Barbara Eden is an American actress whose career spans over 5 decades. During her heydays, she was known for her role as “Jeannie,” a bottled-up genie in the sitcom, I Dream of Jeannie. It remains her best-known role to this day and Eden still lives in that glory, occasionally using the genie image to her favor.
Barbara Eden Bio (Age)
Eden was born as Barbara Jean Morehead on August 23, 1931, in Tucson, Arizona to Alice Mary (née Franklin) and Hubert Henry Morehead. At the time of her birth, her mom was 17 years old while her dad who was a butcher was 22 years old.
Her parents divorced when she was three years old, after which her mom relocated with her to San Fransisco where she would marry a telephone lineman named Harrison Connor Huffman. Barbara then took her step-father’s surname.
Barbara inherited her mother’s singing genes and began showcasing them as a kid in her church choir where she sang solos. She honed her vocal abilities as she grew and soon began earning $10 per performance at nightclubs.
She enrolled at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music to study music and later, the Elizabeth Holloway School of Theatre where she studied acting. Eden attended San Fransisco’s Abraham Lincoln High School graduating in 1949. She attended the City College of San Francisco where she studied theater for just a year.
Putting her voluptuous figure to use, Barbara began modeling and would later be crowned Miss San Francisco in 1951. She quickly transitioned to acting and landed her first agent who changed her name to Barbara Eden. Eden began her career in TV with a semi-regular role in The Johnny Carson Show and made her feature film debut in an uncredited role in Back from Eternity (1956).
From the till 1964, Barbara appeared in about 18 feature films, but none of them was remarkable enough to earn her a breakthrough. Simultaneously, she appeared in numerous TV shows. Her supporting role in The Brass Bottle attracted the attention of producer Sidney Sheldon who gave her the role of Jeannie in is fantasy sitcom I Dream of Jeannie.
The sitcom premiered on NBC in 1965 and went on to become a hit, garnering a cult following and shooting Eden’s career over the roof. The show aired for 5 years, totaling 139 episodes. After the show ended, Eden became a TV film staple. Her next big gig was the role of Stella Johnson in the feature film Harper Valley PTA (1978) which was about a popular country song.
Eden’s acting career began to wane in the mid-1990s. However, she occasionally makes guest appearances. Her autobiography, Barbara Eden: My Story was published in 1986, and in 2011, she published her memoir, Jeannie Out of the Bottle.
Alive or Dead?
When an actor’s heydays are behind them and they become greatly quiet in the mainstream, the world begins to wonder if they are Alive or Dead? and for Eden, the case was no different. Well, Barbara Eden is not dead but alive. She has managed to remain active in her own little way, starting an Instagram account where she occasionally keeps fans updated on her life. In a bid to fit into the modern world, Eden also has a self-titled website.
From singing at nightclubs to teenage popularity, and Hollywood fame, Barbara Eden couldn’t be prouder of her life achievements. In 1988, she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Her net worth is estimated at $10 million.
Son: Matthew Ansara
Barbara Eden had a son named Mathew Ansara who was born on August 29, 1965. She conceived him shortly after filming the pilot for I Dream of Jeannie. It was her first child with her first husband Michael Ansara to whom she was married from 1958 to 1974.
Unfortunately, Matt died on 25 June 2001 aged 35. He was found dead in his car following an accidental drug overdose. Barbara suffered an emotional breakdown following her son’s death which she penned in her 2011 memoir.
Though Barbara remarried twice, Matthew was her only son. Matthew followed in the footsteps of his famous parents to become an actor, though he acted only occasionally. Some of his best-known films included One World (1998), Con Games (2001), and To Protect and Serve (2001).
For two years, from 1993 to 1995, he was married to Julie Ansara. Matthew was engaged to be married to his girlfriend Leanna Green in a wedding that was slated to hold on September 1, 2001. He had no children.
One of Barbara Eden’s trademarks is her voluptuous figure which has stood the test of time. Her recent appearances show that time has done little to mar Eden’s hourglass figure Her body measurements are 36-24-36 inches. Barbara Eden stands at 5 feet 3 inches tall.