Jeannie Out of the Bottle is actress Barbara Eden’s autobiography, written with Wendy Leigh in 2011.
Ms. Eden has always been a sweet, but level-headed actress and singer throughout the decades — hard to believe she in now in her early eighties, as hard to believe that I am now in my late fifties (and have made it through this far, yet).
What drew my attention to this book was an advertisement in out city’s newspaper that offered free tickets to an event that Ms. Eden would be headlining. Her book was mentioned, and I picked it up on a whim since much time has passed since I last indulged in a tasty tattle-tell tell-all entertainment-world bio. The result was much less a salacious accounting of Hollywood through the decades and a more-or-less informative documentary about how-things-are-accomplished in the entertainment racket. When I finished reading, I was convinced that I wanted to meet her, but by that point, her event had wrapped up the evening before. Alas. And alack, too!
Ms. Eden has earned my full respect for how she has played her hand all throughout. Like me, she has had her hands full of challenges; like me, she has had her own ups and downs; and like me, she has encountered many trials along the way and has risen above them. Regrets — we’ve each had a few, but then again, too few to mention. We both did what we had to do — and saw it through without exemption.
Barbara Eden is such a class act, that even Don Rickles never laid into her when he had a chance; and when offered a million dollars by Playboy for a nude-shoot, she turned them down without a blink (even though her family needed the money). But when it comes down to belly-button exposure, she was not a prude; it was the network’s skittishness, instead.
The only seduction that she succumbed to was saying any cuss words in a written performance (many, many years later…) Unlike Barbara Eden, I can cuss like a sailor when provoked — evidently one of the few differences we share.
I have lost many people along life’s path; Barbara had a stillborn childbirth, and her other son was a drug addict for many years, who eventually overdosed. We somehow learn the skills to continue on. And we do:
The wonderful thing about my business and about my life is that I never know what’s around the corner. I’m very lucky to like what I do and to be able to work at it so happily and for so long. I’ve always considered my career to be a great joy and a great gift. I love it, and long may it continue. (page 262)
A true class-act, indeed, I reiterate.
In the final analysis, we both have grown throughout life’s challenges. As well, life will enfold, all in the blink of an eye…