William Daniels & Wife Bonnie Reveal Their 'Favorite Thing About Each Other' After 70 Years of Marriage
"He makes me laugh," Bonnie Bartlett said of her husband William Daniels
On June 30, 2021, the couple will celebrate the 70-year anniversary of themselves tying the knot.
Ahead of their major marital milestone, the Boy Meets World actor and his Emmy-winning actress wife revealed their "favorite thing about each other" in a recent video interview with Forbes.
"I think our relationship is based on mutual respect and I think she is smarter than me, better actor than me, and so I just hang on, you know, and try to get along," Daniels, 93, said in the clip, shared to his Instagram account.
With a laugh, Bartlett, 91, chimed in, "He doesn't mean that at all!"
Added Daniels: "I'm an actor! I'm making it up as I go along."
As for Bartlett, she noted that her husband brings laughter into their home every day.
"He makes me laugh," she said of her favorite thing about Daniels. "His humor, his sense of humor and his ability during every day to find something funny is really good for me, because I'm very intense."
Bartlett, who adopted two sons — Michael and Robert — with Daniels, also praised his fatherhood skills, sharing, "So I honestly would say that and being a great father – he's a great father."
Speaking with PEOPLE in 2017, the couple opened up about their marriage — and Bartlett's decision to stay committed to their relationship, though she was at one point "ready to leave" after the death of her niece.
"You insisted we come to Hollywood and I didn't want to. It was at a very tough time. I'd lost my niece," Bartlett reminded Daniels at the time.
She went on to explain that "we had gotten through a lot. But he really was starting to drink a lot. And he was drinking after the show. Sometimes you didn't know — I mean I didn’t know if he was going to come home or not. He did always, but he was drinking. And god knows what else he was doing. And I, after the show — and he was into that whole I'm a star kind of thing. You know, he got into that."
"And I thought, 'I want no part of this.' I was very confused because there was no way I wanted to take the boys away from him. No way. And so I thought, well — I was pondering it," she said about leaving Daniels.
At the time, Daniels had come out to Los Angeles for work while Bartlett remained in New York.
"I came out and of course my father and mother were out here, so they showed me around looking at places because in those days, they would hire you even if you were in New York and they'd transport you out here to do the show and back," Daniels remembered.
Tragically, her niece "was killed," Bartlett explained. "And I adored her. She was liked a daughter to me."
The couple met up for the funeral in Illinois, where Daniels told Bartlett about a house he'd found in L.A. "I got her to come out here on the proposition that it will just be for the summer. And then we can go back to New York. But then I introduced her to my agents, and they started sending her out. She got it all. Every time she went out, she got the job. So she began to change her mind."
"I decided I had to stay with him," said Bartlett.
She went on to explain: "I said, 'Okay, I'll look at it.' I said, 'The boys and I are going to stay in New York, but we'll come and look at it.' So we went there in the summer and we enjoyed it and the boys had a good time. And he sent me to his agent and I started to work a lot. So from then on, I thought, 'Oh, well I'm going to stay here. I can work.' "
Relocating from N.Y. to L.A., Bartlett scored a running part on Little House on the Prairie.
"Suddenly, working like that and living in a little house in the valley with the boys and finding a nice school for them and everything, I sort of connected with him again. It took a little while — it took about a year of really hating him," she admitted about Daniels.
"I wasn't aware of that," Daniels said to Bartlett, who told him: "Well, you were, but you weren't."
"I was, but I wasn't? You were crazy about me," said Daniels.
Despite the painful season that Bartlett faced, she is "very glad — I've always been very glad — that I stayed."
"And that we have had this long marriage and now I'm totally, I mean, we totally respect and adore each other," she told PEOPLE. "We're together all the time."