The popular sitcom I Dream of Jeannie ran for five seasons from 1965 to 1970 and gained new generations of fans years after it originally aired thanks to reruns. The TV show’s stars Barbara Eden, who played Jeannie, and Larry Hagman, who played Captain Tony Nelson, were hilarious together with great on-screen chemistry. Some fans of the series aren’t aware that these two reunited years later on another popular TV show.
Read on to find out which show that was and what Eden said following the death of the man she shared the screen with so many times.
Eden and Hagman shot to fame when they were cast as a genie and an astronaut
Hagman and Eden got their big breaks when they were cast on I Dream of Jeannie.
The show was about a beautiful 2,000-year-old genie (Eden) who is rescued from a bottle by a U.S. astronaut (Hagman) she ends up falling for. Eden’s character was appropriately named Jeannie but instead of three wishes, she used unlimited magic without talking to her rescuer about it first. In the fifth and final season of the show Jeannie and Nelson get married.
Eden appeared on this other TV show Hagman starred in
But 1970 didn’t mark the last time Hagman and Eden were together on screen. Eight years after I Dream of Jeannie was canceled, Hagman went on to star as J.R. Ewing in the hit series Dallas. Desert News noted that Eden joined the cast for a reoccurring role opposite Hagman’s character during the last season of the original Dallas.
Eden was in five episodes in which she played a billionairess seeking revenge against Ewing. In the show her character, Lee Ann De La Vega, revealed that her maiden name was “Lee Ann Nelson.” That was of course a nod to I Dream of Jeannie as Nelson was the surname of Hagman’s character.
Eden’s statement following the death of her co-star
Hagman died in 2012 after a battle with cancer. Following the news of his death, Eden released a statement about her former co-star.
“As I received the news this evening — and as you read this — I still cannot completely express the shock and impact from the news that Larry Hagman has passed,” her statement read (per CBSLA.com). “I can still remember, that first day on Zuma Beach with him, in the frigid cold. From that day for five more years, Larry was the center of so many fun, wild, shocking… and in retrospect, memorable moments that will remain in my heart forever.
He was such a key element in my life for so long and even, years after ‘I Dream of Jeannie;’ our paths crossed many times. Throughout various productions I had the pleasure of watching the Texas Tornado that was Larry Hagman. Amidst a whirlwind of big laughs, big smiles, and unrestrained personality Larry was always, simply Larry. You couldn’t fault him for it, it was just who he was. I am so thankful that this past year I was able to spend time with him and experience yet again ‘Larry’ in all his Big Texas bravado.
I can honestly say that we’ve lost not just a great actor, not just a television icon, but an element of pure Americana. Goodbye Larry, there was no one like you before and there will never be anyone like you again.”
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