Barbara Jean Morehead
August 23, 1931
Tucson, Arizona, U.S.
|Alma mater||San Francisco Conservatory of Music|
Barbara Eden (born Barbara Jean Morehead, August 23, 1931) is an American actress, singer, and producer best known for her starring role as Jeannie in the sitcom I Dream of Jeannie (1965-1970). 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.
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
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. Additionally in eight episodes, Eden donned a brunette wig to portray Jeannie's evil sister (also named Jeannie) who lusts after Tony Nelson, and in two episodes played Jeannie's hapless mother.
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: Jeannie Out of the Bottle
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. It also covers her marriages to Michael Ansara (1958–1974), Charles Fegert (1977–1982), and Jon Eicholtz (1991–present), and her "emotional breakdown" following the 2001 death of her son Matthew Ansara of a drug overdose.
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 School of Law granted Eden an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.
|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||Carolina||Daphne St. Claire|
|2019||My Adventures with Santa||Mrs. Claus|
|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|
|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|
|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 Seduction", 1991; "Designing Women", 1991|
|2002–2003||Sabrina the Teenage Witch||Aunt Irma||3 episodes: "A Birthday Wish", 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"|
|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"|
Selected stage productions
|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|
|1982||The Best Little Whorehouse 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|
|2019||Love Letters||Melissa Gardner|
|1967||"I Wouldn't Be a Fool / Bend It!"||Dot Records|
|1967||"Pledge of Love / I'm a Fool to Care"||Dot Records|
|1978||"Widow Jones"||Plantation Records|
|c. 1956||Herb Jeffries||Bethlehem jazz label||Model on album cover art, only|
|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
- "Barbara Eden profile". Biography.com. Retrieved August 24, 2015.
- "Barbara Eden profile". Biography.com. Retrieved August 24, 2015.
- Julia M. Klein (April 13, 2006). "Benjamin Franklin's Descendants Descend on Philadelphia". Wall Street Journal.
- Guttman, Monika (September 19, 1989). "Barbara Eden wouldn't dream of quitting". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. p. 9, Food.
- Derschowitz, Jessica (May 27, 2013). "Barbara Eden, 78, dons "I Dream of Jeannie" costume at charity gala". CBS News. Retrieved September 8, 2018.
- Bravo, Tony (February 11, 2020). "'I Dream of Jeannie' star Barbara Eden to be honored by SF Conservatory of Music". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved October 18, 2022.
- Bernard Osher Foundation Art, Music and Recreation Center (January 31, 2019). "Carol Channing - A Product of San Francisco And Its Public Schools". Art, Music and Recreation Center. San Francisco Public Library. Retrieved October 18, 2022.
- Counter, Bill (April 19, 2019). "The Fairmont Hotel Playhouse". San Francisco Theatres. Retrieved October 18, 2022.
- Canterbury, Alan J. (August 20, 1964). "Elizabeth Holloway School of the Theater, 1511 Gough Street [graphic]". San Francisco Public Library. Retrieved October 18, 2022.
- "Senior Class photos – Spring 1949" (PDF). Abraham Lincoln HS. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 7, 2016. Retrieved February 4, 2012.
- Robert Sokol (July 4, 2011). "Barbara Eden is coming home to San Francisco". The Examiner. Retrieved February 4, 2012.
- "Past Titleholders". MissSanFrancisco.org. Archived from the original on February 11, 2012. Retrieved February 4, 2012.
- Clemens, Samuel (2020). Pat: A Biography of Hollywood's Blonde Starlet. Sequoia Press. p. 19. ISBN 978-0578682822.
- Story, David. America on The Rerun 1993, p. 190, Citadel Press; ISBN 0-8065-1410-8
- 1955 appearance by Eden on The Johnny Carson Show (online video clip, YouTube, May 17, 2012); accessed July 29, 2016.
- on YouTube published November 19, 2009
- Stephen Cox; Howard Frank (March 18, 2000). "Chapter 24. Episode Guide". Dreaming of Jeannie: TV's Prime Time in a Bottle. St. Martin's Press. pp. 209–268. ISBN 0-312-20417-5.
- L'eggs at "Retroland"
- Murray, Kathleen Wereszynski. "'Love Letters' reunites actors Eden, Hagman star in Gurney play," Poughkeepsie Journal, March 24, 2006.
- "Excelsior Invests, Co-Stars in Independent Movie". Retrieved August 23, 2015.
- Itzkoff, Dave (June 29, 2010). "Poof! Barbara Eden's 'Jeannie' Memoir Will Appear Next Year". Arts Beat. New York Times. Archived from the original on December 15, 2013.
- "Barbara Eden Biography". Barbaraeden.com. Retrieved August 24, 2015.
- Taylor, Ihsan. "Best Sellers". The New York Times. Retrieved August 24, 2015.
- Swertlow, Frank (March 11, 2002). "Tragic Waste". People.
- Gardener, Chris (June 28, 2021). "'I Dream of Jeannie' Star Barbara Eden Talks Turning 90, Facing COVID-19 and Publishing First Children's Book". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 13, 2022.
- Story, David. America on The Rerun (1993), p. 197, Citadel Press; ISBN 0-8065-1410-8.
- "Meet Worst Cooks Celebrity Recruit Barbara Eden, Actress and TV Legend". Food Network.
- "Exclusive Interview with the Next Celebrity Worst Cook to Be Eliminated". Food Network.
- Official website
- Barbara Eden at IMDb
- Barbara Eden at the TCM Movie Database
- Barbara Eden discography at Discogs
- Archive, emmytvlegends.org; accessed August 23, 2015.
- Interview with Barbara Eden, elvis.com.au; accessed February 24, 2014
- Barbara Eden article, nydailynews.com; accessed August 23, 2015.
- Biodata, biography.com; accessed August 23, 2015.