[HOLLYWOOD, Calif.] Aug. 23, 2019 — The Hollywood Museum honored TV icon Barbara Eden by unveiling a new lobby exhibit featuring the original costume that the actress wore on her classic series, I Dream of Jeannie, plus the original bottle featured in the Jeannie pilot and five screen accurate bottles by Mario Della Casa. The ceremony took place on Wednesday, Aug. 21, two days before Eden’s birthday.
Now open to the public, the I Dream of Jeannie exhibit is the latest addition to the Museum’s popular ongoing Lobby Series, which pays tribute to iconic and legendary individuals in entertainment. The Jeannie costume and original pilot bottle were both loaned to the Museum by Eden herself.
Donelle Dadigan, founder and president of The Hollywood Museum, presided over the festivities, which included remarks from such luminaries as Elliott Gould (M*A*S*H, Friends, ER), Loni Anderson (WKRP in Cincinnati), Peter Marshall (The Hollywood Squares), Anson Williams (Happy Days), and esteemed film critic Leonard Maltin, plus a special surprise birthday cake supplied by Sweet Lady Jane’s bakery.
“When you say the name Barbara Eden, I defy you not to smile, because that’s what she promotes in our collective consciousness,” said Maltin. “She has given us a lot of pleasure, and a lot of happiness that continues to this day.”
Both Maltin and Marshall spoke about Eden’s often overlooked motion picture career, which began when she was signed by 20th Century-Fox as a contract player and included such films as Flaming Star (with Elvis Presley), Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (with Walter Pidgeon), The Seven Faces of Dr. Lao (with Tony Randall), All Hands on Deck (with Pat Boone), and Harper Valley, PTA (which NBC later adapted into a TV series for Eden). Marshall and Anderson discussed Eden’s extensive career as a stage actress, which includes productions of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, The Odd Couple, and Love Letters.
Anderson also talked about her decades-long friendship with Eden, which began when they both appeared together in a series of Bob Hope specials. “You inspire me because you have never rested on your celebrity,” she said to Eden from the podium. “You keep working. You keep acting. You keep doing what you love.”
Williams recalled how Eden put everyone at ease behind the scenes in Your Mother Wears Combat Boots, a made-for-TV movie that also marked the actor’s directorial debut. “We shot that at Fort Benning, Georgia, which was not the most comfortable of conditions,” Williams said. “Barbara was the nicest, kindest, most collaborative person in the world. She made the crew feel good. She made the soldiers feel good. She was just amazing to work with.”
Gould reminisced about working with Eden in Quick! Let’s Get Married, a 1964 comedy starring Ray Milland and Ginger Rogers, while Marshall shared funny anecdotes about Eden’s longtime co-stars on Jeannie, Larry Hagman and Bill Daily.
The soft-spoken Eden ended the evening by expressing her gratitude and sharing the story of how she originally became cast as Jeannie.
Other guests in attendance Wednesday included Don Most (Happy Days), Alison Arngrim (Little House on the Prairie), Dawn Wells (Gilligan’s Island), Kathy Garver (Family Affair, Aunt Cissy), Johnnie Whitaker (Family Affair, Sigmund and the Sea Monsters), Lee Purcell (Valley Girl, Adam at 6 A.M., Carol of the Bells), Ilene Graff (Mr. Belvedere, Making the Song Your Own), Geri Jewell (The Facts of Life, Deadwood), Erin Murphy (Bewitched), Kate Linder (The Young and the Restless), Brandin Stennis (The Young and the Restless), Carolyn Hennesy (General Hospital), and comedienne Judy Tenuta.
About The Hollywood Museum
The Hollywood Museum is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation that houses over 10,000 Authentic Show Business Treasures spotlighting more than 100 years of Hollywood history – from the Silents to Talkies, to Hollywood’s Golden Era, Film Noir, Television and its Pioneer Years, through the rebellious 60s, special effects 70s, evolving 80s, involved 90s, technological 2000s, and beyond to current day heartthrobs! The Hollywood Museum’s exhibits showcase the best in film, network and cable television, and new digital platforms featuring iconic and fan favorites! Located in the heart of Hollywood, at the corner of Hollywood Blvd and Highland Ave – The Hollywood Museum in the historic Max Factor Building is the Official Museum of Hollywood and offers visitors the most extensive collection of Hollywood memorabilia in the world featuring the glamour of Hollywood legends and stars – past, present and in the making. The museum offers one-of-a-kind costumes, props, photographs, scripts, stars’ car collections, personal artifacts, posters, and memorabilia from favorite stars, films and TV shows. Just a few steps from the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Hollywood Museum has been named the #1 top tourist attraction in Hollywood by LA Weekly, and one of the Top 10 Museums in LA by the LA Tourism and Convention Board and Trip Advisor.
REGULAR HOURS: Wednesday – Sunday: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
TICKETS: $15 Adults: $12 Seniors (62+): $12 for students with ID and $5 Children under 5.
ADDRESS: 1660 N. Highland Ave. (at Hollywood Blvd.), Los Angeles, CA 90028
MUSEUM INFO: www.TheHollywoodMuseum.com or Tel: (323) 464-7776