Wednesday, March 1, 2017

There I Go Again: How I Came to Be Mr. Feeny, John Adams, Dr. Craig, KITT, and Many Others by William Daniels - Book Review

30838588There I Go Again: How I Came to Be Mr. Feeny, John Adams, Dr. Craig, KITT, and Many Others by William Daniels

Published March 1st 2017 by Potomac Books

There I Go Again is a celebrity memoir like no other, revealing the life of a man whose acting career has been so rich that millions of Americans know his face even while they might not recognize his name.

William Daniels is an enigma—a rare chameleon who has enjoyed massive success both in Hollywood and on Broadway and been embraced by fans of successive generations. Few of his peers inspire the fervor with which buffs celebrate his most iconic roles, among them George Feeny in 
Boy Meets World, KITT in Knight Rider, Dr. Mark Craig in St. Elsewhere, and John Adams in the play and film 1776.

Daniels guides readers through some of Hollywood’s most cherished productions, offering recollections of entertainment legends including Lauren Bacall, Warren Beatty, Kirk Douglas, Michael Douglas, Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Mike Nichols, Jason Robards, Barbra Streisand, and many more.

Looking back on his seventy-five-plus-year career, Daniels realizes that although he never had the courage to say “no” to being an actor, he backed into stardom. With his wife, actress Bonnie Bartlett, by his side, he came to realize that he wound up exactly where he was supposed to be: on the screen and stage.

William Daniels will be 90 at the end of this month. I was unaware of that fact until I got to the end of this book and he mentioned almost being 90. I guess he's one of the few that I've always considered timeless.

I am of the Boy Meets World generation (I tried watching the spin-off but kept forgetting and would miss multiple episodes) and that is why I know who William Daniels even is. (Unlike my 10th grade history teacher who said he was the principle from Saved by the Bell when she made us watch 1776). He is someone I grew up with and still makes appearances whenever I find reruns.

He is not someone I would have ever associated with the "long" past. Working with Kirk Douglas, Audrey Hepburn or going to gatherings where Marilyn Monroe shows up is not how I ever thought of him. Of course as I already said I only knew him from the one show so it's not like I thought too much about it but I just feel like that's a different time.

And that's what I really enjoyed about this book. We're taken back into time, to things that really weren't that long ago. I find it pretty special to have the stories from firsthand sources, everything moves so fast now that it's great to see everything that was before what we know now. I love his style of telling his story, he's not trying to tell you a story, just what happened.

"This is how it is, this is what I thought about it." And many hindsight thoughts of everything he learned from those experiences.

William Daniels is not like other actors, he wasn't "discovered" nor was it his dream, he was pretty much thrown into it at a very young age by his mother. Therefore this isn't like other actors stories. As someone who was once a film student and met many people with different aspirations for the field I always say they had stars in their eyes, and I don't think Daniels ever did have those stars. He just did it to do it, maybe to be a part of the creation of something.
He never had those "stars" and kept it real, there's no camouflaging the truth to make him look good, it's just an honest story of his life in show business. 

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