Matching family tree profiles for Barbara Eden
About Barbara Eden
One of television’s most enduring icons, bouncy blonde actress Barbara Eden never escaped the shadow of Jeannie, the television alter ego she so iconically created over four decades ago. As the star of the popular fantasy comedy, I Dream of Jeannie (NBC, 1965-1970), Eden brought a new level of sexuality to television, albeit with a nose-wiggling innocence. Though tame by today’s standards, Jeannie’s brand of playful femininity was revolutionary for its time and would open the doors for future TV babes, such as Pamela Anderson, Lucy Lawless, and Jennifer Garner. For her contribution to the television industry, Eden received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7003 Hollywood Blvd.
She was born Barbara Jean Morehead on August 23, 1934 in Tucson, Arizona, the daughter of Alice Mary (née Franklin) and Hubert Henry Morehead. Her parents divorced when she was three; she and her mother Alice moved to San Francisco, where later her mother married Harrison Connor Huffman, a telephone lineman. The Great Depression deeply affected the Huffman family, and as they were unable to afford many luxuries, Barbara's mother entertained the children by singing songs. This musical background left a lasting impression on the actress, who began taking acting classes because she felt it might help her improve her singing.
As a teenager, she plunged into acting and singing classes at San Francisco State College's Conservatory of Music. After briefly working as a band singer, Eden took up residence at Hollywood's Studio Club, an inexpensive rooming house for aspiring actresses. Other Studio Club residents would note in later years that Eden would look at the club's bulletin board and apply for every show business job available, even those that she was advised would "ruin" her career. Persistence paid off, and in 1956 Eden made her film debut in Back from Eternity.
She worked steadily in television, finally attaining leading-lady status on the 1958 sitcom How to Marry a Millionaire, in which she played a myopic "Marilyn Monroe"-type golddigger. Good film and TV roles followed for the lovely blonde actress, and full stardom arrived with the NBC comedy series I Dream of Jeannie. Eden played the curvaceous bottle imp from 1965-70, reviving the character in a brace of TV movies, the last one produced in 1991. Eden's post-Jeannie career has included several films, TV guest star appearances, theatrical and nightclub engagements, and still another sitcom, 1981's Harper Valley P.T.A.
In 1983, Eden joined the cast of Jaws 3, and played a role in Chattanooga Choo Choo (1984) before participating in The Fantasy Film Worlds of George Pal in 1985. The actress would return to her Genie roots throughout her later career, including in the 1985 comedy I Dream of Jeannie: 15 Years Later, and I Still Dream of Jeannie (1991). Eden also made her mark in other sitcom-based films, most notably A Very Brady Sequel (1996).
After starring alongside Hal Linden for the play Love Letters and taking a guest-starring role on Army Wives, a drama from Lifetime, Eden joined the cast of Always and Forever, a made-for-television movie for The Hallmark Channel (2009). In 2011, Eden published a memoir titled Jeannie Out of the Bottle that spoke candidly of her personal life, including detailed accounts of her failed marriages and the tragic death of her son.