Barbara Eden's Son Found Dead

ByABC News
June 29, 2001, 6:21 PM

June 27 -- I Dream of Jeannie star Barbara Eden is said to be "devastated" after the body of her only son was discovered Monday night.

Matthew Ansara, 35, Eden's son with actor Michael Ansara, was found Monday night slumped over the steering wheel of a parked car by an attendant at a Chevron gas station in Monrovia, east of Los Angeles. Paramedics arrived on the scene and pronounced him dead at 9:15 p.m., Eden's spokesman, Gene Schwam, told Reuters.

There was no trauma to Ansara's body, Los Angeles County Coroner's spokesman Scott Carrier said, adding that the cause of death is under investigation.

Schwam said that Ansara, a fitness trainer and actor, had been planning to marry on Sept. 1. He said that Eden, who was busy planning the wedding, was "devastated."

"They're just in shock right now. This is her only child. She gets a call at 3:30 a.m.," Schwam said, adding that Ansara had not had any recent illnesses.

"He was a bodybuilder, he looked like a million bucks," he said.

Eden is best-known for the title role as the blond genie in a bottle in the 1960s TV show I Dream of Jeannie opposite Larry Hagman.

She met her former husband, Michael Ansara, who played Cochise on the old TV series Broken Arrow, while both were under contract with Fox. He was working on a series and she was playing the Marilyn Monroe character in a television series based on the film How to Marry a Millionaire.

Reuters contributed to this story.