Larry Hagman’s former co-star and friend, Barbara Eden, is mourning his death. The two starred in I Dream of Jeannie together for five seasons and 139 episodes. It was never a big hit and only reached as high as #26 in the annual Nielsen rankings. The ratings dropped in season five and the show was cancelled in 1970. Hagman often attributed viewers losing interest after Tony and Jeannie were married.
Years later, Eden and co-star Bill Daily reunited for two made-for-TV movies — I Dream of Jeannie: 15 Years Later and I Still Dream of Jeannie — but Hagman opted not to take part. Eden guested on Hagman’s Dallas series in the show’s 14th season, playing JR Ewing’s former lover — a nod to the actors’ previous roles.
Eden, Hagman, and Daily have reunited numerous times on-camera and in public, giving fans an opportunity to meet the three in person together.
Eden wrote about Hagman on her Facebook page:
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. 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, like many others believed he had beat Cancer and yet we are reminded that life is never guaranteed. My deepest condolences go out to his wife Maj, his son and daughter and his grandchildren, as well as his friends in this time of his passing. 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.
What do you think? What do you remember about Eden and Hagman’s time on-screen together?