‘I Dream of Jeannie’ Star Barbara Eden Has No Plans to Retire at Age 90

by Josh Lanier

Barbara Eden said she has no plans on slowing down despite turning 90 in August. The I Dream of Jeannie star says she will keep working for as long as she can.

“Sometimes one is forced to slow down, but I’ll do what I do until I can’t,” she told People recently.

The ageless Hollywood star just published her first children’s book called Barbara and the Djinn. The book, which she co-wrote with Dustin J Warburton, came out in August.

The story’s plot will sound familiar to any I Dream of Jeannie fans. In the book, a young girl finds a magic lamp and a genie that takes her on a magical journey to meet new people and help them, Eden told The Hollywood Reporter.

Eden said she was a voracious reader as a child and hopes to inspire that same love of books into kids today. She’s wanted to write a book for nearly a decade but struggled to find the time in her busy work schedule with acting. The pandemic and subsequent lockdown allowed her the chance to focus on finishing that dream.

But she still keeps a packed social calendar and a happy home life.

“I’m really lucky,” Barbara Eden told People magazine. “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.”

Eden credits her productivity and longevity to diet and exercise. Though, she has her indulgences too.

“I’m very careful about [my] diet,” Eden told Closer Weekly. “I’m a carnivore … I like steak. We eat a lot of pork, chicken, steak [and] vegetables. … We don’t stint ourselves on desserts. I eat a lot. … I like gumdrops. Those are fun.”

Barbara Eden Has Moved on From ‘I Dream of Jeannie’ Era

I Dream of Jeannie made Barbara Eden a household name in the 1960s. But she loves her life now and all that’s she’s been able to accomplish. So, she wouldn’t go back there even if she had a magic bottle.

“I don’t miss a thing,” she told The Hollywood Reporter about that time in her career. “I’m very happy that I lived during that time. I’m happy that I had my beginnings then, but things change. What a wonderful time now, more actors are working than ever before with all of the companies like Netflix and Amazon, all of these movies and TV shows they are producing.”

Before she was a star, Eden struggled like most actresses. She got her first break during a sketch on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. That led to more work and eventually her breakout role on I Dream of Jeannie. But had it not worked out that way, she knows she would have had the courage to forge another path.

“People have to find their own way,” she told People. “Don’t be afraid. Everyone’s life is different. Everyone’s beginnings are different. Learn to recognize in other people what you have inside yourself because that’s the one thing we all have. We’re all connected. Knowing that kind of got me over a lot of humps when I first came to town and started auditioning.”