By: Renee Grant
It’s hard to believe that Barbara Eden may not have been the genie we all fell in love with during her run on I Dream of Jeannie fifty years ago. She tells The Breakfast Club she didn’t think she would be the one to get the part.
“I had heard about women being tested for the part, but they were all very tall brunettes, and gorgeous girls. Beauty contest winners, so I thought ‘well, that’s not for me.’ And then I received a script from my agent, I read it and thought, ‘could this be what I’ve been reading about in Variety?’
“My agent called me and asked me how did you like it, and I said,’I loved it!’ He said, well, they’ve made us an offer on it. And I said, ‘are you sure they know what I look like?’ So I had tea with Sidney Sheldon and that nailed it.”
The beautiful blonde now has a new role as a genie on a Nickelodeon children’s show called Shimmer and Shine. Eden plays Empress Caliana, a quirky empress and teacher who guides young genies Shimmer and Shine as they rescue their friend Samira. Eden enjoys being able to reach a new generation of children.
When asked about working with Elvis, Eden tells The Breakfast Club, “He was a beautiful soul,” and that he never changed throughout his life.
You can hear the full interview below and be sure to tune in to The Breakfast Club weekday mornings from 5:30AM to 9AM!