Barbara Eden


Actor
Barbara Eden

About

Also Known As
Barbara Jean Huffman
Birth Place
Tucson, Arizona, USA
Born
August 23, 1934

Biography

One of television's most enduring icons, actress Barbara Eden embraced the character and show that made her a star, playing the 2,000-year-old Jeannie on the sitcom "I Dream of Jeannie" (NBC, 1965-1970). Prior to the beloved show, Eden appeared on a number of television shows like "Father Knows Best" (CBS, 1954-1960), "Gunsmoke" (CBS, 1955-1975) and "The Andy Griffith Show" (CBS, 1960-...

Photos & Videos

7 Faces of Dr. Lao - British Front-of-House Stills
7 Faces of Dr. Lao - Barbara Eden Publicity Stills
7 Faces of Dr. Lao - Pressbook

Family & Companions

Michael Ansara
Husband
Actor. Married in 1958; divorced in 1973.
Charles Donald Fegert
Husband
Publishing executive. Married in 1977; divorced in 1982.
Jon Eicholtz
Husband
Real estate developer. Married on January 5, 1991.

Notes

Eden has frequently toured the US in stage musicals including "Woman of the Year" and "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas"

Board of directors of the Security First National Bank in Chicago.

Biography

One of television's most enduring icons, actress Barbara Eden embraced the character and show that made her a star, playing the 2,000-year-old Jeannie on the sitcom "I Dream of Jeannie" (NBC, 1965-1970). Prior to the beloved show, Eden appeared on a number of television shows like "Father Knows Best" (CBS, 1954-1960), "Gunsmoke" (CBS, 1955-1975) and "The Andy Griffith Show" (CBS, 1960-68), before starring on the small screen version of the hit movie, "How to Marry a Millionaire" (syndicated, 1957-59). She made the jump to features around this time and had an early co-starring role opposite Elvis Presley in "Flaming Star" (1960), before logging performances in "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" (1961) and "The Yellow Canary" (1963). But it was her performance as "Jeannie" that made her a household name. After the show was finished, Eden starred in the horror movie "A Howling in the Woods" (1971) and in the comedy "Harper Valley PTA" (1978). She later embraced the association with the naïve Jeannie and, though tame by modern standards, her brand of playful femininity was revolutionary for its time and helped open the doors for future television sex symbols.

Born Barbara Jean Moorhead on Aug. 23, 1934 (though some sources claim 1930), Eden's parents divorced when the actress was three. Following her mother's second marriage, Eden took the name Barbara Huffman after her stepfather, Harrison Connor Huffman. As a child, Eden suffered from a severe vision problem which required her to wear thick glasses and a sometimes eye patch. As a result, Eden grew up very shy. To help ease her daughter's insecurities, her mother, Alice, arranged for young Barbara to take singing lessons which did indeed help alleviate her shyness. By the time she was a teenager, this "ugly duckling" had blossomed into an attractive young woman, graduating from San Francisco's Abraham Lincoln High School in 1949. Moving to the Bay Area in the early 1950s, Eden made a living singing in nightclubs, but soon decided that a singing career was not in the cards for her. In 1951, Eden entered a local beauty pageant and won the title of Miss San Francisco - the catalyst which propelled the actress to Hollywood.

In 1956, Eden made her screen debut in with a minor, uncredited role in "Back from Eternity." Later that year, however, while performing in a local play, Eden was discovered "Hollywood style" by respected film director, Mark Robson. Impressed by Eden's talent and beauty, Robson introduced her to casting directors at Twentieth Century Fox. Only a year after her debut, Eden landed the leading role on the television comedy "How to Marry a Millionaire" (1957-59), a show based on the 1953 film, in which Eden played Marilyn Monroe's gold-digging character. Though this was her first sitcom, it would hardly be her last or her best known, for that matter. In the early 1960s, Eden branched out, appearing in a string of unremarkable films including "Flaming Star" (1960), "Five Weeks in a Balloon" (1962) and "The Yellow Canary" (1963). She also landed a co-starring role in Irwin Allen's sci-fi outing, "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" (1961). At the same time, Eden maintained high visibility on the small screen with guest roles on such series as "The Andy Griffith Show" (CBS, 1960-68), "Route 66"(CBS, 1960-64), and "Gunsmoke" (CBS, 1955-1975).

In 1965, Eden finally landed the role that would define her career - as the star and title character of the fantasy sitcom, "I Dream of Jeannie." Created by prolific novelist Sidney Sheldon, the series was a direct response to rival the popular "Bewitched" (ABC, 1964-1972). Both shows shared a similar premise: the misadventures of a sexy sorceress who falls in love with a bumbling mortal and must adjust to life in suburbia. As hoped, "Jeannie" quickly proved to be a huge success. Over the show's five year run, Eden was twice nominated for Golden Globe Awards, as was her co-star, Larry Hagman. Ironically, for a show that relied so heavily on its sex appeal, "Jeannie" had to play things remarkably coy in order to satisfy NBC's prudish standards. The most famous example of this was the network's "No Navel Edict," which barred Eden from baring her belly button in any way. Appropriately enough, "Jeannie" ended just as the sexual revolution was redefining women's roles. By the time it went off the air, the once risqué show was already considered a "quaint" remnant of a bygone era.

Post-"Jeanie," Eden starred in the lightweight 1978 feature film comedy based on the 1968 Jeannie C. Riley country hit, "Harper Valley PTA." The film's success spawned a short-lived TV series of the same name, "Harper Valley PTA" (NBC, 1981-82), in which Eden reprised her role. Since then, the actress appeared on screen only intermittently. In 1991, Eden was signed to a five-episode guest-starring role on "Dallas" (CBS, 1978-1991), reuniting her with Hagman. In 1998, it was reported that Eden would make a cameo as Jeannie's aunt in a feature remake of "I Dream of Jeannie" starring Alicia Silverstone. Though the film was never produced, Eden got to play a similar role in 2002 as Sabrina's Great Aunt Irma on the hit comedy series, "Sabrina, The Teenage Witch" (ABC, 1996-2003).

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

Always and Forever (2009)
Dead Man's Island (1996)
Henrie O
Visions of Terror (1994)
Visions of Murder (1993)
Hell Hath No Fury (1991)
Lethal Charm (1991)
Tess O'Brien
I Still Dream of Jeannie (1991)
Jeannie Ii; Jeannie Nelson
Opposites Attract (1990)
Brand New Life: The Honeymooners (1989)
Your Mother Wears Combat Boots (1989)
The Secret Life of Kathy McCormick (1988)
The Stepford Children (1987)
I DREAM OF JEANNIE: 15YRS LATER (1985)
The Fantasy Film Worlds of George Pal (1985)
Chattanooga Choo Choo (1984)
Maggie
Jaws 3 (1982)
Return of the Rebels (1981)
The Girls in the Office (1979)
Harper Valley P.T.A. (1978)
Stonestreet: Who Killed the Centerfold Model? (1977)
Liz Stonestreet
How to Break Up a Happy Divorce (1976)
The Amazing Dobermans (1976)
Let's Switch (1975)
The Stranger Within (1974)
Guess Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed (1973)
The Woman Hunter (1972)
Dina Hunter
The Feminist and the Fuzz (1971)
Dr Jane Bowers
A Howling in the Woods (1971)
Liza Crocker
7 Faces of Dr. Lao (1964)
Angela Benedict
The NEW Interns (1964)
Laura Rogers
The Brass Bottle (1964)
Sylvia Kenton
Ride the Wild Surf (1964)
Augie Poole
The Yellow Canary (1963)
Lissa
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (1962)
Greta Heinrich
Five Weeks in a Balloon (1962)
Susan Gale
Swingin' Along (1962)
Carol Walker
All Hands on Deck (1961)
Sally Hobson
Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1961)
Cathy Connors
Twelve Hours to Kill (1960)
Lucy Hall
From the Terrace (1960)
Clemmie
Flaming Star (1960)
Roslyn Pierce
A Private's Affair (1959)
Katey Mulligan
Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (1957)
Miss Carstairs
The Wayward Girl (1957)
Molly

Producer (Feature Film)

The Secret Life of Kathy McCormick (1988)
Coproducer

Cast (Special)

TV Land Awards: A Celebration of Classic TV (2004)
TV Land Awards: A Celebration of Classic TV (2003)
TV's Most Memorable Weddings (2003)
Intimate Portrait: Barbara Eden (2002)
Intimate Portrait: Jennie Garth (2002)
I Dream of Jeannie: The E! True Hollywood Story (2000)
Interviewee
Prism Awards 2000 (2000)
Performer
The Great American History Quiz: Pursuit of Happiness (2000)
Sitcom Style (1999)
Christmas in Hollywood (1998)
Elvis in Hollywood: The E! True Hollywood Story (1998)
Interviewee
CHAMPIONSHIP BALLROOM DANCING (1998)
Host
The Walt Disney World Very Merry Christmas Parade (1996)
Peter Lorre: The Master of Menace (1996)
The Fantasy Worlds of Irwin Allen (1995)
Interviewee
Bob Hope's Bag Full of Christmas Memories (1993)
The 1991 Miss USA Pageant (1991)
Host
Bob Hope Christmas Special From Waikoloa, Hawaii (1989)
Bob Hope's USO Christmas From the Persian Gulf -- Around the World in Eight Days (1988)
Happy Birthday, Hollywood! (1987)
The Eleventh Annual Circus of the Stars (1986)
The 38th Annual Emmy Awards (1986)
Performer
All Star Party for Clint Eastwood (1986)
NBC's 60th Anniversary Celebration (1986)
52nd Annual King Orange Jamboree Parade (1985)
Host
The Bob Hope Christmas Show (1985)
Bob Hope Special: Bob Hope's Women I Love - Beautiful but Funny (1982)
It's Only Human (1981)
Guest Host
Bob Hope Special: Bob Hope's All-Star Comedy Look at the Fall Season: It's Still Free and Worth It! (1981)
Men Who Rate a "10" (1980)
Bob Hope Special: Bob Hope's All-Star Look at TV's Prime Time Wars (1980)
Bob Hope Special: Bob Hope's All-Star Comedy Special From Australia (1978)
Telly... Who Loves Ya, Baby? (1976)
The Barbara Eden Show (1973)
Love Is... Barbara Eden (1972)
Host
Changing Scene (1971)
Howdy (1970)
Gene Kelly's Wonderful World of Girls (1970)
Kismet (1967)

Music (Special)

Bob Hope Christmas Special From Waikoloa, Hawaii (1989)
Song Performer
Bob Hope's USO Christmas From the Persian Gulf -- Around the World in Eight Days (1988)
Song Performer ("Come Back To Me" "Silent Night")

Cast (TV Mini-Series)

Condominium (1980)

Life Events

1957

Film debut in "The Wayward Girl"

1957

First TV series, "How to Marry a Millionaire"; played Loco Jones

1971

Tried a change of pace opposite "Jeannie" co-star Larry Hagman in the TV horror film, "A Howling in the Woods"

1985

Reprised the role of Jeannie for the TV-movie, "I Dream of Jeannie...15 Years Later"

1988

First TV-movie as producer, "Secret Life of Kathy McCormick" (also actress; own production company, Mi-Bar)

1991

Reunited with "Jeannie" co-star Larry Hagman during the last season of "Dallas" as Lee Anne de la Vega, a nemesis who schemes to take over Ewing Oil

Photo Collections

7 Faces of Dr. Lao - British Front-of-House Stills
7 Faces of Dr. Lao - British Front-of-House Stills
7 Faces of Dr. Lao - Barbara Eden Publicity Stills
Here are a few photos of Barbara Eden, taken to help publicize George Pal's 7 Faces of Dr, Lao (1964). Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
7 Faces of Dr. Lao - Pressbook
Here is the original campaign book (pressbook) for MGM's 7 Faces of Dr. Lao (1964), starring Tony Randall and Barbara Eden, and produced and directed by George Pal. Pressbooks were sent to exhibitors and theater owners to aid them in publicizing the film's run in their theater.

Videos

Movie Clip

Brass Bottle, The (1964) - You're Beginning To Twitch Leading man Tony Randall as architect Harold brings home the ancient bottle he's been warned is probably a fake, as a gift for his Egyptologist presumptive father-in-law (Edward Andrews) and wife (Ann Doran), who came home from Europe after hearing that he was engaged to their daughter (Barbara Eden), early in The Brass Bottle, 1964.
Brass Bottle, The (1964) - Also From The Caterer? In total panic because his unwanted genie (Burl Ives) turned his house into an Arabian pleasure palace before the dinner he planned with his fianceè (Barbara Eden) and his skeptical in-laws (Edward Andrews, Ann Doran), things get even worse for architect Harold (Tony Randall) when a dancing “houri” (Kamala Devi) appears, in The Brass Bottle, 1964.
Ride The Wild Surf (1964) - Title Song Not appearing until the ending credit roll, and a minute shorter than the version that was the opening and title cut from the Jan & Dean album released the same year, the song by Brian Wilson, Jan Berry and Roger Christian, from the surfer-drama Ride The Wild Surf, 1964.
From The Terrace (1960) - Good Booze Bad Women At a Long Island society party, just-returned WWII vet Alfred (Paul Newman) is pounced (by Barbara Eden), spots the leading lady (Joanne Woodward, also Mrs. Newman) then finds war buddy Lex (George Gizzard, occupied with Elizabeth Allen), in From The Terrace, 1960.
7 Faces Of Dr. Lao, The (1964) - Smile When You Say That School-marm Barbara Eden challenges the evil speculator (Arthur O'Connell) at a town meeting, the local editor (John Ericson) pleads the case of an Indian (Eddie Little Sky), then Tony Randall, title character, takes out some thugs, in director George Pal's The 7 Faces Of Dr. Lao, 1964.
7 Faces Of Dr. Lao, The (1964) - Pan, God Of Joy The local gossip (Peggy Rea) leaving as teacher Angela (Barbara Eden) arrives at the circus run by Tony Randall (title character), who then appears in another persona, then becomes John Ericson, the boyfriend whose cause he supports, a quasi-erotic event in George Pal's The 7 Faces Of Dr. Lao, 1964.

Trailer

Family

Harrison Connor Huffman
Father
Alice Mary Huffman
Mother
Matthew Michael Ansara
Son
Actor. Born on August 29, 1965; father, Michael Ansara; found dead in his car on June 25, 2001; death attributed to a heroin overdose; Ansara had been battling substance abuse issues for years.

Companions

Michael Ansara
Husband
Actor. Married in 1958; divorced in 1973.
Charles Donald Fegert
Husband
Publishing executive. Married in 1977; divorced in 1982.
Jon Eicholtz
Husband
Real estate developer. Married on January 5, 1991.

Bibliography

Notes

Eden has frequently toured the US in stage musicals including "Woman of the Year" and "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas"

Board of directors of the Security First National Bank in Chicago.

President of Mi-bar Productions.