Press Release: Jeannie Out of the Bottle by Barbara Eden & Wendy Leigh
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Tammy Blake
From one of Hollywood’s most beloved icons
comes an enchanting, poignant memoir
of a lifetime in show business
JEANNIE OUT OF
BY BARABARA EDEN
with Wendy Leigh
Over the past four decades, the landmark television series I Dream of Jeannie has delighted generations of audiences and inspired untold numbers of teenage crushes on its beautiful blonde star, Barbara Eden. But when the show first aired on NBC in 1965, little did anyone associated with the series ever dream that Barbara’s role as Jeannie—with her harem-girl costume, blonde up do, and signature blink—would become the universally recognizable icon in pop culture she is today.
In her memoir, JEANNIE OUT OF THE BOTTLE (Crown Archetype; On-Sale April 5, 2011; Hardcover), Barbara Eden shares the story of her life, on and off the screen. Spanning the golden age of Hollywood, where she shared a stand-in with Marilyn Monroe at Twentieth Century Fox, through the rise of the power and influence of television as an international star-maker, Barbara has seen and experienced it all in Hollywood. In JEANNIE OUT OF THE BOTTLE, Eden, with her innocence, strength, and humor, finally lets Jeannie out of the bottle to tell her whole unvarnished story.
Eden takes readers behind the scenes of I Dream of Jeannie as well as dozens of her other stage and screen performances, from Hollywood to Las Vegas and beyond. With great affection and intimate detail, she describes her encounters with Hollywood legends such as:
- Marilyn Monroe—who shared a stand-in and dear friend with Eden by the name of Evie Moriarty. Of Evie’s introduction to Marilyn Eden writes: “…I wasn’t remotely nervous at the thought of meeting Elvis, but on the day that ….Evie … announced “My other star wants to meet you” and led me onto the Something’s Got to Give sound stage to introduce me to Marilyn Monroe, my nervousness knew no bounds…She was the most beautiful woman she had ever seen or met.” Another interesting tidbit about Marilyn Monroe that she confessed to her stand-in: she’d rather look like Katherine Hepburn and be boyish, not round.
- Warren Betty—who Eden originally thought of as dreadfully scary and intimidating leading man: “Whenever I was on my way to makeup, he’d loom out of the shadows and scare the living daylights out of me by whispering, “Barbara Eden! Barbara Eden! I’m gonna come and get you right now!” He later surprised her by planting an unsolicited kiss on her when she was waiting to be called onto the set to test for a part in one of his productions: “The trailer door swings open and there, in all his mature glory is Warren. Without a word, he saunters up to me, kisses me on the lips, and then saunters straight out again.”
- Elvis Presley—who asked Barbara out on a date when she first moved to Hollywood, then later acted with her in a movie shot in Las Vegas. Eden fondly remembers her weeks spent as his leading lady, and the very close relationship they had on set. “It only took a couple of seconds with Elvis for me to recognize that he was really just a nice southern boy who had been taught by his momma to mind his manners and say please and thank you, just as I’d been taught by mine.”
- John F. Kennedy—who as Senator, slipped Eden his phone number after meeting her at a NYC airport.
- Clint Eastwood: Eden worked with this Hollywood sex symbol an on the set of the TV series Rawhide: “Apart from having a good sense of humor, Clint was intensely attractive, already exuding a superstar glamour. Women flocked to him in droves…[and] enjoyed the attention of other girls…Every inch a man, Clint was clearly flattered and didn’t always refuse to engage with them romantically.”
- Desi Arnaz— “…there was not doubt whatsoever that Desi Arnaz was a world-class philanderer. It was common knowledge in Hollywood that he had a taste for young, curvaceous blondes and that Lucy was deeply unhappy about Desi’s infidelity.” But it was his wife, Lucille Ball, who made a lasting and positive impression on the young Eden during her cameo performance in I Love Lucy. Despite being painfully aware of the sexual advances being made by her husband towards Eden, Lucy proved to be such a class act and professional, and helped Eden find the best and sexiest dress to wear on the show. “Now that was the kind of woman Lucille Ball was. She was really smart and really dedicated to her show, and even though she realized that Desi was actively pursuing me, she still put me in that dress because she knew it was right for the character and right for the show.”
- Paul Newman—whose eyes, according to Eden, out dazzled those belonging to Jack Kennedy and who Eden says would have been a serious temptation if she wasn’t already married to the man of her dreams, actor Michael Ansara.
- Orson Welles—who, according to Eden, had “sex appeal galore.”
- Tony Randall—who won a small fortune playing Gin Rummy with Eden, only because he was cheating!
- And of course, Eden’s Jeannie costar, Larry Hagman, who Barbara thought was one of the most talented actors she ever worked. And while she respected Larry as an actor, it was his shifting moods and off-camera theatrics that grew exhausting causing her to hide out in her dressing room in order to escape the storms and conflicts that were regular occurrences on the set.
Beyond Hollywood, JEANNIE OUT OF THE BOTTLE also reveals Eden’s compelling, yet dramatic personal life: from the tragedy of having to carry for seven weeks a stillborn child, to a verbally abusive, cocaine-addicted second husband, to the untimely drug-related death of her beloved and handsome son, whose death at the age of thirty five broke her heart, to today and the gift of a new-found and lasting love—all of which she tells with deep emotion and honesty.
JEANNIE OUT OF A BOTTLE is Barbara Eden, the real woman behind the legendary Jeannie. An insider’s look at a brilliant life in show business, it is also a reflectio on Barbara’s accomplishments and the many challenges she has faced along the way. Most of all, it is an amazingly told story of how she maintained her humor, optimism, and inimitable Jeannie magic throughout the roller-coaster ride of a truly memorable life.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
BARBARA EDEN has been a television, film, and stage actress and a Las Vegas headliner for more than five decades. She is best known for her title role in the hit TV series I Dream of Jeannie. She grew up in San Francisco and currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Jon Trusdale Eicholtz and their Labradoodle, Djin Djin.
WENDY LEIGH is the New York Times bestselling author of eleven books, including My Life and My Sister Madonna and True Grace: The Live and Times of an American Princess.
Jeannie Out of The Bottle
with Wendy Leigh
Crown Archetype • Hardcover • Color Insert
On Sale April 5, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-307-88694-1 • $25.00