Barbara Eden: A 'Jeannie Out of the Bottle'

Actress Barbara Eden looks back at her time on "I Dream of Jeannie."

ByABC News via GMA logo
April 4, 2011, 12:55 PM

April 4, 2011— -- Most of us know Barbara Eden as the delightfully adorable genie from the hit 1960s sitcom "I Dream of Jeannie." Whether it was a magical chemistry with co-star Larry Hagman or Jeannie's unbelievable ability to get herself in and out of trouble, the show was irresistible.

In her new book, "Jeannie Out of the Bottle," Barbara Eden describes her journey to the show and her life afterward.

Check out the excerpt below or click here to learn more more the famous bottle.

Introduction, "Jeannie Out of the Bottle"

December 1, 1964, Sunset Boulevard, 66 Angeles, California

It's the end of the first day fi lming the I Dream of Jeannie pilot, "TheLady in the Bottle," and three of us—the series's creator, writer, andproducer, Sidney Sheldon; Larry Hagman, who plays Captain AnthonyNelson; and I—are in the company limo speeding the thirtymiles from Malibu back to Hollywood after a long day on locationat Zuma Beach, the scene of Captain Nelson's fi rst meeting withJeannie.

Still in my flimsy pink chiffon harem- style pantaloons and minusculevelvet bolero, I shiver from head to foot, snuggle into mybrown cloth coat, and wish I'd been allowed to keep my full- lengthmink from my days as Loco in the TV series How to Marry aMillionaire.

How to Marry a Millionaire ran for two years, but— althoughI'm happy to be playing Jeannie, and thrilled that my fi rst day wentso well— I'm not counting on the I Dream of Jeannie pilot beingsold at all. But it's a job, and I'm glad to have gotten it, thoughI'm still stunned that Sidney Sheldon didn't cast a tall, willowy,raven- haired Middle Eastern beauty queen as his Jeannie instead ofa short American blonde like me.

The limo glides to a halt at a traffi c light, right next to a maroonMustang convertible sporting Kansas license plates and driven by anelderly man and his middle- aged wife.

Without any warning, Larry rolls down the limo window, leansout, and to my utter amazement yells at the couple, "Someday I'mgoing to be a star! Someday you're going to know who I am!"When I recover from my surprise, I think, A star! Why in the blazeswould he— or anyone else, for that matter— ever want to be a star?I blink my Jeannie- style blink and flash back two years to April10, 1962, on the sound stage at Twentieth Century Fox, where Iam filming Five Weeks in a Balloon with Red Buttons, and MarilynMonroe is filming Something's Got to Give on sound stage 14, whichis adjacent to mine. Evie—Evelyn Moriarty, my stand- in since I fi rstarrived at Fox in 1957, and Marilyn's as well— announces in herinimitable twang, "Barbara, my other star has asked to meet you!"I know she means Marilyn Monroe, because that's how she alwaysrefers to her, and I am both thrilled and curious to meet Marilynat last. After all, Evie has been confi ding in me about her foryears. So although I am dressed for the movie like a clown in baggyplaid pants and a massive white shirt, when Evie grabs my handand pulls me over to the Something's Got to Give sound stage, whereMarilyn is about to start a wardrobe test, I follow her without a moment'shesitation.