William Daniels and Bonnie Bartlett, Hollywood’s golden couple, have been married for nearly seventy years. The couple’s 70th wedding anniversary occurred on June 30, 2021.
Bartlett acknowledged that their marriage would not have weathered the difficulties of the first decade had it not had ups and downs.
In addition to their lengthy relationship, Bartlett and Daniels are well-known as television performers. The pair portrayed Dr. Mark and Ellen Craig in the 1980s medical drama series “St. Elsewhere,” which aired from 1982 to 1988.
As George Feeny and Lila Bolander-turned-Feeny, they starred as romantic interests in the 1990s comedy “Boy Meets World.” Bartlett, a native of Wisconsin, has a seven-decade-long acting career spanning television, cinema, and the stage. From 1974 until 1983, she appeared in the renowned Western drama series “Little House on the Prairie,” which lasted for nine seasons.
She played the long-lost mother of actors Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger in the renowned film “Twins” and the mother of actor Tim Allen in the popular 1990s comedy “Home Improvement.”
The actress, who is now in her nineties, is a two-time Emmy Award winner. She is now starring in the highly regarded television series “Better Call Saul.”
In addition to appearing on television, Bartlett opted to publish a biography entitled “Middle of the Rainbow” about her lengthy career and love story.
Bartlett met her adored husband Daniels at Northwestern University, where they were both acting students. Daniels said in December 2020 that he clearly recalled their first encounter.
The pair met at a class where a play was being performed, and he described other pupils auditioning. Around that time, he heard someone conversing in the rear, and that person captured his attention.
The actor recalled going back to see who it was and catching his first sight of this wonderful blonde, referring to his 18-year-old future wife Bartlett, who eventually rejected him.
Daniels subsequently learned that Bartlett was interested in him prior to their initial meeting. She learned he was performing on Broadway and followed him around the school without his knowledge.
This admission was made during a joint interview with her spouse. The “Love Letters” actress said that she was not a “stalker” and that she never expected the New Yorker to fall for her.
Despite her misconception, Bartlett and Daniels wed in 1951. Later in his career, Daniels featured in famous films such as “The Graduate,” “Blue Lagoon,” and “1776.”
Daniels is well recognized for his distinctive voice work as “K.I.T.T.” on the action-drama television series “Knight Rider” from 1982 to 1986.
Yet, his turn as Mr. Feeny on “Boy Meets World” (1993–2000) remains, undoubtedly, one of the most memorable performances of his remarkable acting career.
In addition, he and his wife, who said that Daniels was her “first lover,” have remained together throughout his lengthy career despite their marital difficulties.
Bartlett said that she and the two-time Emmy Award winner had challenging moments in their marriage. Nonetheless, she feels grateful for the ordeal.
The television celebrity remarked that the most important aspect of a relationship was weathering the storm together and supporting one another. Bartlett stated that lovers must show their partners encouragement and “respect” for what they accomplish, and must eventually present a unified front.
Bartlett described in her book how she and Daniels suffered as newlyweds, including having adulterous relationships.
In 1959, Bartlett acknowledged having “a few-month-long affair” with a fellow actor. She said, however, that Daniels’ romance with a producer in the early 1970s devastated her.
This negative event provided her with a fresh perspective on their unstable relationship. She said that she could no longer accept any kind of open marriage at that point.
Bartlett noted that the couple’s marriage may have ended at any moment over those first ten years if they had fallen in love with other individuals. Thankfully, things never got to that point.
Bartlett noted that, despite facing a crossroads, she and Daniels were finally able to save their marriage by relocating to Hollywood.
In 1961, a decade after an extremely difficult era, Daniels and Bartlett gave birth to their first child, William Daniels Jr. The infant passed away 24 hours after his birth.
Later, in 1964, Bartlett and Daniels adopted their second child, a son Michael, followed by Robert in 1966.
While discussing the couple’s dramatic relocation to Hollywood, Bartlett stated Daniels convinced her to relocate against her will.
In addition, Bartlett said that at this time period Daniels began drinking excessively and would even drink after work. She often doubted he would return home, but he always did, to her amazement; yet, he did not give up his drinking habit.
Daniels, according to Bartlett, got excessively concerned with fame.
Bartlett then acknowledged that she had considered leaving Daniels since she wanted nothing to do with his addiction. She felt uncomfortable about removing their children from his custody.
Around that time, Daniels was working in Los Angeles, while Bartlett remained in New York with their children. Daniels remembers his parents’ assistance in his search for a new home as he contemplated relocating his family.
Daniels noted that performers may be recruited regardless of their location since firms will bring you out here to do the performance and return.
His wife’s niece sadly perished during a house search. The mother of 3 said that she cherished her. She was comparable to her daughter.
After the burial in Illinois, Daniels revealed that he and his wife had found a house for the family in Los Angeles. But, he minimized it by telling Bartlett that the residence would be temporary and that they would return to New York City after the summer.
The adoring father then presented the mom of his children to his agents, who seized the chance to send her to casting calls, where she won each one.
This worked to Daniel’s advantage, as the more acting jobs she landed, the more she learned to understand his vision for them. Bartlett ultimately opted to remain.
She informed her husband that she would rethink the relocation, yet that she and the couple’s boys would remain in New York and visit the property later.
Bartlett and the kids traveled to Los Angeles for the summer, where she and the boys had a great time. And since she was becoming more busy with acting opportunities, she opted to remain in Hollywood.
The choice of the family of four to migrate coincided with Bartlett’s landing a position on “Little House on the Prairie.”
In addition, the relocation did wonders for the couple’s marriage. Bartlett and Daniels reconnected after she admitted to hating him for months.
The pair continues to reside in the southern California property that Daniels purchased decades ago. Michael and Robert, their adult sons, often visit them and their numerous grandchildren and relatives.
Bartlett and Daniels have so far managed to live secluded lives. The matriarch of the family attributes the couple’s reluctance to accept random invitations from Hollywood to extremely close, intimate friends.
Bartlett said that she and her husband enjoy marital happiness at home, where they engage in routine activities. Most significantly, they love spending time together.
Once, Daniels was open about their connection. He added that their relationship is based on mutual respect, and he believes she is brighter and a better performer than him, so he simply tries to get along with her.
Daniels’s wife scoffed at the remark and said that he did not mean it. He subsequently acknowledged that he had made it up. In addition, Bartlett said that her partner brings daily delight into their house and divulged her admiration for the seasoned actor.
The actress from “Where Are My Children?” lauded the award-winning actor for his fatherly qualities. He is an excellent parent.
Bartlett recognized that she was “very grateful” that she was able to remain with the dad of her children despite their turbulent relationship over the years.
In October 2018, the couple encountered yet another obstacle when their home was tried to be burglarized. Cops said that the couple was at their house in the San Fernando Valley late at night when an intruder attempted to break through the rear door.
In response, the family patriarch activated the lights, causing the intruder to flee. Willie Friedle, co-star of “Boy Meets World,” tweeted in reaction to Daniels’ fast thinking, which prevented a home invasion: “Don’t ever mess with Mr. Feeny! #LoveYouBillAndBonnie.”
There have previously been media stories of celebrity-targeted crimes in the Hollywood couple’s area.
But law enforcement officials thought that the possible break was random. Hence, three days later, Daniels, 95, and Bartlett, 93, upgraded their home security by installing a new security system.