Barbara Eden may have wished that she had a magic lamp to hide in on the set of the popular sitcom, I Dream of Jeannie.
Eden rose to stardom while portraying a 2,000-year-old genie who could grant unlimited wishes with a simple blink. Fans loved the show’s comedic storylines and the undeniable chemistry between Eden and her co-star, Larry Hagman, but unfortunately, Hagman was challenging to work with in real life.
‘I Dream of Jeannie’ 55th anniversary: Why Barbara Eden counted herself out for iconic role https://t.co/Phzs78bAqu
— USA TODAY Life (@usatodaylife) September 18, 2020
Eden vented about her on-screen love interest in the book Jeannie Out of the Bottle. In the book, Eden wrote:
“In many ways, Larry was like a very talented, troubled child whose tantrums sometimes got the better of his self-control.”
The actress admitted that Hagman would often clash with director Gene Nelson. The arguments were so heated that Eden would hide in her dressing room. Eden wrote:
“Whenever a battle between Larry and Gene appeared to be on the horizon, I just hid away in my dressing room. This was the only way I could survive the storms and conflicts that regularly raged on set. In fact, I retreated to my dressing room so often that many times I honestly didn’t know what was brewing on the set.”
? Today TV History: I DREAM OF JEANNIE Premiered 1965 NBC w/ @Barbara_Eden #LarryHagman. https://t.co/msOk6XFJk2 pic.twitter.com/sP7wM7hmkg
— TV Tango (@TVTango) September 18, 2016
Ultimately, when the director asked Eden how she felt about having Hagman replaced, the actress sided with her co-star. Eden’s answer severed her relationship with Nelson; however, Eden does not regret her decision to stick by Hagman.
“I’d work with him again any day,” Eden spoke fondly of her co-star. “Not just because of his talent, but because he is a warm and kind human being.”
You can catch more shocking behind-the-scenes secrets in the video below!