Bill Dana was an actor, comedian and writer best known for playing the earnest character José Jiménez, which Dana premiered on The Steve Allen Plymouth Show — where he also worked as an Emmy-nominated head writer — and continued to play on his own series, The Bill Dana Show.
Dana also appeared as the Jiménez character, whom he often portrayed as an astronaut, on The Ed Sullivan Show, The Steve Allen Plymouth Show, Swinging Spiketaculars, The Spike Jones Show, Make Room for Daddy, The Red Skelton Hour, Batman, The Hollywood Palace, The Bob Hope Show and The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.
Additionally, he had roles on the series The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Get Smart, Police Woman, McMillan & Wife, Vega$, Fantasy Island, Too Close for Comfort, Zorro and Son, The Facts of Life, St. Elsewhere, Lenny, The Golden Girls and Empty Nest.
As a writer, Dana penned episodes of Chico and the Man, Donny and Marie, Matlock and a memorable 1972 episode of All in the Family in which Sammy Davis Jr. plants a kiss on Carroll O'Connor’s character, Archie Bunker.
Dana and a fellow alumnus founded the American Comedy Archives at Emerson College.
He died on June 15, 2017, in Nashville, Tennessee. He was 92.