If fans of Boy Meets World have learned anything over the years, its that whenever trouble occurs, you can always count on Mr. Feeny to sort it out — even in his own backyard. On Saturday, Oct. 27, William Daniels, who played Mr. Feeny on the '90 sitcom, stopped an attempted burglary by scaring an intruder away from his home.
According to ABC Eyewitness News, the 91-year-old actor was at home with his wife, Bonnie Barlett, when an intruder attempted to force open the back door around 9:30 p.m., LAPD reports. When Daniels heard the noise, he sprang into action and turned on the lights in his house, which was enough to scare the suspect away, before he called the police over to his home to investigate. Though there have been a recent string of robberies targeting celebrities in the Los Angeles area, the LAPD told ABC that they don't believe that this incident was related.
Daniels' publicist confirmed the incident to Bustle on Tuesday, Oct. 30, saying in a statement:
"Someone tried to break in to the home of Mr. and Mrs. William Daniels on Saturday evening. Luckily, Mr. Daniels was able to frighten away the person and the LAPD quickly responded. They are both well. Mr Daniels thanks all his fans for their concern."
After the news broke on Tuesday, Daniels' Boy Meets World co star, Will Fridle — whose character, Eric Matthews, famously coined the "Feeny Call" that the show was known for — tweeted out his own message of support for the legendary actor. "Don't ever mess with Mr. Feeny!" Fridle wrote, adding, "#LoveYouBillAndBonnie."
Daniels played Mr. Feeny, the wise, comforting and endlessly supportive teacher and later, principal, of Cory Matthews (Ben Savage), Shawn Hunter (Rider Strong), and Topanga Lawrence (Danielle Fishel) for seven seasons on Boy Meets World. Over the course of the show's run he became an iconic sitcom character, equally at home doling out life-changing advice to his students as he was dancing around the stage at a nightclub in an elaborate apology attempt.
"Mr. Feeny’s appeal was due to the fact that he was a friend, a mentor, and an advisor all rolled into one," Daniels himself wrote in his memoir, via Vulture, There I Go Again: How I Came to Be Mr. Feeny, John Adams, Dr. Craig, KITT, and Many Others, which was published in 2017. "I still get fan mail to this day from (now-grown) fans who tell me how important the show and the role I played were to them in their formative years. ... Even parents have thanked me for the part I played in a show they felt comfortable having their children watch."
Daniels made such an impact as Mr. Feeny that his presence was strongly felt in Boy Meet's World's 2014 spinoff and sequel, Girl Meets World, which aired over three season on the Disney Channel. Though he only appeared very briefly on the show, which chronicled the life of Cory and Topanga's daughter, Riley (Rowan Blanchard), Mr. Feeny's advice and support were carried through to the next generation.
Daniels has also starred in other famous projects, including the medical drama St. Elsewhere, for which he won two Emmy Awards, and Knight Rider, where he provided the voice for KITT, the talking car at the center of the plot.
However, none of his roles have remained as unforgettable for '90s kids as Mr. Feeny — so much so, that when news of the attempted burglary broke, many people on social media theorized that if the intruder had sat down with Daniels, they would have had their life changed by everyone's favorite TV teacher.
May this be a lesson to everyone out there: Be kind, do good, and don't ever mess with Mr. Feeny.