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A magical, heartwarming memoir from one of Hollywood’s most beloved icons
Over the past four decades, the landmark NBC hit television series I Dream of Jeannie has delighted generations of audiences and inspired untold numbers of teenage crushes on its beautiful blond star, Barbara Eden. Part pristine Hollywood princess and part classic bombshell, with innocence, strength, and comedic talent to spare, Barbara finally lets Jeannie out of her bottle to tell her whole story.
Jeannie Out of the Bottle takes us behind the scenes of I Dream of Jeannie as well as Barbara’s dozens of other stage, movie, television, and live concert performances. We follow her from the hungry years when she was a struggling studio contract player at 20th Century Fox through difficult weeks trying to survive as a chorus girl at Ciro’s Sunset Strip supper club, from a stint as Johnny Carson’s sidekick on live TV to tangling on-screen and off with some of Hollywood’s most desirable leading men, including Elvis Presley, Clint Eastwood, Paul Newman, and Warren Beatty. From the ups and downs of her relationship with her Jeannie co-star Larry Hagman to a touching meeting with an exquisite and vulnerable Marilyn Monroe at the twilight of her career, readers join Barbara on a thrilling journey through her five decades in Hollywood.
But Barbara’s story is also an intimate and honest memoir of personal tragedy: a stillborn child with her first husband, Michael Ansara; a verbally abusive, drug-addicted second husband; the loss of her beloved mother; and the accidental heroin-induced death of her adult son, just months before his wedding. With candor and poignancy, Barbara reflects on the challenges she has faced, as well as the joys she has experienced and how she has maintained her humor, optimism, and inimitable Jeannie magic throughout the roller-coaster ride of a truly memorable life.
Illustrated with sixteen pages of photographs, including candid family pictures and rare publicity stills, Jeannie Out of the Bottle is a must-have for every fan, old and new.
||April 05, 2011|
|Average Customer Rating:
|| based on 222 reviews|
Average Customer Review:
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77 of 80 found the following review helpful:
I Dream of BarbaraApr 06, 2011
Who doesn't love Barbara Eden? She's one of the classiest stars in show business and her biography is a breezy, fun read. There's no nastiness here, but Barbara still includes lots of stories from "I Dream of Jeannie" and beyond. Barbara has been inspirational in many ways; her dignity in personal tragedy, her loyalty to her "Jeannie" fans, and her willingness to embrace her pop-icon image. She also shares some candid and deep feelings here and it's all very touching. Her autobiography is sweet and to the point. I couldn't put the book down. We all dreamed of Jeannie, but you'll love Barbara.
55 of 59 found the following review helpful:
An engaging memoir by the beloved sitcom starApr 06, 2011
Baby boomers with fond memories of the deliciously escapist 1960s sitcom "I Dream of Jeannie" will thoroughly enjoy this charming memoir by its star, Barbara Eden. Looking back on a career spanning more than 50 years, the classy and unassuming star has some great stories to share. As an up-and-coming young actress, she met a number of Hollywood notables, and her recollections about Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Groucho Marx, and Lucille Ball are fascinating. Before earning her own sitcom stardom, she played small roles in various popular shows of the 1950s, and the comparison she draws between Lucy and Ann Sothern, who reacted to the pretty newcomer in quite different ways, makes for interesting reading. Though she's never vindictive or insulting, there's a bit of spice to Eden's stories about life with the "Jeannie" company, notably the volatile and peculiar behavior of co-star Larry Hagman. Fans will also enjoy her reminiscences about other members of the "Jeannie" cast including Hayden Rorke and Emmaline Henry. Naturally, no one's real life could be as sunny and unblemished as a "Jeannie" episode, and Eden writes honestly and movingly about some of her unhappiest times, notably her son's drug addiction and death at a young age. Those who enjoy her work as a performer will welcome the opportunity to know her better through this endearing and entertaining autobiography.
30 of 33 found the following review helpful:
A Very Entertaining MemoirApr 05, 2011
By Jan Comsky
I really like Barbara Edens' writing style. This book is a very entertaining read. One follows Barbara Eden from her days at 20th Century Fox, to her "gig" at Ciro's, and ultimately "I Dream of Jeannie" ( the TV show I grew up with!). The stories/anecdotes of Larry Hagman and I Dream of Jeannie is not to be missed. Anyone who grew up with this show, and/or just loves books on celebrity biographies, should get a copy of this book. Enjoy!
26 of 30 found the following review helpful:
I could not put it down! Cover to cover in a night!Apr 08, 2011
By Tell It Like It Is
I have met Barbara Eden on 4 occasions, but even before I met her, I knew in my heart that she would be the kind hearted person we saw on Jeannie and I was not disappointed. She is a class act all the way. Even if you never meet her in person, believe me, this book is the next best thing. Barbara never resorts to name calling, nasty comments or vulgarity in any way, yet she is very easily able to vividly paint pictures of all the people and experiences in her life both good and bad. The stories about her Hollywood experiences and rubbing shoulders with the stars is a lot of fun, but I am so grateful that she chose to open her heart and soul to us about her personal life, as well. I only wish the book had been longer. I felt like she probably had so many more stories to tell and those of us who've loved her since we were tiny children would sit mesmerized by her, even if the book was the size of "War and Peace".
In an era when the "casting couch" was probably the easiest way for a woman to rise in the ranks and get noticed, Barbara Eden resisted and did just what her mother always told her and "rose above it". She managed to carve out a fairly steady living in an industry where people go long stints without jobs. She managed to land a show that would render her immortal, and she managed to create a career that is as much based on her acting and singing talent as her eternal beauty. Few women can say that and though Barbara confesses to her fascination with Marilyn Monroe, where as Marilyn was a vulnerable victim of Hollywood, Barbara triumphed over it without succumbing to drugs, alcohol, sexual promiscuity or any of the other usual vices associated with fame and Hollywood.
Truly a magical being, (though Barbara denies that Jeannie is her alter-ego), I think she is so genuine a person that her beautiful aura radiated through the TV and when I was only 3 years old, I saw it. When I was 25 and met her in real life for the first time, I saw it then too and the times after that. So whether she is in her chiffon or out of her bottle, what you see is what you get - a radiant, beautiful soul and through her words, you can feel it in her book, too.
8 of 9 found the following review helpful:
Seems kind of disconnectedNov 13, 2013
The book lacked a lot of warmth for me. She talks about her first marriage and mentions love a few times, but she kind of scans over it like it wasn't that important. You get way more details on several appearances she's had with stars like Elvis, Desi Arnez, Tony Randall, Paul Newman. She mentions that most of these men chased after her. Most of the people in the book she talks the most about, she didn't even have a close relationship with. She also had a son with her first husband. She does mention him a bit more by the end of the book and conveys a heartache over losing him. The book just seemed to sum up a few guest appearances she had on some shows, but I thought it all came off as shallow and boring. The details on the Jeannie show were a bit more detailed mentioning problems with Larry Hagman's erratic behavior. You don't really get to know her as a person. She kind of jumps around with the tv shows and acting she did. She definitely has heartache over the loss of her son but we have no idea of her relationship with him. To me she came off as sounding vain and full of herself with the mention of all the stars and all the men chasing after her.
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