|About Barbara Eden.
Barbara Eden is one of those rare performers who make the impossible look easy. Juggling career assignments which range from motion picture and television roles to theatre and personal appearance engagements, Barbara’s success and popularity with audiences everywhere is enormous.
In addition to starring in a string of successful TV movies and her captivating guest appearances on CBS’s Dallas, Barbara has formed her own production company and recently signed a non-exclusive three year movie-for-television deal with NBC-TV.
Eden’s CBS movie Dead Man’s Island, based on the bestseller of the same name by Carolyn G. Hart, aired in March. She portrayed the world-famous investigative journalist, Henrie O., who is called upon to solve the mystery of the attempted murder of her former college professor and lover.
Recently, she opened the 47th season of the Long Beach Civic Light Opera, starring in the witty musical Nite Club Confidential, opposite Gary Sandy. Earlier in 1995 she toured throughout in the Midwest starring in The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas. In prior years she had launched an 11-city tour of Neil Simon’s Last Of The Red Hot Lovers, opposite Don Knotts which began in March of 1993 and continued on through the summer. Ms. Eden portrayed the roles of Elaine Navazio and Jeanette Fisher in this three-act performance.
Barbara was seen in October 1991 on NBC-TV starring as the beloved "Jeannie" in the telefilm I Still Dream of Jeannie. She recreated the character in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the first season of the sitcom I Dream of Jeannie.
One of the more successful movies-of-the-week was recently produced by Barbara’s Bar-Gene Productions, Hell Hath No Fury. In the NBC psychological thriller, Barbara’s happy life is tragically interrupted when a deranged woman stalks and murders her family and friends, setting it up to look as if Barbara’s character committed the crimes. The film won its time spot in the ratings race.
Another TV movie, Her Wicked Ways, helped CBS gain its highest Tuesday movie rating since Lonesome Dove aired one year earlier. Barbara starred as a veteran White House reporter who had to do battle with an upstart reporter with an eye on Barbara’s job.
Barbara’s successful return to series TV in Brand New Life, which aired in the Fall of 1989 as part of NBC’s Magical World of Disney, found an appreciative audience. In the series of one-hour family dramas, Eden starred as a divorced mother of three who met a widower with three children.
Barbara’s motion picture and television successes seem to never end. When her smash film comedy hit Harper Valley PTA was aired on NBC during February "sweeps" in 1980, it was the only television program to out-rate the Olympics in its time slot and inspired the development of her NBC series Harper Valley. The series went on to become the highest rated new NBC series of the 1980-81 season.
Some of the network movies-for-television which Barbara starred in over the last decade, and which have met with huge ratings successes, include the NBC films; Opposites Attract, Your Mother Wears Combat Boots, The Secret Life of Kathy McCormick, The Stepford Children, I Dream of Jeannie: 15 Years Later, Return of the Rebels for CBS, Girls in the Office for ABC and NBC’s Howling in the Woods, and How to Break Up a Happy Divorce.
Return of the Rebels, with Don Murray, not only bested the 1981 season openers of both Love Boat and Fantasy Island in the national Nielsens, but was also CBS’ highest rated Saturday night movie during an 18-month period, topped only by Clint Eastwood’s blockbuster hit Magnum Force. And, of course, Barbara’s long-running I Dream of Jeannie hit television series was not only a network mainstay on NBC from 1965-1970 but has also become of the most popular domestic and internationally syndicated series in the history of American television.
Having brought the beguiling "Jeannie" to television for five delightful years, Barbara looks back on her mischievous magical character with great affection. Now marking 30 years since its airdate, I Dream of Jeannie has returned to primetime on Nick at Nite and continues to air daily worldwide.
Barbara’s return to the enchanting role of the contemporary 2015-year old genie in NBC’s lighthearted two-hour television movie, I Dream of Jeannie: 15 Years Later, captured the hearts and the imagination of Eden fans everywhere and ranked as the 11th highest rated TV film of the 1985-86 season.
An international sensation, Barbara participated in her 21st Bob Hope Christmas Special while shooting Visions of Murder II. She has become a regular guest star of Mr. Hope’s and joined him on the whirlwind Around the World in 8 Days 1987 USO Christmas tour to the Persian Gulf entertaining service men during the holidays.
Barbara has been honored for her many television accomplishments with a "star" on the Hollywood Walk of Fame located at 7003 Hollywood Boulevard. The tribute was even more special because the Barbara Eden International Fan Club contributed the $3,500 donation to the Hollywood Historic Trust to cover the cost of implanting the star in the sidewalk.
Even the legal profession is taken with Barbara Eden. In the spring of 1990 she was honored with a doctor law degree from the University of West Los Angeles School of Law.
From high school days in San Francisco, Barbara Eden had a goal … to succeed in show business. She worked toward that goal in very way she could. Fortunate that her family recognized her talent early and encouraged her, she was able to study drama and technique while going to school. She also studied music at the San Francisco Conservatory and sang with bands in the Bay Area on weekends. Singing not only helped her pay her way at City College in San Francisco, but the experience gave her the poise that helped her with a scholarship in a theatre group when she was just 18.
A year later, at 19, she felt she was ready for Hollywood. But was Hollywood ready for her? She landed an interview at Warner Bros. soon after she arrived and presented herself with confidence and high hopes. The executive producer who interviewed her took one look at her fresh young face and said, "You’re a nice kid from a nice family. Go home!" But Barbara, determined to succeed, wouldn’t go home. She began living at the Studio Club, meeting other girls with the same dream and sharing experiences with them while working in a bank at night to pay her way.
"Discovery," in the Hollywood sense, finally came her way when a producer from 20th Century-Fox spotted Barbara in The Voice of the Turtle at the Laguna Playhouse. He placed her under a non-exclusive contract at the studio for their new television series How To Marry A Millionaire, which lasted for two seasons. This led to starring roles for Barbara in such feature films as Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm and The Seven Faces of Dr. Lao.
It is challenging enough to a star to excel in one area of the entertainment industry and it is a tribute to Barbara’s many talents that she commands a tremendous following in several. An accomplished singer as well as actress, she starred in several highly successful tours of such musicals as Woman of the Year, South Pacific and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.
Barbara loves the excitement and energy of live audiences and each year accepts a limited number of personal appearance engagements in the top hotels of Las Vegas, Atlantic City and Lake Tahoe. Over the years she has headlined at the MGM Grand, the Riviera and Sahara, among other top night clubs.
In her spare time Barbara works actively on behalf of numerous national and local charities, including such organizations as the American Cancer Society, The Wellness Community, The March of Dimes, the American Heart Association, Save the Children and Childhelp. To this work she brings the same energy, commitment and enthusiasm that she is famous for in her professional life.
Born in Tucson, Arizona, Barbara has spent most of her life in California and currently resides with her husband, Jon Eicholtz, in Beverly Hills, California.