William Daniels, 'Boy Meets World's Mr. Feeny, Shares Why He Took the Role After Turning It Down

This video is unavailable because we were unable to load a message from our sponsors.

If you are using ad-blocking software, please disable it and reload the page.

Acclaimed Boy Meets World actor William Daniels shared the origin story of his iconic Mr. Feeny character on this week's episode of the Pod Meets World rewatch podcast, and it turns out the beloved teacher almost never came to be.

It seems Boy Meets World creator Michael Jacobs offered Daniels the role, but the casting journey didn't stop there. 

"I asked for a meeting because I turned it down, and they wanted to know why," Daniels told the three hosts and the show's former stars, Rider Strong, Danielle Fishel and Will Friedle. "I said, 'Well, that's a funny name and I don't want to make fun of teachers. I respect them and they’re underpaid.'"

Daniels joined the podcast hosts with his wife of over 70 years, actress Bonnie Bartlett. They both recalled Jacobs telling Daniels that Mr. Feeny wouldn't be a caricatured role, and it was actually based on a real-life mentor from when Jacobs was in high school. 

"I realized the part would be treated with respect," Daniels said. But even then he wasn't convinced.

Bartlett and the podcast hosts also recalled memories from the show's disastrous first table read in which Mr. Feeny's portrayal still wasn't up to snuff. Bartlett remembered her husband threatening to leave, but Jacobs rewrote the pilot in time to save the day.  

Mr. Feeny went on to become one of television's most famous teachers, and his character lives on even today. Daniels recalled one memory of running away from a group of children in New York City. 

"A bunch of kids got off the bus and they said, 'Mr. Feeny!' And they came running, and I ran around the block," he shared while laughing at the memory with the whole group. 


'Boy Meets World' Cast on Reuniting for Rewatch Podcast and the Show's Biggest Moments (Exclusive)

Emmys 2022: 'Abbott Elementary' Cast React to Historic Nominations

Emmy Nominations 2022: The Biggest Snubs and Surprises

Related Gallery