Best known for his work in film and television (most notably for his role as Dr. Mark Craig in St. Elsewhere), William Daniels began his career on the stage. His first Broadway appearance came in 1959 as Assistant D.A. Cooper in The Legend of Lizzie, a play about the trial of Lizzie Borden. Daniels made his first appearance in a Broadway musical in 1965 as Warren Smith in On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, by Alan Jay Lerner (book and lyrics) and Burton Lane (music).
In 1969, William Daniels played John Adams in the musical 1776. As one critic pointed out, Daniels was portraying an individual that everyone knew to be obnoxious. According to Clive Barnes, Daniels played the role “to the hilt . . . This is a beautiful mixture of pride, ambition, an almost priggish sense of justice and yet – the saving grace of his character – an ironic self-awareness . . . Also, notably, he still remains perfectly in character when he sings.”
William Daniels’s last Broadway appearance was as Frederik Egerman in the original production of Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, replacing Len Cariou for the last five months of the run.