Updated: June 28, 2023
I DREAM OF JEANNIE PHOTO GALLERY #05
Jeannie's famous bottle was not created for the show. The actual bottle was a special Christmas 1964 Jim Beam liquor decanter containing "Beam's Choice" bourbon whiskey. It was designed by Roy Kramer for the Wheaton Bottle Company.
For years, it was said that Sidney Sheldon received one as a gift and thought it would be a perfect design for the series. Several people in the Screen Gems art department also take credit for finding the bottle. There is strong evidence, however, that it was first season director Gene Nelson who saw one in a liquor store and bought it, bringing it to Sidney Sheldon.
Jeannie's bottle was left its original dark, smoke-green color, with a painted gold leaf pattern ( to make it look like an antique ), during the first season. The plot description of the pilot episode in TV Guide in September 1965 referred to it as a "green bottle". In that first episode, it also looked quite rough and weathered. Since the show was originally filmed in black and white, a lot of colors and patterns were not necessary. When the show switched to color, the prop people came up with a brightly colored bottle to replace the original.
The first season bottle had a clear glass stopper that Tony took from a 1956 Old Grand-Dad Bourbon bottle in his home, as the original stopper was left behind on the beach where Tony found Jeannie. In the first color episode, Jeannie returns to the beach,
and her bottle is seen to have its original stopper ( painted to match the bottle ), presumably retrieved by her upon her return there. The rest of the TV series ( and the movies ) used the original bottle stopper. ( During some close-ups, you can still see
the plastic rings that hold the cork part of the stopper in place. )
During the first season, in black and white, the smoke effect was usually a screen overlay of billowing smoke, sometimes combined with animation. Early color episodes used a purely animated smoke effect. Sometime later a live smoke pack, lifted out of the
bottle on a wire, was used.
Jeannie's color-episodes bottle was painted mainly in pinks and purples, while the bottle for the Blue Djinn was a first-season design with a heavy green wash; and Jeannie's sister's bottle was simply a plain, unpainted Jim Beam bottle.
No one knows exactly how many bottles were used during the show, but members of the production have estimated that twelve bottles were painted and used during the run of the series. The stunt bottle used mostly for the smoke effect was broken frequently by the heat and chemicals used to produce Jeannie's smoke. In the pilot episode, several bottles were used for the opening scene on the beach; one was drilled through the bottom for smoke, and another was used to walk across the sand and slip into Tony's pack. Two
bottles were used from promotional tours to kick off the first season, and one
bottle was used for the first-season production.
Barbara Eden got to keep the color stunt bottle used on the last day of filming the final episode of the television series. It was given to her by her make-up woman after the show was canceled while the show was on hiatus. As per the DVD release of the first season, Bill Daily owns an original bottle, and as per the Donny & Marie talk show, Larry Hagman also owns an original bottle.