William Daniels Net Worth

What is William Daniels’s Net Worth?

William Daniels is an actor of the screen and stage who has a net worth of $4 million. William Daniels is known for his roles on the television series “St. Elsewhere,” “Knight Rider,” and “Boy Meets World.” On “Knight Rider” he provided the voice for the now-iconic “KITT” vehicle. For his role as Dr. Mark Craig on “St. Elsewhere,” he won two Emmy Awards. Daniels has also acted on the big screen, with notable credits including “Two for the Road,” “The Graduate,” “1776,” “Reds,” and “Her Alibi.”

Early Life and Education

William Daniels was born on March 31, 1927 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City to telephone operator Irene and bricklayer David. He has two sisters named Jacqueline and Carol. In 1945, Daniels was drafted into the U.S. Army and was stationed in Italy, where he served as a DJ at an Army radio station. After the war, he attended Northwestern University on the G.I. Bill. Daniels graduated in 1949.

Career Beginnings

Daniels began his career singing with his family members in a musical group. In 1943, he made his television debut, along with his family members, as part of a variety act on NBC. Also that year, Daniels made his Broadway debut in the play “Life with Father.”

(Photo by Bob Riha, Jr./Getty Images)

Television Career

Daniels had his first major television role in 1952, portraying a young John Quincy Adams in the Hallmark Hall of Fame television movie “A Woman for the Ages.” He didn’t act much on television during the rest of the decade, although he did appear in episodes of the anthology series “Robert Montgomery Presents” and “Armstrong Circle Theatre.” Daniels had guest roles on a number of shows in the 1960s, including “Naked City,” “The Defenders,” “For the People,” “The Good Guys,” and “Judd, for the Defense.” He also starred as the titular police chemist-turned-superhero in the short-lived NBC series “Captain Nice.” In the early 1970s, Daniels appeared in episodes of “Cannon,” “Love, American Style,” and “Ironside,” and acted in the television films “Murdock’s Gang,” “The Fabulous Doctor Fable,” and “A Case of Rape.” He went on to play John Quincy Adams for a second time in the PBS miniseries “The Adams Chronicles,” which aired in 1976. That same year, Daniels starred on the short-lived sitcom “The Nancy Walker Show.” He subsequently appeared in episodes of such shows as “Quincy, M.E.,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “Soap,” and “Family.” At the end of the decade, Daniels portrayed John Adams in the television film “The Rebels” and G. Gordon Liddy in the miniseries “Blind Ambition.”

Daniels began the 1980s with guest appearances on “The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo” and “Galactica 1980”; a recurring role on “Freebie and the Bean”; and a supporting role in the television film “City in Fear.” He was in a number of other television films after that, including “The Million Dollar Face,” “Rehearsal for Murder,” and “Rooster.” Daniels began arguably his two most famous roles in 1982: Dr. Mark Craig in the medical drama series “St. Elsewhere” and the voice of the advanced robotic automobile KITT in the David Hasselhoff action crime drama series “Knight Rider.” Both shows were big hits, with the former running until 1988, and earning Daniels two Emmy Awards, and the latter running until 1986. Daniels would later reprise his role as KITT in the 1991 television film “Knight Rider 2000.” He landed his next main role in 1993 as kindhearted educator Mr. Feeny on the ABC sitcom “Boy Meets World,” opposite Ben Savage, Rider Strong, Danielle Fishel, Betsy Randle and Will Friedle. Daniels remained on the show for all seven seasons through 2000, and later reprised his role in a recurring capacity on the spinoff “Girl Meets World.” His other notable television credits include guest roles on “Scrubs,” “The Lyon’s Den,” “The King of Queens,” “The Closer,” and “Grey’s Anatomy.”

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Film Career

In 1963, Daniels made his big-screen debut in the antiwar film “Ladybug Ladybug.” Two years later, he reprised his role as Albert Amundson from the play “A Thousand Clowns” in the film adaptation. Daniels had his biggest year on film in 1967, appearing in three films: “Two for the Road,” “The Graduate,” and “The President’s Analyst.” In the Academy Award-winning “The Graduate,” he played the father of Dustin Hoffman’s protagonist. Daniels finished the decade with a role in the 1969 neo-noir “Marlowe.” He next appeared on the big screen in the 1972 film adaptation of the Broadway musical “1776,” reprising his role from the stage as John Adams. In 1974, Daniels played Austin Tucker in the political thriller “The Parallax View.”

In the late 1970s, Daniels appeared in “Black Sunday,” “Oh, God!,” “The One and Only,” and “Sunburn.” Kicking off the 1980s, he played Arthur Lestrange in the coming-of-age romantic survival drama “The Blue Lagoon.” The year after that, Daniels was in the romantic comedy “All Night Long” and the epic historical drama “Reds,” portraying Socialist Party leader Julius Gerber in the latter. He didn’t appear on the big screen again until 1987 when he played Judge Harold Bedford in the romantic comedy “Blind Date.” Daniels went on to appear in another romantic comedy, “Her Alibi,” in 1989. Since then, he has acted very infrequently in films, with his handful of credits including 1994’s “Magic Kid 2” and the 2007 ice skating comedy “Blades of Glory.” Daniels also reprised his voice role as KITT in the 2020 film “Superintelligence.”

Stage Career

Daniels acted in a variety of Broadway productions after making his debut in “Life with Father.” In the 1950s, he appeared in “Seagulls Over Sorrento” and “The Legend of Lizzie.” Daniels had his most prolific year on stage in the 1960s, appearing in such shows as “A Thousand Clowns,” “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” “Daphne in Cottage D,” and “1776.” Although he was nominated for a Tony Award for Featured Actor in a Musical for “1776,” he refused the nomination due to his insistence that his role of John Adams was a leading role and not a featured one.

SAG President

From 1999 to 2001, Daniels served as the president of the Screen Actors Guild, and helped to lead the union’s strike in 2000.

Personal Life & Real Estate

Daniels has been married to actress Bonnie Bartlett since 1951. The couple had a son in 1961 who passed away 24 hours after his birth. They went on to adopt two sons named Michael and Robert.

In October 1976, William and Bonnie paid $63,000 for a home in Studio City, California. Today this home is worth $2-3 million.

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