When Barbara Eden accepted her lead role in I Dream of Jeannie, she wasn’t new to Hollywood. She acted in her first film in 1956, and before then she sang for local night clubs. By the time Eden scored I Dream of Jeannie, she was 29 — older than most upcoming actresses at the time. Eden’s early career resulted in some prime modeling shots. Here are some stunning color photos of a young Barbara Eden.
The Show That Made Her Big
Here we have Eden’s iconic outfit from I Dream of Jeannie. Although most people remember Eden in this outfit, she remained covered up for the first several episodes of the show. After all, she was visibly pregnant during the 1965 pilot.
Instead of replacing the actress, the producers decided to veil her growing belly with several extra veils. “I looked like a walking tent,” Eden joked in the 2001 documentary Intimate Portrait.
Showing Off Some Patriotism
This is a fun photo from a 1967 Independence Day promotion. During Eden’s high school days, she was a cheerleader, and you can see some of that energy in this picture. Eden attended Abraham Lincoln High School in San Francisco in the late 1940s.
Eden was born in Tuscan, Arizona. Later in life, she moved with her mother to San Francisco, California. Today, she lives in Beverly Hills, California. She is definitely a West Coast woman.
Eden’s Golfing Outfit
In this photo, Eden is talking to comedian and actor Bob Hope. Both actors are at “Bob Hope’s Desert Classic Golf Tournament” in Palm Springs, California. Once her career was launched, Eden got invited to many Hollywood events like this.
Unlike other Hollywood stars, Eden never let her fame get to her head. During her early stardom, she continued to take acting classes and singing lessons. Her singing lessons contributed to her releasing albums in 1967 and 1978.
Ready To Fly!
In this 1961 photo, Eden poses on the set of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. This science-fiction movie inspired a later TV series of the same name, although Eden wasn’t on the set of the show. She had already claimed her role as Jeannie while the Voyage show aired.
In the same year, Eden acted as Carol Walker in the movie Swingin’ Along. She was a hard-working actress.
Eden’s Modeling Talents
Eden’s fans will likely recognize this dress since it comes from one of her most recognizable photoshoots. Even before she acted in I Dream of Jeannie, Eden had experience in modeling. During the early 1950s, she participated in two beauty pageants. She even won “Miss San Francisco.”
Although Eden isn’t well-known as a model, she displays techniques that professional models demonstrate. She always seems comfortable during professional photoshoots and walking on stage.
Going For A Run
This photo of Eden in a stylish workout suit was taken in the early 1970s. With I Dream of Jeannie done, she moved onto other high-profile roles. One was A Howling in the Woods in which Eden rejoined her former co-star, Larry Hagman.
Eden also received her second Golden Globe nomination in 1970, the first being in 1967. Her career began churning its engine in the ’60s, and it fully kicked off in the 1970s.
Have You Seen A More Sixties Hairstyle?
Eden models a 1960s statement hairstyle in this photo. While Eden didn’t always go down the “big hair” route, she often styled her hair with gorgeous ringlets. Her beautiful hair surely elevated her model status.
Today, Eden styles her hair similarly. She maintains the light blonde curls and bangs. It’s amazing how some looks remain timeless while others date a picture. Blonde hair and curls, for instance, will never go out of style.
With Bill Daily
This promo shot from I Dream of Jeannie features Bill Daily as Major Roger Healey and Barbara Eden as Jeannie. Although rumors spread that the two actors dated, this never was the case. Eden has married three times over her life.
She first married actor Michael Ansara in 1957, and the two had one child together. Her second husband, Charles Donald Fegert, was a Chicago newspaper executive. Her most recent marriage in 1991 was to real estate developer Jon Trusdale Eicholtz.
Time For A Bike Ride
This picture from the ’70s displays Eden posing on a bike. On the set of I Dream of Jeannie, Eden was constantly on the move. She kept ripping her pants by catching them on her heels. As a result, the production often had to replace her costume.
Fortunately, Eden isn’t working out in her I Dream of Jeannie costume in this photo. Although this outfit isn’t as revealing as her Jeannie look, it is still fairly risqué for the early ’70s.
Jeannie At Work
This cute 1967 I Dream of Jeannie promotion pic illustrates Jeannie posing with a pneumatic drill. Eden wears her signature Jeannie outfit along with a construction hat. On the topic of her costume, have you ever noticed that Jeannie never shows her belly button?
During the ’60s, censorship rules restricted Eden’s outfits. Her costumes had to be heavily monitored, especially since the show was considered risqué for the time. As another example, Eden’s pant fabric had to be thick enough not to reveal her legs.
Classy Striped Swimsuit
Here is a photo of Eden from her earlier career. This stunning swimsuit shoot occurred in 1959 when Eden was just 28 years old. During this time, she was acting on the main cast of the show How to Marry a Millionaire.
In 1957, Eden acted for ten other minor roles before landing her role as Loco Jones. She pursued her acting career from a passion she developed at a young age.
Sporting Those Classy Blues
Ever since Barbara Eden became a recognizable face in the ’60s, she has dazzled the red carpet with brilliant colors. This is an example of one of her classy yet vibrant outfits. Even today, Eden likes to sport brilliant and stylish colors. In 2018, she wore a vibrant blue pantsuit to an LA red carpet event.
In 1961, Eden was nominated for the Top Female New Personality of the Laurel Awards. Surely, her fashion and poise helped make her eligible for the award.
A Pop Of Color
As with many of Eden’s early portraits, this studio shot came out in 1965. Her outfit reflects her high school cheerleading days, which illustrates how passionately she worked to ascend to an acting role.
Eden was a busy actress. During her early career, Eden often took on several roles a year. In 1964 alone, she acted in five movies, on a TV show, and one stage production. Once she landed her Jeannie role in 1965, Eden focused solely on that.
Rocking The Red
Barbara Eden has often rocked red outfits. Of course, reds and pinks are reminiscent of her Jeannie clothing. But outside of that, she always looks fabulous in red. In 2015, Eden wore a red lace dress (similar to the one pictured) at the Go For Red collection in New York City.
Although Eden isn’t acting as much anymore, she still makes cameos in shows and voice acting. It’s no surprise that the 87-year-old’s style hasn’t changed much.
Soaking Up The Sun
This photo came from a modeling shoot shortly after Eden began shooting I Dream of Jeannie. Eden acted in a dozen unsuccessful films and shows before landing her role as Jeannie. Her first movie role was as a blonde college student in Back from Eternity.
During the late ’60s, Eden posed for several swimsuit photoshoots. Her signature Jeannie costume also served as modeling material for posters and advertisements.
Pretty In Pink
This photo of Eden was featured in a 1964 issue of Movie News Magazine. Eden acted in four different movies that year: Ride the Wild Surf, The Brass Bottle, The New Interns, and Quick, Let’s Get Married.
That same year, Eden began acting in stage productions. Her first stage role was in the 1964 production of The Pajama Game. As recently as 2012, she acted in the play Social Security. Her career has been long and productive.
Another Gorgeous Jeannie Outfit
Here is another gorgeous Jeannie outfit from 1965. Eden is wearing light and dark shades of green as opposed to her usual red and pink. If she looks happy, it’s because she is. Eden has shared that her five years on I Dream of Jeannie were phenomenal.
In an interview with the Huffington Post, Eden said that the production set “was like a dream.” Referencing her working relationship with Larry Hagman and Bill Daly, Eden said, ” Our rhythms were the same – we fit.”
One Of Eden’s Favorite Gowns
Here is Barbara Eden in one of her favorite Bob Mackie gowns. Bob Mackie is an American designer who has also dressed Judy Garland, Tina Turner, Diana Ross, and RuPaul. Eden has worn dozens of Mackie’s designs throughout the years.
Eden’s dress here is a sparkly pastel pink design with a V-neck and open back. Eden often favored pinks and reds during her early years, similar to her I Dream of Jeannie character.
Throw Your Hands Up!
Here’s an old picture of Barbara Eden in a bikini, throwing her hands up and smiling. She might be singing in this photograph. After all, that’s what she went to school for.
Eden began singing in local bands at age 14. She received $10 a night at local night clubs. Later, Eden attended the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. To prepare for her acting career, she trained at the Elizabeth Holloway School of Theatre.
Here’s A Different Style
Here is one of Eden’s 1970 photographs that doesn’t display her as Jeannie. She wears a crocheted headband, a style that became trendy in the ’60s. This was her last year filming I Dream of Jeannie.
The show was fairly successful during its run, and it continued to remain popular afterward. Eden has appeared on commercials that parodied her role as Jeannie. Eden has stated that she wants to keep acting for as long as she possibly can.
Barbara Eden was no stranger to holiday-themed photos. Here’s a picture of her celebrating both Halloween and Thanksgiving by dressing up as a pilgrim. She poses with a fake ax and an enormous painted pumpkin.
While the graphics aren’t as polished as they are nowadays, it’s still a fun photo. Eden managed to cover two holidays at once. In the 1960s, fans had their entire autumn’s worth of Barbara Eden. She sure seems happy about the holidays!
Eden With Elvis Presley
Here, Eden poses from a promotion photo for Flaming Star with Elvis Presley. Flaming Star was a 1960 Western film, where Presley gave one of his best acting performances. It was one of the roles that set up Eden for a main role.
During the same year, Eden worked on another film called Twelve Hours to Kill. But Flaming Star became more popular. In Thousand Oaks, California, where part of the movie was filmed, residents named a street after the movie.
This is a promotional photo of Barbara Eden for the comedy film, Swingin’ Along. Eden played the main female role alongside the male lead, Peter Marshall. Marshall was a comedic duo with Tommy Noonan, and this 1961 movie was their final performance.
Swingin’ Along taught Eden comedic skills that she would use later in her career. However, this film was hardly her first rodeo. You can tell by her pearl necklace and dusty jacket that she already had her sense of style.
Barbara Always Loved Playing Jeannie
Some stars don’t like being recognized for one particular character, yet Barbara felt differently about playing Jeannie. “She’s not human; this is a fantasy,” she told The Chicago Tribune.
“She was a genie: It was her job, and she loved her job. The word ‘master’ — note the semantics — it may mean one thing to humans. But to a genie, that’s what (Maj. Nelson) was. And that’s all. He was the first to take the cap off the bottle. You can’t compare a career girl with a genie.” Here’s Barbara, looking fabulous at the Supanova Comic Con in Sydney, Australia in 2019.
Setting Off Fireworks
Barbara Eden let sparks fly in 1965. Part of it was her TV performance, while the rest had to do with this giant firecracker she’s holding. In this photo, Eden is displaying some explosive Fourth of July pride.
Eden is sitting on a purple stepladder with fireworks in the background. She doesn’t look fazed, though. She appears as confident as ever. This Independence Day promotion distributed many pictures, all of which were popular as they still appear today.
Letting The Long Hair Flow
In this photo, taken sometime in the 1970s, Eden wears a dark purple dress and keeps her blonde hair down. Not much is known about this photo, but it’s rare to see early Barbara Eden photos with her hair down.
Throughout the ’60s and ’70s, Eden’s hair was often up in curls. Such was the style at the time to keep your hair short and curly or tied up. But here, Eden shows no shame in her long hair.
Here is a photo of Eden wearing one of Bob Mackie’s creations. She sits in front of a fireplace in a sheer, sparkling gold dress. Her hair is styled up in curls, and she wears minimal jewelry as her dress is sparkly enough.
Mackie has designed many of Eden’s dresses. Today, he still creates dresses and costumes for Hollywood. In 2002, Mackie was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame for his stunning concepts like this dress.
Season Of The Witch
Here’s a different photo of Eden as Jeannie. She dons a tall witch hat and sits next to a jack-o-lantern in a clear promotion for Halloween. Instead of her usual pink costume, Eden wears a similar outfit that’s red with yellow tassels.
It’s always fun to see Jeannie in different outfits. However, it’s not unusual to see Eden in red, especially from the ’60s. The red accentuated her blonde hair and went with the rest of her pink outfits.
Behind The Scenes
Here’s a funny behind-the-scenes snapshot of I Dream of Jeannie. Eden is next to Larry Hagman as he sets up a fellow actor’s costume. Shot in 1968, this photo likely coincides with an episode from Season Four.
If you’re an I Dream of Jeannie connoisseur, you can probably guess which episode this is from. If you do, congrats. We don’t even know where this comes from, but it’s an amusing photo that we had to include.
Attending The “Airport” Premiere
In this photo from 1970, Barbara Eden attends the Hollywood Premiere of the film Airport. She is sitting next to her husband at the time, fellow actor Michael Ansara. Eden was married to Ansara between 1958 and 1974.
Eden is laughing in the photo, indicating that their relationship is still going strong. She wears a black lace dress with a floral design. Airport earned a huge profit at the time–over $100 million–and won numerous awards.
Rocking The Short Hair
Here’s a rare sight: Barbara Eden with short hair. This 1975 photo shows Eden in a style most people don’t remember her for. She sports a curly boy cut with a simple outfit in her usual pink style.
Eden wears a soft pink sweater with a golden watch on her wrist. Compared to other professional shots of her, this one is fairly simple. During this time, she was playing the role of Lacy Colbert in the movie Let’s Switch!
Attending The Taping While Writing Notes
In 1977, Barbara Eden attended the Taping of The Dinah Shore Show. This is a photograph from that event. During the event, Eden wrote down notes, although it’s unclear what she was jotting down.
The Dinah Shore Show stopped airing in 1957. Twenty years later, the hosts returned for an interview about the shore with other stars such as Bob Hope. Eden attended this event dressed at her best: with a blue flower in her hair and a white knit sweater.
A Crystal Bodysuit
You don’t often see Eden in a bodysuit, but here is a rare occasion: Eden holding a microphone while wearing a jewel-laced bodysuit. The outfit has an open back and long pants. This style grew in popularity throughout the 1970s.
During this decade, bodysuits became a version of athletic wear. Eden adds a touch of glamour to this look. She also accents it with her long straightened hair, which is fluffed up in tune with ’70s fashion.
In The Midst Of A Scene
Here is Eden during a scene from I Dream of Jeannie. Unlike other moments in the show, Eden wears her natural hair down. Throughout the show, much of Jeannie’s hair wasn’t Eden’s natural hair.
Makeup artists would push Eden’s bangs to the front and add an artificial braid to clip up her ponytail. The process took three hours every day. But during this scene, Eden didn’t have to go through that tedious process. Thank goodness for that!
Eden With Julie Andrews
In 1979, Barbara Eden took this photo with actress Julie Andrews. The two attended the sold-out Operation California in Malibu. The agency raised money to supply emergency relief and disaster assistance to over 26 countries.
This event was hosted at Andrews and Black Edward’s house, so Eden is snapping a photo with the hostess. Funny enough, it doesn’t look like Andrews was ready for it. Eden was well-known enough to score an invitation to this exclusive event.
Eden Attends A Benefit In 1988
Here, Barbara Eden attended a benefit gala at the Century Plaza Hotel where it looks like she’s enjoying some popcorn and a boardgame before sitting down for dinner and mingling with other guests.
It was during this time that she played the starring role as Kathy McCormick in The Secret Life of Kathy McCormick. She was a single lady at the time, after her divorce from her second husband, Charles Gegert, and before her third marriage to Jon Eicholtz.
Lounging By The Fireplace
Barbara Eden is a name that no one will ever forget, especially not in Hollywood. She’s been a part of the Los Angeles scene since the 1950s and has met and rubbed elbows with every star imaginable.
Here, she elegantly poses alongside a fireplace in a Los Angeles home, looking through a book of photographs. It was 1985, the same year that she took part in the documentary The Fantasy Film Worlds of George Pal.
Promoting The Amazing Dobermans
In 1976 Barbara Eden co-starred in the film The Amazing Dobermans, alongside Fred Astaire and James Franciscus. It was the final sequel of the Doberman Gang film where Eden played Justine Pirot.
The cast joined together to take a promotional photo, lining up with all of the dogs. It appears as though Eden isn’t interested in leading one of the dogs herself, however. You can see her arm behind Astaire’s back as the other actors each hold a leash of a Doberman or two. Who can blame her?!
Attending A Gala with Suzanne Pleshette
Eden is pictured here in 1990, attending a benefit gala honoring Mike Frankovich. Sitting next to her is actress Suzanne Pleshette, who is best known for her roles in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds and Rome Adventure.
These leading ladies were dressed to the nines for the event in Century City. We only wish that we could have heard the conversation going on at this table! Who needs a date when there are so many talented women in the room?
Barbara Walks The Walk At A Benefit Fashion Show
Eden’s impressive career has earned her a lot of wealth in life, but she doesn’t keep it all to herself. This is another benefit that Barbara not only attended, but took an active role in! She walked down the runway at the Mother-Daughter Celebrity Benefit Fashion Show in 1987 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills.
The actress never had a daughter of her own, but is very close to her niece Katherine Fugate, who became a screenwriter.
Flying With Bob Hope
You know you’ve made it in life when you’re on a private plane with Bob Hope. Here, Barbara Eden is pictured with the comedian getting off Bob’s plane, the “Hope 1.” The two toured around the world together, visiting military bases to raise morale for the troops in 1987.
Barbara is pictured carrying a teddy bear that was given to her by the GI’s and looks as enthusiastic as ever. There’s no limit to Barbara’s generosity!
Jeannie’s Scandalous Belly Button
Were you aware that Jeannie’s belly button wasn’t allowed to be shown on television? It’s true! The TV network’s censors had very specific rules about that certain body part. Apparently, her various sexy outfits were just fine but a belly button was — gasp!!! — too taboo.
Actress Yvette Mimieux was the first woman to show her navel on American television, on the show Dr. Kildare. That was in 1964.
The Evil Twin
Many fans of the show didn’t realize Barbara Eden was playing Jeannie’s evil sister and would often write to her asking who played the dark-haired actress. Her evil sister’s name was also Jeannie. How confusing must that have been at the genies’ family reunions!
Perhaps this was just a sign of the innocence of the era, as now it is quite common for an actor to play multiple roles.
The Entire Set Was Burned Down
After I Dream Of Jeannie was canceled the entire set was burned to the ground. The show’s producers realized that it was going to be very expensive to store the set’s props so they just destroyed whatever wasn’t taken from the set. This was a very common practice among many Hollywood studios back in the day.
Not all the props were destroyed in the fire, of course, since Barbara Eden held onto her genie lamp for years after the show ended.
Stretching The Truth About NASA Astronauts
Astronauts in Florida? While the show centered in Florida, which as allegedly where the astronauts went to work at the time, the claim was purely movie magic and not based in truth. NASA’s astronauts had moved on from Florida and were training at the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston, Texas.
It is now called the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. It was a fictional series and they could play loose with those type of facts so we forgive them for this inaccuracy.
One of the most iconic gestures in TV history is how Jeannie summoned her magical powers. We all know that she would nod her head and blink once. Originally, she would fold her arms and make a series of eye flutters. The show definitely wouldn’t have been the same without this famous magical movement.
It was also another reason the show was compared to Bewitched, in which Samantha would wriggle her nose to make magic happen.
A Fired Bewitched Writer
Jeannie’s look-a-like but evil sister ‘Jeannie II’ was created by former Bewitched writer James S. Henerson. He was removed from the Bewitched writing team after another staffer, either a writer, director or producer, found out that he was writing for both shows at the same time. If you notice any early similarities you might have an understanding why.
Henerson’s career must not have been hurt too badly, as he wrote for many shows after being axed from Jeannie.
Barbara Eden’s Pregnancy
Jeannie was known for her skimpy harem costumes (skimpy by standards of the day), but aside from the 1965 pilot, Eden was covered up for the first 10 episodes of the new TV series. In this day and age, her costume would definitely be considered tame.
During those first ten episodes, Barbara Eden was actually pregnant! Producers agreed to hide her pregnant stomach and the show became an instant classic.
Jeannie’s Bottle Changed Color
Jeannie’s bottle was changed to a different hue when the show made the move from black-and-white to color. The bottle was originally a smoke-green color with a painted gold-leaf pattern for an antique look. It was even described as a “green bottle” in the first season.
When the show went to color the bottle changed to purple. It remained the new color from the second to fifth seasons. It was a change most viewers didn’t recognize because of the transition from black-and-white.
Barbara Eden, The Lion Whisperer
The show had a real-life lion on set, Barbara was apparently extremely good with the massive animal. She reportedly told Hagman that he needed to “stand very still” and allow the lion to smell him. After that she told him to “lean forward very, very gingerly and stroke him as gently as you can.”
Hagman apparently proclaimed, “I’m not making friends with any [bleeping] lion!” The lion got along great with Eden but roared with the full muster of a mighty king of the jungle the moment Hagman stepped on the set to film.
Jeannie’s Destroyed Costumes
Barbara Eden was so physical in her costumes that she was constantly catching them on her heels. This was probably not too difficult considering how billowy those pants were.
Every single time her costumes were ripped they would be replaced. That led to a lot of work for the show’s costume designers and it meant that very few outfits remained after the show stopped filming. Eden wore one of them to a charity gala in 2013.