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Barbara Eden
8-15-22 Conversations - Barbara Eden (cropped).jpg
Eden in August 2022
Barbara Jean Morehead

(1931-08-23) August 23, 1931 (age 92)
Other names
  • Barbara Huffman
  • Barbara Ansara
  • Barbara Eicholtz
Alma mater San Francisco Conservatory of Music
Occupation Actress
Years active 1950–present
  • (m. 1958; div. 1974)
  • Charles Fegert
    (m. 1977; div. 1982)
  • Jon Eicholtz
    (m. 1991)
Children 1

Barbara Eden (born Barbara Jean Morehead; August 23, 1931) is an American actress best known for her starring role as Jeannie in the sitcom I Dream of Jeannie (1965–1970). Her other notable roles include Roslyn Pierce opposite Elvis Presley in Flaming Star (1960), Lieutenant jg Cathy Connors in Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1961), and a single widowed mother, Stella Johnson, in the film Harper Valley PTA (1978). Due to the success of the film, Eden reprised her role as Stella Johnson in a two-season television series, Harper Valley PTA.

Early years

Eden was born on August 23, 1931, in Tucson, Arizona, to Alice Mary (née Franklin) and Hubert Henry Morehead. She is a descendant of Benjamin Franklin. (For decades, her year of birth was thought to be 1934.) After her parents' divorce, she and her mother moved to San Francisco, where her mother married Harrison Connor Huffman, a telephone lineman, by whom she had a daughter, Eden's half-sister. The Great Depression deeply affected the family and, as they were unable to afford many luxuries, Alice entertained her children with singing.

Eden's first public performance was singing in the church choir, where she sang the solos. As a teenager, she sang in local bands (led by Howard Fredericks and Freddie Martin) for $10 (roughly equivalent to $157 in 2021) a night in night clubs. At age 16, she became a member of Actor's Equity, and studied singing at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and acting with the Elizabeth Holloway School of Theatre. She graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School in San Francisco in the Spring Class of 1949 and studied theater for one year at City College of San Francisco. As Barbara Huffman, she was elected Miss San Francisco in 1951 and she also entered the Miss California pageant.

Television and film roles

Eden began her television career as a semiregular on The Johnny Carson Show in 1955. She also made featured appearances on shows such as The West Point Story, Highway Patrol, Private Secretary, I Love Lucy, The Millionaire, Target: The Corruptors!, Crossroads, Perry Mason, Gunsmoke, December Bride, Bachelor Father, Father Knows Best, Adventures in Paradise, The Andy Griffith Show, Cain's Hundred, Saints and Sinners, The Virginian, Slattery's People, The Rogues, and the series finale of Route 66. 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 TV series How to Marry a Millionaire. The series is based on the 1953 film of the same name.

Film director Mark Robson, who later directed Eden in the movie From the Terrace, took note of Eden's performance in a play with James Drury. and wanted her to work for 20th Century Fox studios. Her screen test was the Joanne Woodward role in No Down Payment (1957). Although she did not get the role, the studio gave Eden a contract. She did a screen test for the role of Betty Anderson in the 1957 film version of Peyton Place, but Terry Moore got the role. She had minor roles in Bailout at 43,000, Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?, and The Wayward Girl, then became a leading lady in films, starring opposite Gary Crosby, Barry Coe, and Sal Mineo in A Private's Affair. She had a co-starring 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, a Cinerama film directed by George Pal for MGM, and another Irwin Allen production for 20th Century Fox, Five Weeks in a Balloon (1962). She was the female lead in the 1962 Fox comedy Swingin' Along, starring Tommy Noonan and Peter Marshall, in their final joint screen appearance. She did a screen test with Andy Williams for the 20th Century Fox movie State Fair, but did not get the role.

Her last film for 20th Century Fox was The Yellow Canary (1963). She left Fox and began guest-starring in television shows and acting in films for MGM, Universal, and Columbia. She played supporting roles over the next few years, including The Brass Bottle and 7 Faces of Dr. Lao.

I Dream of Jeannie

Barbara eden as jeannie 1966
Eden as Jeannie in a variation of the famous "Jeannie costume" seen only in the pilot episode

In 1965, producer Sidney Sheldon signed Eden to star in his upcoming fantasy sitcom I Dream of Jeannie for NBC. After various brunette starlets and beauty queens unsuccessfully tried out for the role, Eden was approached by Sheldon, who had seen her in The Brass Bottle and had received numerous recommendations for Eden from various colleagues. Eden played Jeannie, a beautiful genie set free from her bottle by astronaut and United States Air Force Captain (later Major) Anthony "Tony" Nelson, played by Larry Hagman.

Eden played this role for five years and 139 episodes.

Later career

After Jeannie, Eden starred in an unaired pilot, The Barbara Eden Show, as well as another pilot, The Toy Game. Her first TV movie was called The Feminist and the Fuzz. Although she is best known for comedy, most of these films were dramas, as when she starred opposite her Jeannie co-star Larry Hagman in A Howling in the Woods (1971).

In The Stranger Within (1974), Eden played housewife Ann Collins, a woman impregnated by extraterrestrials. Later, Eden played a policewoman-turned-private detective investigating the disappearance of a missing heiress, in the critically acclaimed TV movie Stonestreet: Who Killed the Centerfold Model? (1977). She starred in and co-produced, with her own production company (MI-Bar Productions), the NBC-TV romantic comedy movie The Secret Life of Kathy McCormick (1988). She also starred in and produced the romantic comedy TV movie Opposites Attract (1990), co-starring John Forsythe.

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, Eden played the protagonist Stella Johnson. It was a comedy version of Peyton Place, with Anne Francine playing wealthy villainess 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). It debuted January 16, 1981, winning 11 of its 13 time slots during the first season. It was renamed simply Harper Valley when it began its second season on October 29, 1981. During this time, Eden also became the spokeswoman for L'eggs pantyhose, and appeared in a series of print ads and TV commercials for the brand from 1979 to 1983.

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. In 1990, Eden played a recurring role as a billionairess seeking revenge against J.R. Ewing in five episodes of the final season of Dallas, as the captivating character LeeAnn de la Vega, reuniting her with Hagman. In her final episode, the character admits that her maiden name is Nelson (a production gag, as "Nelson" was the surname of Hagman's character and Eden's character's married name in I Dream of Jeannie). 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.

Eden 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 Goulet, The 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 Show, The Jonathan Winters Show, The Jerry Lewis Show, This Is Tom Jones, Tony Orlando and Dawn, and Donny and Marie. She released an album titled Miss Barbara Eden in 1967 on Dot Records.

From 2000 to 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 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 Good Morning America, The View, Access Hollywood, Entertainment Tonight, Martha, and Showbiz Tonight, among other shows.

In March 2006, Hagman and Eden again 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 return-visit to the academy since appearing in the 1956 Ziv Television Programs, The West Point Story. Eden starred in the play Love Letters with Hal Linden in 2006, 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, which aired in October 2009.

In May 2013, Eden appeared with former US President Bill Clinton, Elton John, and Fergie at the opening ceremony of the 21st Life Ball in Vienna, where Eden wore her famous Jeannie harem costume. In late 2013, Eden was cast in the movie One Song, filmed in Excelsior, Minnesota.

Eden has also done voice work for the animated children's television series Shimmer and Shine.

Personal life

Barbara Eden and son Matthew Ansara 1966
Eden with son Matthew Ansara (1966)

Eden wrote a memoir, Jeannie Out of the Bottle, which was released on April 5, 2011, by Crown Archetype, a division of Random House. It debuted at number 14 on The New York Times Best Seller list.

Jeannie Out of the Bottle chronicles her personal life and Hollywood career of more than 50 years, and includes intimate details about her early childhood, her rise to popularity in her teens and early 20s, her co-stars over the years, and her work leading up to I Dream of Jeannie. .....

In June 2021, while talking about her children's book Barbara and the Djinn, Eden revealed that she and her husband Jon Eicholtz had recovered from COVID-19.


On November 17, 1988, Eden received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contributions to television. In 1990, the University of West Los Angeles law school granted Eden an honorary doctor of laws degree.


Feature films

Year Title Role Notes
1956 Back from Eternity Blonde College Girl Uncredited
1957 Bailout at 43,000 Blonde at Nightclub Uncredited
1957 Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? Miss Carstairs With Tony Randall. Secretary (minor part)
1957 The Wayward Girl Molly
1959 A Private's Affair Sgt. Katey Mulligan
1960 Twelve Hours to Kill Lucy Hall
1960 Flaming Star Roslyn Pierce Opposite Elvis Presley
1960 From the Terrace Clemmie Shreve Minor part with Newman
1961 Swingin' Along Carol Walker
1961 All Hands on Deck Sally Hobson
1961 Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea Lt. Cathy Connors
1962 The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm Greta Heinrich
1962 Five Weeks in a Balloon Susan Gale With Red Buttons
1963 The Yellow Canary Lissa Paxton
1964 7 Faces of Dr. Lao Angela Benedict Opposite Tony Randall
1964 Quick, Let's Get Married Pia Pacelli
1964 The Brass Bottle Sylvia Kenton Opposite Tony Randall
1964 The New Interns Laura Rogers
1964 Ride the Wild Surf Augie Poole
1976 The Amazing Dobermans Justine Pirot
1978 Harper Valley PTA Stella Johnson
1984 Chattanooga Choo Choo Maggie Jones With Joe Namath
1985 The Fantasy Film Worlds of George Pal Herself Documentary
1987 Creepshow 2 Annie Lansing Segment: “The Hitchhiker.” Replaced by Lois Chiles on set due to family emergency.
1996 A Very Brady Sequel Jeannie Cameo cross-over
2003 Loco Love Jackie
2003 Carolina Daphne St. Claire
2019 My Adventures with Santa Mrs. Claus

Television films

Year Title Role Notes
1971 The Feminist and the Fuzz Dr. Jane Bowers
1971 A Howling in the Woods Liza Crocker Opposite Larry Hagman
1972 The Woman Hunter Dina Hunter
1973 Guess Who's Sleeping in My Bed? Francine Gregory
1974 The Stranger Within Ann Collins
1975 Let's Switch! Lacy Colbert
1976 How to Break Up a Happy Divorce Ellen Dowling
1977 Stonestreet: Who Killed the Centerfold Model? Liz Stonestreet
1979 The Girls in the Office Lee Rawlins
1980 Condominium Barbara Messenger
1981 Return of the Rebels Mary Beth Allen With Patrick Swayze
1985 I Dream of Jeannie... Fifteen Years Later Jeannie / Jeannie II Wayne Rogers as Tony Nelson
1987 The Stepford Children Laura Harding
1988 The Secret Life of Kathy McCormick Kathy McCormick
1989 Your Mother Wears Combat Boots Brenda Andersen With Matthew Ansara
1990 Opposites Attract Charlene "Charlie" McKeon
1991 Her Wicked Ways Tess O'Brien
1991 Hell Hath No Fury Terri Ferguson
1991 I Still Dream of Jeannie Jeannie / Jeannie II With Bill Daily
1993 Visions of Murder Dr. Jesse Newman
1994 Eyes of Terror Dr. Jesse Newman
1996 Dead Man's Island Henrietta O'Dwyer Collins Opposite William Shatner
2009 Always & Forever Mary Anderson
2013 One Song Unknown supporting actor Undistributed film

Television series

Year Title Role Notes
1956 The Johnny Carson Show Herself (semi-regular performer) 14 episodes
1956 The West Point Story Toni DeWitt Episode: "A Tough Decision"
1957 Highway Patrol Kathy O'Shea Episode: "Hostage Copter"
1957 I Love Lucy Diana Jordan Episode: "Country Club Dance"
1957 The Millionaire Billie Walker Episode: "The Ted McAllister Story"
1957 Crossroads Polly Grant Episode: "A Green Hill Faraway"
1957–1959 How to Marry a Millionaire Loco Jones 52 episodes
1957 Perry Mason Carla Adrian Episode: "The Case of the Angry Mourner"
1957 Gunsmoke Judy Pierce Episode: "Romeo"
1957 Bachelor Father Patricia "Patty" Robbins Episode: "Bentley and the Revolving Housekeepers"
1957 December Bride Miss Wilson Episode: "The Other Woman"
1958 Father Knows Best Marge Corbett Episode: "The Rivals"
1958 The Lineup Eleanor Episode: "The Samuel Bradford Case"
1961 Adventures in Paradise Ginny Grant Episode: "The Inheritance"
1962 The Andy Griffith Show Ellen Brown Episode: "The Manicurist"
1962 Target: The Corruptors! Lili Episode: "Babes in Wall Street"
1962 Cain's Hundred Terri Emson Episode: "Savage in Darkness"
1962 Saints and Sinners Nora Love Episode: "Daddy's Girl"
1963 Dr. Kildare Nurse Judy Gail Episode: "If You Can't Believe the Truth"
1963–1964 Rawhide Crystal Simpson / Goldie Rogers 2 episodes: "Incidence at Confidence Rock," 1963; "Damon's Road," 1964
1963–1965 Burke's Law Various Characters 4 episodes: "Who killed Harris Crown?", 1963; "Who killed Cornelius Gilbert?", 1964; "Who killed Paper Dragon?", 1964; "Who killed the Man on the White Horse?", 1965
1964 Route 66 Margo Tiffin / Margo Stiles Episodes: "Where There's a Will, There's a Way" (Parts 1 & 2)
1964 The Virginian Samantha Fry Episode: "The Brazos Kid"
1965 Slattery's People Lucrezia Kirk Episode: "Question: When Do We Hang the Good Samaritan?"
1965 The Rogues Sally Cardew Episode: "Wherefore Art Thou, Harold?"
1965–1970 I Dream of Jeannie Jeannie / Jeannie II 139 episodes. 30 first-season episodes filmed in Black and White
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best TV Star – Female (1966)
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best TV Actress – Musical or Comedy (1969)
1967 Armstrong Theatre Lalume Episode: "Kismet" -- A Black and White and Color version extant
1967 Off to See the Wizard Melinda Episode: "Hell Cats"
1972 Love is Barbara Eden Herself Variety TV Special with Tim Conway
1973 The Barbara Eden Show Barbara Norris 1 episode. Unsold TV Pilot. Unaired
1974 Out to Lunch Herself (guest star) TV special
1975 NBC Special Treat Narrator (voice) Episode: "Flight from Fuji"
1980 Men who Rate a 10 Guest Host
1981–1982 Harper Valley PTA Stella Johnson 30 episodes. Young Matthew Ansara appearances
1981 It's only Human Guest Host Appearance by Reggie Jackson
1989–1990 Brand New Life Barbara McCray Gibbons 6 episodes
1990–1991 Dallas LeeAnn De La Vega 5 episodes: "The Odessa File", 1990; "Sail On", 1991; "Lock, Stock and Jock", 1991; "'S' Is for ...", 1991; "Designing Women", 1991
2002–2003 Sabrina the Teenage Witch Aunt Irma 3 episodes: "A Birthday Witch", 2002; "The Arrangement", 2002; "A Fish Tale", 2003
2003 Teamo Supremo Evelyn (voice) Episode: "Brenda's Birthday Bandit"
2007 George Lopez Ruth Episode: "George is Maid to be Ruth-Less"
2007 Army Wives Victoria Grayson Episode: "Truth and Consequences"
2011 Ten News Guest - Herself & Larry Hagman TV series Australia, 1 episode
2011 Sunrise Weekend Herself - Guest TV series Australia, 1 episode
2011 Mornings with Kerri-Anne Herself - Guest TV series Australia, 1 episode
2015 Mornings Herself - Guest TV series Australia, 1 episode
2015 Today Herself - Guest TV series Australia, 1 episode
2015 Studio 10 Herself - Guest TV series Australia, 1 episode
2016 Worst Cooks in America: Celebrity Edition Herself (contestant) 2 episodes
2016–2017 Shimmer and Shine Empress Caliana (voice) 2 episodes: "The Crystal Queen", 2016; "Samira and Zeta", 2017
2018 Long Island Medium Herself Episode: "Sitcom Spirits"
2020–2022 Master Dearest, from the Diaries of Jeannie Jeannie (voice) YouTube only Special. 3 episodes: "The Island", 2020; "Happy Anniversary!", 2021; "Top Secret Anniversary", 2022

Selected stage productions

Year Title Role
1964 The Pajama Game Babe Williams
1966 Finian's Rainbow Sharon McLonergan
1970 The Sound of Music Maria von Trapp
1971 The Unsinkable Molly Brown Molly Brown
1973 Annie Get Your Gun Annie Oakley
1977 Blithe Spirit Elvira
1982 The Best Little ... in Texas Miss Mona Stangley
1984 Woman of the Year Tess Harding
1986 South Pacific Nellie Forbush
1991 Same Time, Next Year Doris
1993 Last of the Red Hot Lovers Elaine Navazio / Jeanette Fisher
1995 Nite Club Confidential Kay Goodman
1998 Gentlemen Prefer Blondes Lorelei Lee
2000 The Odd Couple: The Female Version Florence Unger
2004 The Odd Couple: The Female Version Florence Unger
2006 Love Letters Melissa Gardner
2012 Social Security Sophie
2019 Love Letters Melissa Gardner



Year Title Label
1967 "I Wouldn't Be a Fool / Bend It!" Dot Records
1967 "Rebel" Dot Records
1967 "Pledge of Love / I'm a Fool to Care" Dot Records
1978 "Widow Jones" Plantation Records


Year Title Album Notes
1967 Miss Barbara Eden Dot Records
1978 Harper Valley PTA (soundtrack) Plantation Records Performed 2 songs: "Mr. Harper", "Widow Jones"


  • Eden, Barbara, and Warburton, Dustin. Barbara and the Djinn. Neighborhood Publishers. 2021
  • Eden, Barbara, and Leigh, Wendy. Jeannie out of the Bottle. Norwalk, CT: Easton Press. 2011.
  • Smith, Joe. Las Vegas Celebrity Cookbook: The private recipes of 50 international entertainers. Hollybrooke House. 1982.


  • 2011: Jeannie Out of the Bottle, with Wendy Leigh (read by the author), Random House Audio, ISBN: 978-0-3079-1434-7

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Barbara Eden para niños

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