Barbara Eden: At 78, Jeannie Still Looks Good in Genie Costume

Image: Barbara Eden: At 78, Jeannie Still Looks Good in Genie Costume Former President Bill Clinton, left, and actress Barbara Eden.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013 11:17 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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There aren't many people who can rock a genie costume like Barbara Eden, even at 78.

Eden stole the show at the Life Ball in Vienna over the weekend. The "I Dream of Jeannie" star put on her iconic 1960s sitcom costume for the event, a charity gala to raise money for people living with HIV and AIDS.

Eden, dressed in her midriff-baring outfit, complete with harem pants and pony-tailed headdress, took the stage next to former President Bill Clinton. Clinton thanked ball's organizers before encouraging people to get involved with anti-AIDS efforts, saying those who wish to help don't "have to be scientists, they do not have to be doctors, they have to be people who care."

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Eden later shared the photo via Twitter, commenting "Here it is folks! The naval that put NBC on edge. Barbara Eden Sat. night at the Life Ball."

Eden was referring to probably one of the most talked belly button in TV history. Eden had said in the past that NBC executives decided that she would not show her belly button while wearing the genie costume during the TV series for feat of censors. She said when a writer from the Hollywood Reporter wrote about it not being shown, interest soared, including that of the censors.

Other celebrities attending the Life Ball were Elton John and Fergie, who is expecting her first child with actor Josh Duhamel. The Black Eyed Peas singer, 38, showed off her growing baby bump in a long black gown.


The Life Ball is considered Europe's biggest AIDS fundraising benefit. The opening show before the ball at City Hall Square in Vienna included a fashion show with numerous stars with about 40,000 onlookers. Roberto Cavalli was the featured designer at the show.

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A day earlier opera stars Anna Netrebko and Erwin Schrott took part in the Red Ribbon Celebration concert.

"I Dream of Jeannie" ran from 1965-70, with Eden playing a 2,000-year-old genie and Larry Hagman as an astronaut who became her master. The show produced 139 episodes, 30 of which are in black and white from the first season. While Hagman would become the iconic star of "Dallas" he was always linked with Eden and "I Dream of Jeannie."

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