William Daniels The Actor

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Mr. Feeny, Boy Meets World

Television, 1993-2000

I almost quit after the first table reading for this youth-oriented sitcom because creator Michael Jacobs had to remove some of my best lines in a fight with an ABC executive. Jacobs rewrote the script. I stayed. The show became a hit. My character is now an icon for an entire generation.

This was a huge change from playing Dr. Mark Craig on St. Elsewhere. Dr. Craig was never the sort of man from whom young people sought warm counsel. That sort of advice seemed foreign coming out of me, but Michael explained that was exactly why he wanted me in the role. The combination of prickly rectitude and fatherly concern was irresistible to viewers.

Mr. Feeny began the series as a sixth grade teacher, then metamorphosed into a high school teacher and principal, and a college professor as his students, led by Ben Savage playing Cory Matthews, grew older. The series’ final scene still brings tears. Mr. Feeny says good-bye to the young people, refusing to say he loves them until they have all left the room.