Barbara Eden | Conversations with Maria Menounos | August 9, 2013

  • Published on Sep 12, 2013
  • In this episode, Extra host Maria Menounos sits down with Hollywood legend Barbara Eden. Barbara Eden was born Barbara Jean Morehead in Tucson, Arizona. Eden was a cheerleader in high school and a pop singer as a teenager. She graduated in 1949 from Abraham Lincoln High School in San Francisco, California. Eden is most indelibly associated with her role as the genie in the bottle in the long-running sitcom "I Dream of Jeannie" (1965), co-starring Larry Hagman. In "I Dream of Jeannie" (1965), Major Anthony Nelson (Hagman) is a NASA astronaut who finds a decorative black bottle on a desert island after he splashes down in the ocean. The bottle has a beautiful blond genie in it (Eden), who immediately assumes that Nelson is her master. He brings her home to live in Cocoa Beach, Florida. In each episode, the forbidden use of Jeannie's well-meaning mystical powers alters reality in some wacky way that must be carefully explained away by Nelson. No other person knows of Jeannie's existence except for Nelson's bumbling friend, Major Roger Healey. Together, they conspire to keep her secret from everyone else, especially from Nelson's commanding officers at NASA. The sitcom gained a cult following, and Eden still appears from time to time in commercials and cameos that poke gentle fun at her former role. Before focusing on a television career, Eden had parts in a series of unremarkable films in the 1950s and 1960s. Her first film role was in Back from Eternity (1956). In 1957, she starred on television in "How to Marry a Millionaire" (1957) and after "I Dream of Jeannie" (1965)'s successful five year run from 1965 to 1970, she starred in "Harper Valley P.T.A." (1981) (1981-82). She published her autobiography, Barbara Eden: My Story, in October 1986. In 1997, Columbia announced plans to produce a big-screen episode of "I Dream of Jeannie". Eden was slated to make a cameo appearance as the new Jeannie's aunt. The film, originally scheduled for 1998, has not yet been produced. Eden married first husband Michael Ansara in 1958 and divorced him in 1972. The couple had a son, Matthew Ansara, born August 29, 1965. She married Charles Donald Fegert on September 3, 1977, and divorced him in 1983. She married her current husband, Jon Eicholtz, in January 1991.
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Comments • 42

  • PatienceMelissa
    PatienceMelissa Month ago +1

    Great intervIew! So many great stories. I had the pleasure of meeting Lauren Bacall just a year or two out of college and she was very nice to me (she just didn't care for her limo driver at the time). Also, Jackie Kennedy Onassis and her companion, Maurice, and she was very pleasant, too. Would be so cool to be ab!e to meet Barbara Eden. You have a great job being able to interview everyone but you did a nice job here. Keep up the good work! 😇

  • Douglas Thompson
    Douglas Thompson 2 months ago

    Barbara is the most beautiful woman in history...

  • pookiebear364
    pookiebear364 3 months ago +1

    Sounds like the Studio Club was similar to the Barberzon in New York...

  • Matty
    Matty Year ago

    I was half-expecting Barbara to fold her arms, blink, and make them both disappear at the end haha

  • Balkingpoints
    Balkingpoints 2 years ago +3

    You nailed it Maria. Eden has been described her entire career as beautiful, etc - but I never heard anyone else frame it as you did. Eden was categorically THE most beautiful woman of her era, and before and since in Hollywood.
    Of course many others are right there maybe 1/4 notch below Eden. But for the male viewer she literally had it all - incredible eyes, scorching hot body on a petite frame, and she had this way of electric facial expressions that simply lit up the screen.
    I was a kid when her signature vehicle Dream of Jeanie was on 1st run. I put her ahead of Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, Marlo Thomas, Rita Moreno, Suzanne Pleshette, Beverly Garland - one hottie after another who didn't quite match Eden's absolute physical appeal.
    And the interviews such as your's posted of her on YT, bring her across as an unassuming, normal person. Not like a Diva at all.
    She grew up fairly poor in San Francisco, paid a lot of dues to make it big, and it seems like she's never forgotten her roots.

    • Albert Sean Chen
      Albert Sean Chen 3 months ago

      Balkingpoints she was my childhood crush with Dawn Wells from Gilligan’s Island and Lynda Carter later on 😍. Couldn’t have worded it better 👍🏾!

  • Marilyn C
    Marilyn C 2 years ago

    I think maria tried to related to Barbara . I don't know there is something off about the way she interviews . Barbara Eden is just gorgeous . I am just learning about her life. I grew up watching the show but didn't know much about her personal life . Beautiful women inside and out

  • NoemiGuzman
    NoemiGuzman 2 years ago +2

    What an incredible journey of Barbara Eden. Great interview.

  • Justin Martyr
    Justin Martyr 2 years ago


  • Ana Brand
    Ana Brand 2 years ago +4

    I love Barbara Eden I want to meet her,she is the kind of people that you can hear all day and you never get bored 😍

  • Allen M. Quinn
    Allen M. Quinn 2 years ago +1

    On another note, Maria Menounos is a great interviewer on her RU-clip show. Way better here than on Extra.

  • Allen M. Quinn
    Allen M. Quinn 2 years ago

    Hearing Barbara Eden saying "tits' was very amusing haha. In all honesty, I could listen to this woman talk all day and night and never get bored.

  • Lee Mclaury
    Lee Mclaury 2 years ago +2

    One of my favorites . She was always so beautiful

  • NoemiGuzman
    NoemiGuzman 3 years ago +4

    I think this is the best interview Maria has ever had. Barbara Eden is a wealth of knowledge on Hollywood history and met the most iconic actors of our time (Katherine Hepburn, Lucy, Johnny Carson, Paul Newman, Elvis Presley, etc). Such an interesting interview. Good job.

  • Justin Martyr
    Justin Martyr 3 years ago +2

    IS Barb [ 8 4 ] here? OH MY GOD!

  • lotusbuds2000
    lotusbuds2000 3 years ago

    Face looks unnaturally tight..great person & actress

    • Scorchy666
      Scorchy666 Year ago +1

      let's see your face, bigmouth.

  • DouglassD
    DouglassD 3 years ago

    Funny how she said Katherine Hepburn liked men. HA! :)

  • Andrew Flood
    Andrew Flood 3 years ago +1


  • SWDetboy
    SWDetboy 3 years ago +1

    nice interview

  • Ange Serena
    Ange Serena 3 years ago +1

    I wish she talked more about Michael, you can tell the interviewer wanted her to too. What Barbara wrote about him in the book was so beautiful and touching.

  • Z. S. Parsons
    Z. S. Parsons 4 years ago

    I think this is my favorite episode...Barbara is an amazing woman and actor. She was a part of my childhood as Jeannie. I'm glad your viewers got to see the strong, beautiful and enduring Mrs. Eden...she still inspires and makes my heart skip a beat.

  • SAL Paradise
    SAL Paradise 4 years ago

    I doubt the Menudo idiot even knows who Babs is.

  • Arthur Joseph
    Arthur Joseph 4 years ago +1

    Thanks Your doing a great job, Maria. Keep up the excellent work. Peace I'm Out. One Love

  • Ken M
    Ken M 4 years ago

    WHY is EDEN wearing a wig??

    • Ken M
      Ken M 4 years ago

      True younger dude

    • Chris Johnson
      Chris Johnson 4 years ago +2

      Despite looking like a million bucks she is in her 80s, perhaps a bad hair day. Also sometimes as you get older your hair thins a lot. Easier just to have a selection of nice wigs.

  • Jaymes Guy
    Jaymes Guy 4 years ago +1

    Apparently, an agent told the same thing to Lucille Ball, about going back home and marrying because she'd never make it in show business! Just goes to show you! Do what you feel you need and want and ignore what the dream-crushers say!

  • TheOneTrueKaliban
    TheOneTrueKaliban 4 years ago

    "Male dominated" Yeah, RIGHT!.............Until this incredible Gift From God flounces onto the scene! Barbara/Lola/Genie, we not so young bucks all know that we're making jackasses of ourselves over you and we don't CARE! To this day, in 2014, I'd still take a .45 slug in the guts for you and go down smiling. You are ALL that any devoted American mom could have hoped that her precious, only son would bring home.
    'Loved you for fifty+ years

  • Bob Mowreader
    Bob Mowreader 5 years ago +3

    shes still hot!

  • Joeyarhino1
    Joeyarhino1 5 years ago +3

    i love maria's genuine appreciation for barbra's talent and contribution

  • Joeyarhino1
    Joeyarhino1 5 years ago +1

    i love her

  • GypsyFairy85
    GypsyFairy85 5 years ago +4

    She is pushing 80 what did you expect? For her to appear the same as she did 50 years ago?

  • 1GodOnlyOne
    1GodOnlyOne 5 years ago +8

    Wow -- even at age 83, she is still GORGEOUS -- what an amazing woman!

  • John Smith
    John Smith 5 years ago +1

    Barbara still looks great,I was glued to the t.v as a kid she was so pretty.

    MrRJMGREEN 5 years ago

    I love this. It is odd to hear this, because my grandmother knew Ann Sothern (during her overweight years) and they got along famously, and my mother went to school with Tisha Sterling, and they got along famously.

    • Paul Lambert
      Paul Lambert 2 years ago

      Wow,what great stories you must have. People sometimes forget what a stunning beauty Sothern was. I like Tisha as well. I get the feeling that Ann was a very good mother.

      MrRJMGREEN 2 years ago

      Yes, my grandmother made reference to her weight. I did bother her. They would shop together, and my grandmother always picked out the prettiest dresses for her.

    • Paul Lambert
      Paul Lambert 2 years ago

      Sorry I meant SOTHERN.

    • Paul Lambert
      Paul Lambert 2 years ago

      I know what you mean. Ive always heard nice things about Southern. During her TV show (and through most of the 50s) Southern was quite ill with Hepatitis and very insecure about her weight and had to be carefully filmed to camouflage. To have a young knockout like Eden arrive on the set to do a scene with her must have been frustrating. Maybe Eden just worked with her on a bad day when Southern was not feeling well.

  • TheOneTrueKaliban
    TheOneTrueKaliban 5 years ago

    If I'd heard that schmuck tell her to "go home and marry the boy next door" I'd have moved to San Fransisco and BOUGHT the next house over!