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Bonnie Bartlett Says She Cheated on William Daniels for Years

Actress Bonnie Bartlett Daniels, who has been a part of Hollywood for almost a century, recently published her memoir, “Middle of The Rainbow.” In the memoir, she recounts the story of her life and career, which includes many notable roles on stage, in film, and on television. Such roles include playing Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s mother in “Twins,” Tim Allen’s mom in “Home Improvement,” and William Daniels’ love interest on “Boy Meets World.” The memoir also delves into her life as a mother and her decision with her husband, William Daniels, to adopt their two sons, Michael and Robert. She also opens up about the hardships she faced, including sexual assault by her father and a co-star while she was a young woman. But the biggest revelation was the detail about the infidelity that marked the initial years of her marriage. Join FactsVerse as we discover the highs and lows of this Hollywood couple.

Infidelity on both sides.

Bonnie Bartlett Daniels and William Daniels’ marriage was hardly a fairy tale, according to Bonnie’s candid recollections in her new memoir. The two actors married in 1951 and have been together for 72 years, but their relationship had its fair share of ups and downs. Bonnie revealed that their marriage started out as an open one, a common practice at the time in New York where people were very free with sex. However, it was a painful experience for Bonnie, as she felt there was a lack of commitment. She also confessed to having an affair with another actor in 1959, which lasted for a few months.

The early 1970s marked a turning point in their relationship. William had an affair with a New York-based producer, and Bonnie was devastated. It changed her perspective on their marriage, and she could no longer tolerate any kind of open arrangement. Despite these setbacks, they managed to overcome their issues and learned to embrace the ever-evolving nature of their relationship. According to Bonnie, life is all about solving problems, and they had a good relationship despite William being an angry young man.

In spite of facing challenges, including infidelity, she reflects that it was necessary to go through those tough times. She believes that experiencing those difficulties helped their relationship grow stronger over time. Bonnie also acknowledges that when they first got together, she was only 18 years old and Daniels was her first boyfriend. Ever since then, the couple always loved each other deeply and remained committed to being there for each other through thick and thin.

About their greatest and lowest moments in marriage

Bonnie had met Daniels at a young age while they were both attending Northwestern University as students. It wasn’t long before the couple fell in love, and this coming June, they will celebrate their 72nd wedding anniversary.

When asked about their greatest moments and lower points throughout their nearly three-quarters of a century together, Bonnie revealed that the very beginning of their relationship was the greatest point. She described how they were so suited for each other, and from the time they met, they were never apart.

However, the lowest point of their marriage turned out to be a turning point for Bonnie and Daniels. Bonnie discovered that Daniels had a year-long relationship with a producer who wanted him to direct a play, which left Bonnie feeling betrayed and angry. She said she was so happy with her boys that she decided to leave the marriage, and Daniels moved to California. But then, Daniels surprised Bonnie by inviting her and their sons to California for the summer, and it turned out to be a life-changing decision for Bonnie. Daniels sent her to his agent, who recognized her talent as a dramatic actress, and soon, she began receiving offers for various acting jobs.

One of Bonnie’s most memorable roles for fans is her performance as Barbara Thorndyke on The Golden Girls. Her character was a longtime friend of Dorothy, played by the late Bea Arthur, who eventually realizes the rude and self-absorbed ways of Bonnie’s character. Even though Bonnie had experienced some low points in her marriage, her positive attitude and perseverance helped her overcome those difficult moments,

About William Daniels

William Daniels is a name that resonates with multiple generations of audiences, thanks to his iconic roles on stage, in film, and on television. From Mr. Feeny in “Boy Meets World” to John Adams in “1776” and Dr. Mark Craig in “St. Elsewhere,” Daniels has carved a niche for himself as a versatile actor. He has even lent his recognizable voice to a talking Pontiac Trans Am called KITT in the television series “Knight Rider.” But at the age of 95, Daniels has decided to take a step back from his celebrated career and enjoy the simpler things in life.

In a recent exclusive interview with a news outlet, Daniels shared that he is very happy having a comfortable way of life now without having to perform or do anything stressful. Currently, Daniels is living with his wife of 70 years, Bonnie Bartlett, in their southern California home, where they enjoy their days together.

When asked how they have managed to stay together for 70 years, Bartlett said that they have hurt each other over time, but they have recovered, grown, changed, and adapted to each other. She believes that it takes years to build a real companionship marriage and that you have to be able to adapt to the other person and think of them first. Daniels added that at the beginning of their relationship, he struggled to find work and was difficult to live with because of his uncertainty, but over time, he learned to respect his wife and her feelings and try to be as easy to live with as possible.

According to Bartlett, Daniels’ favorite role was playing John Adams in the musical 1776. The Tony Award-winning musical first premiered on Broadway in 1969, and Daniels played the Founding Father in that production. He later reprised the role in the 1972 film adaptation, which was produced by retired former president of Warner Bros., Jack L. Warner, and Columbia Pictures with a budget of four million dollars.

Revelations of her sexual assaults.

Bonnie Bartlett, an accomplished actress with over six decades in the entertainment industry, is not just known for her acting prowess but also for her bravery in speaking up about sexual assault. In her book, she shares accounts of the sexual abuse she endured as a young girl and a young woman. Based on her experiences, Bonnie explained what she felt was the reason for the rampant sexual harassment during the 1950s and earlier, and how the culture and societal norms at the time contributed to it.

She believes that one of the reasons for the prevalence of sexual harassment during that era was the culture itself. Men were always encouraged to behave this way, and women had allowed it. Mothers played a significant role in this as well. Bonnie explained that mothers should not have allowed this type of behavior to continue, and should have taught their daughters to stand up for themselves. She further explained that in a male-dominated society, men always got preference with education, and there was something in the male that wanted to be powerful, to be number one. Women were often expected to vote the way their husbands voted, without any consideration for their own opinions.

Despite her experiences, Bonnie remains optimistic about the future and the younger generations. She believes that young women are much healthier today because they have a better understanding of their rights and know they can stand up for themselves. They are not afraid to say “No, you’re not allowed to do that!” when faced with inappropriate behavior.

Tragic moment

Apart from coping with extramarital affairs, the couple was also faced with a heart-wrenching tragedy. In 1961, the renowned Twins actress delivered their son William Jr. Unfortunately, their joy was short-lived as the newborn passed away within a day of his birth. Despite this profound loss, Daniels and Bartlett remained determined to experience the joys of parenthood. In 1964 and 1966, they adopted Michael and Robert, respectively, who would go on to become integral members of their family.

Another particular incident left the couple reeling with fear, just after they had welcomed their two precious sons. While enjoying a day at a bustling New York public beach, their young Robert suddenly vanished into thin air, leaving Bonnie and Daniels petrified. Paralyzed with fear, she could barely move until a compassionate woman, who she later became friends with approached her. She offered comfort and assured her that no one could take the child away. Taking matters into her own hands, the stranger gallantly searched for the missing toddler while Bartlett remained frozen. Miraculously, within fifteen minutes, the woman reappeared, accompanied by a police car and Robert.

While Daniels has his imperfections, Bartlett couldn’t help but express her admiration for her husband’s outstanding parenting skills in a January 2021 interview with People. William Daniels, she explained, was a fantastic father who had always been there for their family.

Bonnie’s journey in Hollywood is full of highs and lows. She has experienced love and infidelity, success and rejection, and has emerged as a strong and inspiring woman. When asked about a bit of advice she would give to someone just starting out in the industry, Bonnie highlighted the importance of being a well-rounded person. She emphasized being not just a good actress, but also a good wife, a good mom, and a good citizen. Reflecting on her own experiences, Bonnie recognized that while acting was her passion, it was also essential to cultivate meaningful relationships and make a positive impact on society. Bonnie’s life serves as a reminder that success and fulfillment are not solely defined by one’s career, but rather by a well-rounded and meaningful existence.

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