REVIEW: Jeannie Out of the Bottle by Barbara Eden

10309013Title: Jeannie Out of the Bottle
Author: Barbara Eden
Year of Publication: 2011
Genre: Memoir
Format: Audio book
Length: 7 hours and 16 minutes
First Line: “Whenever I hear the blare of a foghorn or see a picture of a mermaid or a young couple madly in love, I feel as if I’ve been Jeannie-blinked back into my childhood, happy and secure.”

Summary: Over the past four decades, the landmark NBC hit television series I Dream of Jeannie has delighted generations of audiences and inspired untold numbers of teenage crushes on its beautiful blond star, Barbara Eden. Part pristine Hollywood princess and part classic bombshell, with innocence, strength, and comedic talent to spare, Barbara finally lets Jeannie out of her bottle to tell her whole story.

Jeannie Out of the Bottle takes us behind the scenes of I Dream of Jeannie as well as Barbara’s dozens of other stage, movie, television, and live concert performances. We follow her from the hungry years when she was a struggling studio contract player at 20th Century Fox through difficult weeks trying to survive as a chorus girl at Ciro’s Sunset Strip supper club, from a stint as Johnny Carson’s sidekick on live TV to tangling on-screen and off with some of Hollywood’s most desirable leading men, including Elvis Presley, Clint Eastwood, Paul Newman, and Warren Beatty. From the ups and downs of her relationship with her Jeannie co-star Larry Hagman to a touching meeting with an exquisite and vulnerable Marilyn Monroe at the twilight of her career, readers join Barbara on a thrilling journey through her five decades in Hollywood.

But Barbara’s story is also an intimate and honest memoir of personal tragedy: a stillborn child with her first husband, Michael Ansara; a verbally abusive, drug-addicted second husband; the loss of her beloved mother; and the accidental heroin-induced death of her adult son, just months before his wedding. With candor and poignancy, Barbara reflects on the challenges she has faced, as well as the joys she has experienced and how she has maintained her humor, optimism, and inimitable Jeannie magic throughout the roller-coaster ride of a truly memorable life.

Review: Barbara Eden, most famous for playing the role of Jeannie on the 60s tv show ‘I Dream of Jeanne’, comes out with this tell-all memoir.

Subjects in the memoir range from her start in Hollywood, meeting her first husband (self proclaimed love of her life) Michael Ansara, the tragedy of her miscarriage, a nervous breakdown and more.

Eden laughs and cries as she recalls her past. Laughing when she remembers that in her youth she didn’t realize that Elvis Presley was flirting with her and she cries as she discusses the immature death of her only child, Matthew. Of course, if you do not listen/read this on audio you might not get the same affect.

The part of the book that takes place after ‘I Dream of Jeannie’ went off the air seems like Eden is just trying to rectify to all that she’s been acting nonstop all these years despite what you may think.

I have to say that I will never think of the phrase ‘Jeannie-Blink’ the same ever again. Eden uses the phrase to ‘take you back into the past’. And she uses this device a lot.

Worst part: I will never want to hear the phrase ‘Jeannie-Blink’ ever again.

Best part: Eden doesn’t edit much from her life in this memoir.

Grade: B

Recommend For: I would recommend this memoir to those who have a love of television and television stars from the 1960s.

Other Books by This Author: None by Barbara Eden.

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