Aug. 23rd, 1934
Tucson, Arizona, USA
Barbara Eden's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Barbara Eden (born August 23, 1934) is an American film, stage, and television actress and singer. She is best known for her starring role of "Jeannie" in the sitcom I Dream of Jeannie.
Born Barbara Jean Morehead, in Tucson, Arizona. Eden was a cheerleader in high school and a pop singer as a teenager. She graduated in 1949 from Abraham Lincoln High School in San Francisco, California.
Eden is most indelibly associated with her role as the genie in the bottle in the long-running TV sitcom I Dream of Jeannie (1965), co-starring 'Larry Hagman'. In I Dream of Jeannie (1965), Major Anthony Nelson (Hagman) is a NASA astronaut who finds a decorative pink bottle on a desert island after he splashes down in the ocean. The bottle has a beautiful blond genie in it (Eden), who immediately assumes that Nelson is her master. He brings her home to live in Cocoa Beach, Florida. In each episode, the forbidden use of Jeannie's well-meaning mystical powers alters reality in some wacky way that must be carefully explained away by Nelson. No other person knows of Jeannie's existence except for Nelson's bumbling friend, Major Roger Healey. Together, they conspire to keep her secret from everyone else, especially from Nelson's commanding officers at NASA. The sitcom gained a cult following, and Eden still appears from time to time in commercials and cameos that poke gentle fun at her former role.
Before focusing on a TV career, Eden had parts in a series of unremarkable films in the 1950s and 1960s. Her first film role was in Back from Eternity (1956). In 1957, she starred on TV in How to Marry a Millionaire (1957) and after I Dream of Jeannie (1965) successful five year run from 1965 to 1970, she starred in Harper Valley P.T.A. (1981-82). She published her autobiography, Barbara Eden: My Story, in October 1986. In 1997, Columbia announced plans to produce a big-screen episode of I Dream of Jeannie. Eden was slated to make a cameo appearance as the new Jeannie's aunt. The film, originally scheduled for 1998, has not yet been produced.
Eden married first husband 'Michael Ansara' in 1958 and divorced him in 1972. The couple had a son, Matthew Ansara, (b. August 29, 1965). She married Charles Donald Fegert (September 3, 1977), and divorced him in (1983). She married her current husband, Jon Eicholtz, in (January 1991).
- 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.
- Her grandmother, Frances Elvira O'Leary Franklin, was born in 1879 in Galena, Nevada.
- She's directly descended from American founding father Benjamin Franklin.
- When her son Matthew Ansara was 19 months old she brought him on stage and sang to him while co-hosting The Mike Douglas Show.
- (25 June 2001) Her son 'Matthew Ansara' (qv) (with first husband 'Michael Ansara' (qv)) 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.
- Barbara and her husband, Jon Eicholtz, were married in 1991 in San Francisco at Grace Cathedral, where Barbara attended as a child.
- Her aunt Marjorie Franklin Shumaker, was born May 2, 1911, she lived to be 91.
- Although she was born Barbara Jean Moorhead, she took her stepfather's last name of Huffman when her mother Alice remarried.