William Daniels The Actor

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John Adams, 1776

Theater, 1969-1972 | Film, 1972

The Broadway musical was my most demanding role. I am still proud of it, despite the failure to nominate me for a Best Actor Tony because, due to a technicality in those days, my name was not above the title. The film has proved to be popular with high school history classes and the movie has become a July 4th iconic event. Sort of.

I had nine songs and two were solos. I never left the stage. I became the driving force in a successful Broadway musical, something I never thought possible.

I worked on a regular basis with the vocal coach Keith Davis who was famous for working with actors in Broadway musicals and literally saving their voices with proper breathing, support and placement. During the ensuing long run I would, by Sunday after eight performances, have no voice left. Keith, with a series of exercises, would get my vocal folds in contact again in time for Monday night's performances. This became my routine, twice a week, Monday and Thursday.