Dr. Bellows

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Col. Alfred E. Bellows, M.D. is a fictional character in the popular 1960s situation comedy I Dream of Jeannie, which ran for five seasons. Dr. Bellows was portrayed by Hayden Rorke from 1965 to 1970. Rorke reprised this role in the 1985 TV movie I Dream of Jeannie: 15 Years Later before his passing in 1987.

Overview[edit]

From the first season onwards, Dr. Bellows is the psychiatrist at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). I Dream of Jeannie is set in the town of Cocoa Beach, Florida. Dr. Bellows is a colonel.

Dr. Bellows is a shrewd and cautious man who is inevitably used as a scapegoat. He becomes fixated on Tony Nelson (Larry Hagman) and Roger Healy (Bill Daily) when they are caught in a web of inexplicable situations resulting from the magic of a genie, appropriately named "Jeannie". He observes, records and ponders their activities, determined to uncover the cause.

Throughout the series, Bellows tries to prove that Tony is up to something. Generals Hadley, Peterson, Stone, and Schaeffer in turn reluctantly accompany him when he attempts to prove Tony's strange "tricks". Fortunately, thanks to Jeannie, none of these generals witness the strange events and Tony is saved from being fired from the space program. This means that the generals are more wary of Bellows than Major Nelson or Major Healey. In some cases the trick can extend to the generals, such as Jeannie's mother trying to court Bellows and dressing him in the robes of a pasha (and causing Jeannie to scold her mother for going after a married man). Bellows' appearance causes one general to worry he is suffering from hallucinations by seeing Dr. Bellows in pasha robes, and Bellows in turn saying the vision is real but he has no clue how he acquired such exotic clothing. Nevertheless, Dr. Bellows relentlessly devotes his entire life to "figuring out" Major Nelson. At one point Bellows tells Nelson and Healy that the moment he brings in General Peterson it all goes away, so he is forgetting this is brought up.

Wife Amanda Bellows (Emmaline Henry) is introduced in Season 2. She is an inquisitive woman who shares his interest in Major Nelson and Major Healey. Despite wanting to unravel the mystery around Tony and Roger, Bellows remains a true and loyal friend to Tony though he is never as close to Tony as Roger is. At one point Tony tries to preserve Bellows' medical career when the generals order a new medical officer brought in, who is far more blunt and planned to inject Tony with truth serum. Had this happened, Jeannie's true abilities would have been revealed.

Nevertheless, Tony and Roger sometimes make fun of Bellows in private. Jeannie often feels sorry for him as her attempts to help her master often result in landing Bellows in trouble, as well as Tony and Roger. Fans of this 1960s sitcom created a journal in which Dr. Bellows recorded his psychiatric observations of Tony Nelson.

Bellows never discovers Jeannie's true identity. However, in the third-to-last episode of the series, "Hurricane Jeannie", Tony dreams that Bellows discovers and accepts the truth about his wife. However, after Tony introduces Jeannie to Bellows as his fiancee, Bellows concludes that Tony simply being "in love" was the underlying cause of much of what Bellows perceived as unusual behavior. His relationship with Tony subsequently changes, with his wife Amanda appearing more frequently. This does cause some tension, as the well-meaning Bellows' perceive Jeannie as naive and become overbearing towards the newlyweds.

In I Dream of Jeannie: 15 Years Later, Dr. Bellows has retired from the United States Air Force and become a psychiatrist in private practice.

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