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Barbara Eden Of ‘I Dream Of Jeannie’ Recalls How The World’s Obsession With Her Belly Button Started

"I Dream Of Jeannie" star Barbara Eden reveals how the the media became obsessed with her navel when the sitcom aired back in the 1960s.

Barbara Eden will always be remembered for her starring role in the iconic 1960s television show “I Dream Of Jeannie.” In a new interview, Eden recalled how shocked she was that the media at the time was so obsessed with her navel. 

Barbara Eden Talks Media Obsession With Her Belly Button

Eden, 89, recalled to The Hollywood Reporter how reporter Mike Connolly was fascinated with her navel, which was famously covered in the series. Ironically, Connolly worked for the newspaper version of The Hollywood Reporter from 1951 to 1966.

“It didn’t so much help me become a star, as I was known because I had done lots of movies before I did ‘I Dream of Jeannie’ at studios like MGM, Columbia and Universal,” Eden said. 

“Fox would loan me to these studios for movies,” she added. “So, I was known but mostly kissed, rescued and sung too. When Mike came in and started teasing me about my belly button, it spread like fire and spread around the world. We had a good time with it and I would tease him back, but I had no idea it would become something… Mike was a wild man.”

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While Eden enjoyed her time on the show, she also doesn’t “miss a thing” about that period in television, as she is focused on the future.

“I don’t miss a thing,” Eden insisted. “I’m very happy that I lived during that time. I’m happy that I had my beginnings then, but things changed. What a wonderful time now, more actors are working than ever before with all the companies like Netflix and Amazon, all of these movies and TV shows they are producing.”

Barbara Eden Talks Turning 90

Eden is preparing to turn 90 in August, yet that does not seem to phase her at all. 

“It’s like any other birthday, I’m just happy to be here,” she explained. “I really don’t think about it. Everybody else does but I never have. I’m looking forward to going back to work. In February of 2022, I’m going to do a show with the Edward Twins. They’re wonderful impersonators. I’ve seen them many times and they’re great artists.”

“They do all kinds of people, Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand and, of course, Judy Garland,” she added. “They asked me to come and do their show, so I’ll do a little singing and we’ll probably have interaction with the audience. It’ll be fun. I’m really looking forward to it.”

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What Else Does She Want In Life?

As for what she still wants to accomplish in life, Eden simply said “bring it on.”

“I like to work,” she said. “I really do. It’s just what I do. That’s all. That’s my life.”

If only more Hollywood stars were as down to earth as Barbara Eden seems to be!

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