Barbara Eden (born Barbara Jean Morehead; August 23, 1934) is an American film and television actress and singer who is best known for her starring role in the sitcom I Dream of Jeannie.
* 1 Early years
* 2 TV and film roles
* 3 I Dream of Jeannie
* 4 Marriages
* 5 Later career
* 6 Thoughts of a Jeannie
* 7 Filmography
* 8 Television work
* 9 References
* 10 External links
Eden was born Barbara Jean Morehead in Tucson, Arizona, the daughter of Alice Mary (née Franklin) and Hubert Henry Morehead. Her parents divorced when she was three; she and her mother Alice moved to San Francisco where later her mother married Harrison Connor Huffman, a telephone lineman. The Great Depression deeply affected the Huffman family, and as they were unable to afford many luxuries, Barbara's mother entertained the children by singing songs. This musical background left a lasting impression on the actress, who began taking acting classes because she felt it might help her improve her singing.
She graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School in San Francisco in 1951, and was elected Miss San Francisco in 1951. Barbara also entered the Miss California pageant, but did not win.
and film roles
Eden and Bob Hope honor the Apollo 7 astronauts
Eden made featured appearances on television shows such as The Johnny Carson Show (as "Barbara Morehead" and "Barbara Huffman"), 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 TV, and the series finale of Route 66 playing the role of Margo. 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. Eden's co-stars were Merry Anders, and Lori Nelson. After 39 episodes, Nelike McCall continued with the series from the 40th episode to the final 52nd segment.
Discovery in the Hollywood sense came when she starred in a play with James Drury. Film director Mark Robson, who later directed her in the movie From The Terrace, had come to the play and wanted her for 20th Century Fox studios. Her screen test was the Joanne Woodward role in No Down Payment. Though she did not get the role, the studio gave her a contract. Eden did a screen test for the role of Betty Anderson in 1956 for the movie Peyton Place, though Terry Moore got the role. She had minor roles in Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? and The Wayward Girl and then became a leading lady in films and starred opposite Gary Crosby in A Private's Affair and had a costarring 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, with Frankie Avalon playing the trumpet while she danced in one of many successful science fiction outings by the so called "Master of Disaster." She starred in The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm a George Pal-directed Cinerama film for MGM, and another Irwin Allen production for 20th Century Fox Five Weeks in a Balloon (1962). Eden was also the female lead in the 1962 20th Century Fox comedy Swingin' Along, starring the comedy team of 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 didn't get the role.
Her last film for 20th Century Fox was The Yellow Canary (1963). She left Fox studios (due to budget cuts) and began guest-starring in shows such as Saints And Sinners and also doing films for MGM, Universal, and Columbia. She played supporting roles over the next few years, including The Brass Bottle, and the notable, if odd, movie 7 Faces of Dr. Lao, both with Tony Randall. In The New Interns, she co-starred with Michael Callan. She starred in the beach movie Ride the Wild Surf playing the role of Augie with Fabian.
Then she signed to become "Jeannie," a genie in a bottle rescued by an astronaut in the television sitcom I Dream of Jeannie. She played this role for five years and 139 episodes. Eden also played Jeannie's sister in nine episodes and Jeannie's mother in two.
After that, Eden did an unaired pilot, The Barbara Eden Show, and another pilot, The Toy Game. She also began starring in and sometimes producing a string of successful made-for-TV movies, making at least one a year for one of the networks and they all were top-rated. Her first TV movie was called The Feminist And The Fuzz. Although best known for comedy, most were dramas, as when she starred with her "Jeannie" co-star Larry Hagman in A Howling in the Woods (1971). She starred in The Woman Hunter (1972) with Robert Vaughn, an earlier co-star from Gunsmoke. In The Stranger Within (1974), Eden plays unwitting housewife Ann Collins, who becomes one of many earthling women that are extraterrestrially impregnated. Like the mother-to-be in Rosemary's Baby, Ann develops unusual prenatal cravings (in this case, coffee grounds instead of blood-rare meat). The screenplay was written by Richard Matheson and directed by Lee Philips.
Eden played Liz Stonestreet, a former policewoman now private detective investigating the disappearance of a missing heiress in a critically acclaimed TV movie Stonestreet: Who Killed The Centerfold Model? (1977). She played Lee Rawlins, a woman who worked at a department store, in the ABC TV movie The Girls in The Office (1979) and starred in and co-produced with her own production company the NBC TV movie romantic comedy The Secret Life Of Kathy McCormick (1988) about a woman who marries an underwear model. In addition, she starred in and produced the romantic comedy TV movie Opposites Attract (1990) co-starring John Forsythe, their first joint screen appearance since her guest-starring role in a 1957 episode of his Bachelor Father TV series.