hardart Children's Hour, hosted by Ralph Edwards. Soon younger sister Carol joined the act and the three siblings had their own radio show, called The Daniels Family.
At age 15 William joined the road company for the production, Life With Father, first as Stage Manager, and later as an actor. The play's author, Howard Lindsay, was a friend and mentor during William's early career. At Lindsay's urging, Daniels attended Northwestern University, which was known for its outstanding drama department. While at Northwestern William met fellow drama major, Bonnie Bartlett. They were married in June of 1951.
Although Daniels had a successful career both off-Broadway and on Broadway the role that would bring him national attention was that of John Adams in the musical, 1776. He went on to star in 954 performances on Broadway, and the 1972 motion picture based on the stage musical.
Over the years Daniels has appeared in several films, including The Graduate, Reds, and Blind Date.
Making countless TV appearances, Daniels is best known for roles on three television shows. In the 1980s he won two Emmys in the role of Dr. Mark Craig on the critically acclaimed St. Elsewhere. During the same period of time he had an uncredited, but easily recognizable role as the voice of K.I.T.T. the futuristic car in the popular show, Knight Rider. In 1993 Daniels took on the role of George Feeny in the family sitcom, Boy Meets World.
As Boy Meets World's seven year run neared its end, William took on a bigger challenge when he ran for President of the Screen Actor's Guild. He was elected and served in the position from 1999 to 2001. During that time he led an actor's strike that ended favorably for the members of the union.
William Daniels and his wife are the parents of two grown sons: Michael, an opera singer and Robert, an artist.