“When that camera started rolling, It was just heaven,” the 85-year-old star told Closer Weekly in a recent interview.
But it didn’t start out that way. “Larry [Hagman] said I scared him to death!” Barbara recalled to Closer of their first rehearsal together. “I threw my arms around his neck and said, ‘Oh, Master!’ And he was like, ‘What is this woman doing?'”
“In one case, Larry was sitting on the sofa and I had to jump in the air and land on it with my hand under my chin. We rehearsed it and it worked beautifully,” she said. But when it came time to film, she landed on Larry’s knee and cracked a tooth! “Oh, it was awful! Blood all over the place… We didn’t do anything like that again,” she added.
Barbara on I Dream of Jeannie in 1967.
Stunts aside, Barbara and Larry — who sadly died at age 81 in 2012 — had a great working relationship. “We were always on the same wavelength as far as truth and honesty and acting were concerned,” Barbara told Closer Weekly.
Both Barbara and Larry were unhappy with the network’s decision to have their characters wed in a 1969 episode. “It killed the show,” the actress confessed.
Barbara in 2012.
I Dream of Jeannie previously aired for five seasons on NBC from September 1965 until May 1970. Prior to landing the coveted role as lovable, 2,000-year-old genie Jeannie, Barbara made her showbiz debut at age 25 as a semi-regular on The Johnny Carson Show in 1956. She later appeared on popular shows including I Love Lucy, Gunsmoke, The Andy Griffith Show, and Route 66, just to name a few!
Today, Barbara is mostly retired from acting, though she often steps out to meet I Dream of Jeannie fans at events — how fun!