Tuesday, January 24, 2012



Barbara Eden (born August 23, 1934) is an American film and television actress and singer who is best known for her starring role in thesitcom I Dream of Jeannie.

Early years

Eden was born Barbara Jean Morehead in Tucson, Arizona, the daughter of Alice Mary (née Franklin) and Hubert Henry Morehead. Her parents divorced when she was three; she and her mother Alice moved to San Francisco where later her mother married Harrison Connor Huffman, a telephone lineman. The Great Depression deeply affected the Huffman family, and as they were unable to afford many luxuries, Barbara's mother entertained the children by singing songs. This musical background left a lasting impression on the actress, who began taking acting classes because she felt it might help her improve her singing.
Her first public performance was singing in the church choir. She was always doing the solos. When she was 14 she was singing in local bands for $10 a night in night clubs. At age 16 she became a member of Actor's Equity. She studied singing at the Conservatory of Music in San Francisco and acting with the Elizabeth Holloway School of Theatre. She graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School in San Francisco in 1949 and studied theater for one year at City College of San Francisco. Then she was elected Miss San Francisco in 1951. Barbara also entered the Miss California pageant, but did not win.

TV And Film Roles
Eden made featured appearances on television shows such as The Johnny Carson Show (as "Barbara Morehead" and "Barbara Huffman"),The West Point StoryHighway PatrolPrivate SecretaryI Love LucyThe MillionaireTarget: The Corruptors!CrossroadsPerry MasonGunsmokeDecember BrideBachelor FatherFather Knows BestAdventures in ParadiseThe Andy Griffith ShowCain's HundredSaints and SinnersThe VirginianSlattery's PeopleThe Rogues, and the series finale ofRoute 66 playing the role of Margo.
She guest starred in four episodes of Burke's Law playing different roles each time. She was an uncredited extra in the movie The Tarnished Angels with Rock Hudson, in partnership with 20th Century Fox studios. She then starred in the syndicated comedy How To Marry A Millionaire. The show was based on the film of the same name.

Discovery in the Hollywood sense came when she starred in a play with James Drury. Film director Mark Robson, who later directed her in the movie From The Terrace, had come to the play and wanted her for 20th Century Fox studios. Her screen test was the Joanne Woodward role in No Down Payment. Though she did not get the role, the studio gave her a contract. Eden did a screen test for the role of Betty Anderson in 1956 for the movie Peyton Place, though Terry Moore got the role. She had minor roles in Bailout At 43,000Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? and The Wayward Girl, and then became a leading lady in films and starred opposite Gary CrosbyBarry Coe, and Sal Mineo in A Private's Affair, and had a costarring role in Flaming Star (1960), with Elvis Presley.
The following year, she played in a supporting role as Lt. Cathy Connors in Irwin Allen's Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. She starred in The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm aGeorge Pal-directed Cinerama film for MGM, and another Irwin Allen production for 20th Century Fox Five Weeks in a Balloon (1962). Eden was also the female lead in the 1962 20th Century Fox comedy Swingin' Along, starring the comedy team of Tommy Noonan and Peter Marshall, in their final joint screen appearance. She did a screen test with Andy Williamsfor the 20th Century Fox movie State Fair, but didn't get the role.

Her last film for 20th Century Fox was The Yellow Canary (1963). She left Fox studios (due to budget cuts) and began guest-starring in shows such as Saints And Sinners and also doing films for MGM, Universal, and Columbia. She played supporting roles over the next few years, including The Brass Bottle, and the notable, if odd, movie 7 Faces of Dr. Lao, both with Tony Randall. In The New Interns, she co-starred with Michael Callan. Then she signed to become "Jeannie," a genie in a bottle rescued by an astronaut in the television sitcom I Dream of Jeannie. She played this role for five years and 139 episodes. Eden also played Jeannie's sister in nine episodes and Jeannie's mother in two.
After that, Eden did an unaired pilot, The Barbara Eden Show, and another pilot, The Toy Game. She also began starring in and sometimes producing a string of successful made-for-TV movies, making at least one a year for one of the networks and they all were top-rated. Her first TV movie was called The Feminist And The Fuzz. Although best known for comedy, most were dramas, as when she starred with her "Jeannie" co-star Larry Hagman in A Howling in the Woods (1971). She starred in The Woman Hunter (1972) withRobert Vaughn, an earlier co-star from Gunsmoke. In The Stranger Within (1974), Eden plays unwitting housewife Ann Collins, who becomes one of many earthling women that are extraterrestrially impregnated. Like the mother-to-be in Rosemary's Baby, Ann develops unusual prenatal cravings (in this case, coffee grounds instead of blood-rare meat). The screenplay was written by Richard Matheson and directed by Lee Philips.
Eden played Liz Stonestreet, a former policewoman now private detective investigating the disappearance of a missing heiress in a critically acclaimed TV movie Stonestreet: Who Killed The Centerfold Model? (1977) co starring Louise LathamJames IngersollElaine GiftosAnn Dusenberry. and Sally Kirkland. She played Lee Rawlins, a woman who worked at a department store, in the ABC TV movie The Girls in The Office (1979) and starred in and co-produced with her own production company (MI-Bar Productions) the NBC TV movie romantic comedy The Secret Life Of Kathy McCormick (1988) about "a simple grocery clerk, finds her way into her local high society and the life of a wealthy suitor who thinks she's a stockbroker." In addition, she starred in and produced the romantic comedy TV movie Opposites Attract (1990) co-starring John Forsythe, their first joint screen appearance since her guest-starring role in a 1957 episode of his Bachelor Father TV series.

I Dream of Jeannie

Eden starred in I Dream of Jeannie as Jeannie, a genie set free from her bottle by astronaut and USAF captain (later major) Anthony Nelson, played byLarry Hagman (played by Wayne Rogers in I Dream of Jeannie: 15 Years Later). She was initially passed over for the role as she was blonde and of small stature, but Sidney Sheldon called on her when he was unable to find a suitable brunette to play the part. I Dream of Jeannie was a mild success in the ratings, and it ran from 1965 until 1970, and during this time Eden was nominated twice for Golden Globe Awards. She later reprised her Jeannie role in two made-for-TV reunion movies (I Dream of Jeannie: 15 Years Later in 1985 and I Still Dream of Jeannie in 1991), and in the last scene of the theatrical movie A Very Brady Sequel. She also has played Jeannie in many TV commercials (AT&TLexusOld Navy). I Dream of Jeannie has gone on to international syndication.

Later Career

She continued to appear regularly on stage starring in the play Blithe Spirit and in television specials like Telly...Who Loves Ya Baby? with Telly Savalasand The Best Of Everything with Hal Linden and Dorothy Loudon.

In 1978 she starred in the feature film Harper Valley PTA based on the popular country song. This led to a namesake television series in 1981; in both the movie and the TV series, she played the show's heroine, Stella Johnson. The show won 11 of its 13 time slots during its first season. It was a comedy version of Peyton Place with Anne Francine playing wealthy villain Flora Simpson Reilly. In one episode Stella dressed in a blue and gold genie costume and in another she played both Stella and her cousin Della Smith (similar to Jeannie's evil twin-sister character). The show Harper Valley PTAbegan January 16, 1981, and was renamed simply Harper Valley when the show began its second season on October 29, 1981. The show ran until August 14, 1982, producing 29 episodes for NBC and Universal MCA, which were rerun in 2000 by TV Land.

In 1990, Eden had a recurring role of a billionairess seeking revenge against JR Ewing in five episodes of the final season of Dallas, playing the captivating character Lee Ann De La Vega, reuniting her with her I Dream of Jeannie co-star Hagman. In her final episode the character admits that her maiden name was "Lee Ann Nelson," which was a production gag as "Nelson" was the surname of Hagman's character, and Eden's character's married name in I Dream of Jeannie.
From April 3 through September 16, 1984, Eden starred in the Lee Guber and Shelly Gross national production of the John Kander and Fred Ebb Tony Award-winning musical comedy Woman Of The Year, playing the role of Tess Harding Craig, alongside Don Chastain (as Sam Craig), and Marilyn Cooper (as Jan Donovan, reprising her Tony Award-winning role).
In 1991 she starred in the stage play Same Time, Next Year with Wayne Rogers, and reprised her role of Jeannie in a television movie of the week. In 1993 she starred in an 11 city national tour of the play Last Of The Red Hot Lovers with Don Knotts. She also made three guest appearances in the last few seasons of Sabrina, the Teenage Witch as the evil family matriarch, Great Aunt Irma.

Eden has starred in such musical comedies as Nite Club Confidential (playing the role of Kay Goodman, in 1996), The Sound Of Music,Annie Get Your Gun , South Pacific with Robert GouletThe Pajama Game with John Raitt, and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes playing Lorelei Lee. She has been a musical guest star in many variety television shows, including 21 Bob Hope specials, The Carol Burnett ShowThe Jonathan Winters ShowThe Jerry Lewis ShowThis is Tom Jones showTony Orlando and Dawn, and Donny and Marie. She released an album entitled Miss Barbara Eden in 1967, for the record label Dot Records. She recorded three songs in 1978 for the Harper Valley P.T.A. Soundtrack.
Prior to the release of Eden's 2011 autobiography, Eden then appearing on the Bob Hope NBC Christmas Special in December, 1985, made an unofficial announcement for the publication of her autobiographical book Barbara Eden: My Story, that was scheduled to be released in 1989. Although issued an ISBN number 978-0025349308 for cataloging, Barbara Eden: My Story was not mass-produced. One reason may be due to content disputes between the publisher and Eden.

She received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in the spring of 1990 from the University of West Los Angeles School of Law. On November 17, 1988, she received the honor of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame sidewalk for her contributions to television at 2003 Hollywood Boulevard.
From 2000 until 2004, Eden starred in the national touring production of the play, The Odd Couple ... The Female Version, playing the role of Florence Unger opposite Rita MacKenzie as Olive Madison.
In March 2006, Eden reunited with her former I Dream Of Jeannie co-star Larry Hagman for a publicity tour in New York City to promote the first season DVD of I Dream Of Jeannie. They appeared together on such shows as Good Morning AmericaThe ViewMarthaAccess HollywoodEntertainment Tonight, and Showbiz Tonight.
In March 2006, Hagman and Eden also reunited, this time onstage in New York, for Love Letters at the College of Staten Island and at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York. This was Eden's first visit to the Academy since appearing in The West Point Story in 1956.

Eden's most recent work was starring in the play Love Letters with Hal Linden, and a guest-starring role on the Lifetime series Army Wives, written and produced by her niece,Katherine Fugate. In December 2008 she began filming the TV Movie Always and Forever for the Hallmark Channel that was shown in October 2009.
In April 2009 she began hosting a national touring production of Ballroom With A Twist a live theater show from Louis van Amstel of Dancing with the Stars. On May 7, 2009, she appeared on Fox News Channel's Hannity, as a member of the "Great American Panel

She was not allowed to show her belly button on "I Dream of Jeannie" (1965) because of NBC's "No Navel Edict".
She also double rolled, a few times, as Jeannie, her title roll, and her identical twin sister, Jeannie II, in "I Dream of Jeannie" (1965). Their only differences were opposite personalities and each one's hair color. Jeannie is a blonde and Jeannie II is a brunette.
Son, Matthew Ansara, (b. 29 August 1965).
Shortly after shooting began on the pilot episode for "I Dream of Jeannie" (1965), it was learned that she was pregnant. Director Gene Nelson invented a shot he playfully called the "ATB" ("Above the Baby"). "Sometimes," he stated, "We'd have to follow Jeannie's arm across the room".

On Monday, June 25th, 2001, her son Matthew Ansara (with first husband Michael Ansara) died of an accidental drug overdose. He was 35. His body was found in his car in a parking lot off a freeway in Los Angeles.
Measurements: 36B-24-36 (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine).
She did a screen test in May, 1960 for State Fair (1962).
After "I Dream of Jeannie" (1965) she had a nightclub act for a while. She was actually a talented singer, and she performed various kinds of songs in her act.

She's directly descended from American founding father Benjamin Franklin.
As a child, she had to wear glasses, an eye patch and pigtails. Because of this, she became very shy. To help overcome her shyness, her mother had Barbara get singing lessons.
Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Lucille Ball became her mentor and wanted to put Barbara under contract, Barbara signed with 20th Century Fox, instead.
Her grandfather, Charles Benjamin Franklin, was born in Germantown, Pennsylvania in 1870.
Her grandmother, Frances Elvira O'Leary Franklin, was born in 1879 in Galena, Nevada.
Owns a chocolate Labradoodle named Djinn-Djinn (The dog is named after Jeannie's dog on "I Dream of Jeannie" (1965)).
Portrayed by Paris Hilton on "American Dreams" (2002).

Personal Quotes
I don't know what I am doing from one moment to the next. I like that not knowing because it's always a surprise. You don't know what's around the corner, you know what role am I going to play next and who am I going to be working with. It's like opening a present.
I played the Marilyn Monroe role of "Loco" in "How to Marry a Millionaire" (1957), though I didn't consider myself as that kind of actress, I approached the role more as a character.
Every New Year's I resolve to have a better year than I had before.
If gentlemen prefer blondes then I'm a blonde that prefers gentlemen.

Eden Today
Out of all the actors I have worked with, I love working with Larry Hagman the most. We were very close and it was just a wonderful time.
I've never stopped working. If you're active, you can appreciate what you did in the past, you don't feel like it's gone.
Work makes me feel productive, as though I'm contributing something. I like being productive and feeling productive.

Advice to present-day actors linked to a particular role: I would embrace the character, because it won't do any good if you don't. And another thing: Don't whine or talk trash about it. I don't think you ever demean to your public what you've done. You're insulting them if you demean your work.
On Jeannie: She's very easy to live with. Actually I think I'm more restricted by her now than when she was on the air, or 20 years after. I was just so busy.

Mykie Note:  I can remember running home after school when I was in elementary school to watch I DREAM OF JEANIE.  It was in reruns at the  time of course, but I wouldn't have known that. She was one of my huge boyhood crushes. I think i was attracted to the show because it was very gay and camp. and at the time being an 8-9 year old kid, I think it resonated with me.
Looking back I understand why.  As a makeup artist I love they way Barbara did her makeup. even today she still works her face the same way, a truly 60's eye.
as usual i will include my favorite films from Barbara Eden...enjoy  xoxox


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  2. She was my dream....and to this day she wakes the passion in me!

  3. BE is was a hard working lady, non-stop.

  4. BE is was a hard working lady, non-stop.


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