In the Blink of An Eye, Barbara Eden Turns 88: Check Out the Photos From Her Birthday Bash at The Hollywood Museum

Consider our minds boggled over the fact that actress Barbara Eden, forever known as the magical lead of the Classic TV sitcom I Dream of Jeannie, has turned 88. It’s a major cause for celebration, which is exactly what happened at The Hollywood Museum’s continuing “Lobby Series” of events, which has been paying tribute to iconic and legendary individuals in entertainment. Beyond any celebrations of Jeannie, the evening was a tribute to Barbara herself to commemorate her birthday.

“There isn’t much about me that people don’t know, so there isn’t a lot I can tell you except that one of the questions that everyone has asked me is how did you get the job?” Barbara said as she addresses the crowd. “It’s a story you may know, but I’ll tell you anyway. I had been reading in Variety about this script and they were testing all the gorgeous brunettes in town. I mean, they were all fitness girls! Six-foot tall! Dark hair! Great bodies! And I thought, ‘Well that leaves me — the short blonde — out.’ About a week later my agent called me and said, ‘Do you like this script?’ And I said, ‘I love it! Are you sure they know what I look like? You know, a short blonde?’ And he said, ‘Well I guess they do, because they made an offer!'”

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William Kidston, courtesy of The Hollywood Museum

“I had to have tea with Sidney Sheldon, the man who produced it,” she continues. “I went down to the Beverly Hills Hotel and I had a tea with Sidney. And the rest was history; that’s the day I got part. And Larry Hagman! Larry had been just someone that they just wanted so badly. I didn’t know him when I was called, but they said, ‘Will you work with him, because they’re going to test him?’ I was at Universal [at the time]. So Larry came to Universal and to my dressing room. I had the script and I knew the scene that we were going to do and played it full house, ‘Oh, Master!’ Scared the living daylights out of him. He was so frightened. I certainly knew it, but later he said to me ‘I didn’t know about you Barbara, I thought you were nuts!’ And I was. Thank you so much for coming. To see people I haven’t seen in years and years and years, it just warms my heart.”

And you can have your heart warmed by scrolling down to read the other tributes to Barbara Eden.

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