- Barbara Eden is an actress best known for the late 60s sitcom ‘I Dream of Jeannie’
- She starred opposite Elvis Presley in 1960’s ‘Flaming Star’
- The Tucson native was married three times and had one son who died of an overdose
Barbara Eden quickly became one of America’s sweethearts with the debut of her hit sitcom I Dream of Jeannie in 1965. Playing a 2,000-year-old genie who crosses her arms and nods to make a wish, all while rocking a rather becoming crop top and veil, the Tucson native, born in 1931, also cemented herself as a TV icon. And the ageless star is still working in the entertainment industry, as evident on her Instagram.
During her illustrious career — which included acting alongside Elvis Presley in 1960’s ‘Flaming Star’ and playing the lead in both the Harper Valley PTA movie and TV series — Barbara was married three times and welcomed one child, a son, who tragically died in 2001 from an overdose. Meet the men whom Barbara called husband, below.
Barbara tied the knot with fellow actor Michael Ansara in 1958. Michael, born in Lebanon in 1922, was famous for playing Cochise in the TV series Broken Arrow, Kane in the 1979–1981 series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, and Commander Kang in Star Trek: The Original Series.
The couple would go on to welcome their only child, son Matthew Ansara, August 29, 1965. “We called him our lucky-charm baby,” Barbara wrote in her 2011 autobiography Jeannie Out of the Bottle. “Our joy was boundless. We had a child at last, and we loved him more than words could say.” Barbara and Michael would end up divorcing in 1974 and the actor passed away in 2013 at the age of 91.
Sadly, Matthew struggled with substance abuse disorder, and on June 26, 2001, he died at age 35 from a drug overdose. “Our joy was boundless, and our hopes that he would live a healthy and happy life were unlimited,” Barbara wrote in her book. “Matthew meant everything to both of us, and always would.”
While making her way as a single mother with Michael, Barbara found love for the second time with Charles Fegert, a Chicago Sun-Times executive whom she married in 1977. They enjoyed a brief romance together, as they split five years later. Charles died in 2002.
In 1991, Barbara walked down the aisle with realtor and architect Jon Eicholtz. Since then, the couple appear inseparable and completely loved up. “I’m really lucky,” she said of her life with Jon in a 2021 interview with People. “I have dear friends. I have a wonderful family, a very supportive husband, a dog who is adorable, but a brat! Yes, I’m very happy. I think life, everything, has to work itself out. There’s a reason for most things, and I can’t wish for it.”
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