‘I Dream of Jeannie’s’ Biggest Obstacle Was Barbara Eden’s Belly Button

by Jeremy Spirogis
Barbara Eden and Larry Hagman of

Today, it looks as if any costume and clothes on tv is appropriate. However, in 1965 having a number one girl present her stomach button was fairly scandalous. 

Barbara Eden‘s genie costume on the present I Dream of Jeannie is kind of iconic. What chances are you’ll or might not have seen is that Eden’s navel is roofed.

In a 2005 interview with the Today Show, Barbara Eden explains this was as a result of the NBC executives had been afraid to have it displaying.

What is ‘I Dream of Jeannie’ about?

[embedded content material]

RELATED: ‘I Dream of Jeannie’: Barbara Eden Reveals Why Larry Hagman ‘Relieved Himself All Over’ the Set

The present I Dream of Jeannie debuted on NBC in 1965 and solely ran for 5 seasons, ending in 1970. It was not a favourite amongst viewers throughout its five-seasons, and the present needed to compete with Bewitched.

It was additionally the final present to be produced in black and white, finally switching to paint. According to Fame 10, the creator of I Dream of Jeannie, Sidney Sheldon, wrote in his autobiography that NBC didn’t assume the present would make it previous the primary season. 

The present itself is about an astronaut, Major Anthony Nelson, portrayed by Larry Hagman, who crash lands on a abandoned island. While on this island, Major Nelson comes throughout a mysterious, ornamental bottle.

When he opens it, out pops a stupendous genie named Jeannie (Barbara Eden), who’s now at his command to any of his needs come true. The Major takes Jeannie and her bottle residence with him, and antics ensue.

Who is Barbara Eden?

Barbara Eden and Larry Hagman of 'I Dream of Jeannie'
Barbara Eden and Larry Hagman of ‘I Dream of Jeannie’ | NBCU Photo Bank

Eden had acted fairly a bit earlier than her position as Jeannie, with appearances on exhibits like Gunsmoke and I Love Lucy. However, I Dream of Jeannie made her well-known, and it’s what she is most recognized for today.

After enjoying Jeannie for 5 years, Eden went on to have a profitable profession in present business. Her IMDb biography states that Eden initially needed to have a singing profession, and in 1967 she launched an album titled “Miss Barbara Eden.”

She was additionally a musical visitor on exhibits like Bob Hope Specials and The Carol Burnett Show. In addition to this, People Magazine named Eden “One of America’s 200 Greatest Pop Icons of the 20th Century.”

She additionally has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. These days, Eden continues to behave. In 2019, she portrayed Mrs. Claus in a Christmas film titled My Adventures with Santa. Eden at the moment lives along with her husband, Jon Eicholtz, in Beverly Hills.

Barbara Eden’s iconic costume and the ‘navel warfare’

Larry Hagman and Barbara Eden of 'I Dream of Jeannie'Larry Hagman and Barbara Eden of 'I Dream of Jeannie'
Larry Hagman and Barbara Eden of ‘I Dream of Jeannie’ | NBCU Photo Bank

The idea of I Dream of Jeannie, the place a single girl strikes in with a single man, was risqué for the time, however apparently not as stunning as displaying a stomach button on the tv. In her interview with Today, Eden defined that whereas her genie costume bared her midriff, it couldn’t expose her navel.

She mentioned this was not an issue initially till producer George Schlatter needed to “premiere” her navel; this frightened the NBC executives, and so they all gathered to debate Eden’s anatomy. There was additionally a variety of criticism when her costume shifted, which generally occurred when she merely lifted her arms.

This would trigger her waistband to decrease and her stomach button to point out. Brain Sharper stories that community censors additionally threatened to present massive fines if the stomach button coverage wasn’t enforced. Eden mentioned the pants needed to be shadowed along with not displaying a navel, so her legs didn’t present as nicely.

After I Dream of Jeannie ended, Eden held on to her iconic costume for over 5 a long time earlier than donating it to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.

Leave a Comment