Updated: September 13, 2021
I DREAM OF JEANNIE PHOTO GALLERY #07
Barbara Eden was a genie in a lamp in the 1960s sitcom I Dream of Jeannie, with Larry Hagman
as her "master" and later husband, the astronaut who freed her from her bottle. The series
was amusing and Eden was adorable, but her minimal costume left her navel exposed, and that
was considered so racy, network executives insisted that her belly button be filled in with
Eden was a high school cheerleader and won the Miss San Francisco beauty pageant at 17. She
was 19 when she first appeared on network TV, with a bit part on Ann Sothern's long-running
sitcom Private Secretary. Through the mid-1950s she appeared on TV shows from Highway Patrol
to I Love Lucy, and in 1957 she was given her own sitcom, How to Marry A Millionaire, based
on the hit film, with Eden in Betty Grable's role.
On the big screen, her best-remembered roles are from the cheesy sci-fi Voyage to the Bottom
of the Sea and George Pal's delightful 7 Faces of Dr. Lao with Tony Randall. A few years
before I Dream of Jeannie, she co-starred (with Randall again) in The Brass Bottle, a comedy
with a magic lamp premise, but the genie was Burl Ives.
After Jeannie, she starred on stage as The Unsinkable Molly Brown. In an amusing 1971 TV movie,
The Feminist and the Fuzz, where the titular feminist (Eden) and a policeman (David Hartman,
later host of Good Morning America) were forced to share an apartment. She later starred in a
short-lived TV series, Harper Valley PTA, based on the novelty pop hit about a mother called to
account for wearing "dresses way too high" and "drinking and a-runnin' 'round with men".
Eden's son, part-time actor Matthew Ansara, suffered from chronic depression and died of a heroin
overdose in 2001. Eden made numerous appearances on assorted talk shows in a celebrity anti-drug