Ah, Yes. I Dream of Jeannie. I can honestly say I’ve never dreamt of Jeannie or a genie, BUT, this was one of my favorite shows to watch growing up on the oldies channel with my mom. Would it pass the “wow, you can’t say that stuff anymore test?” Who knows. Probably not. Still, it had its moments and was quite an influence on pop culture.
I Dream of Jeannie is a sitcom about a 2,000-year-old genie, originally run on NBC. This genie is a woman, strangely named Jeannie, as they all are in her world! The genie is released from her bottle after 2000 years by a regular guy, who sets her free, Major Tony Nelson. Regardless, hilarity ensues as Jeannie tries to help improve his life with her powers, but usually only slightly leaves a path of pink and well-meaned destruction. Here is what the cast did after the show ended.
Singer and actress Barbara is best known for her role as Jeannie in I Dream of Jeannie. She began her television career in 1955 on the Johnny Carson Show. She made appearances on Gunsmoke, Father Knows Best, Adventures in Paradise, and The Andy Griffith Show. Sidney Sheldon, the producer of Bewitched, created I Dream of Jeannie a few years after Bewitched. Eden was suggested to him multiple times, and he agreed after seeing her in The Brass Bottle.
After Jeannie, she was it tv movies starting with The Feminist and the Fuzz. She later starred with Larry Hagman in A Howling in the Woods. Into the 90s and 00s, she starred in musicals The Sound of Music, Annie Get Your Gun, and South Pacific. She received her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1998. She is still alive today, and the only of her I Dream of Jeannie co-stars who still lives at the age of 89.
Major Anthony Tony Nelson is the show male protagonist, was a film and TV actor. He’s best known for the TV series Dallas, a primetime soap opera, and his role as NASA pilot Major Nelson. His films include Primary Colors, Harry and Tonto, and Nixon. Fifteen years after Jeannie, Hagman, and the show’s cast did a reunion on Larry King Live. After Jeannie, he starred in Orleans, made a guest appearance on Desperate Housewives.
In his time, he struggled with alcoholism, but was introduced to marijuana and turned over a new leaf. He also tried LSD thanks to his friend David Crosby. He said, “LSD was such a profound experience in my life that it changed my pattern of life and my way of thinking, and I could not exclude it [from my autobiography].” Who knew uptight Major Nelson liked to party!!
Roger Healey, was a recurring role played by Bill Daley. Roger is Tony Nelson’s best friend and the only one that knows about Jeannie’s magical powers. Bill Dailey was not only an actor but a comedian. After I Dream of Jeannie, he was in a few movies and tv shows including Small & Fyre, The Bob Newhart Show. He even had a guest appearance in Sidney Sheldon’s other television series Bewitched. Healey married and had a few children. Bill Daily passed away in 2018 at the age of 91. He asked that his ashes be scattered across Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Psychologist Dr. Bellows, the recurring role, is played by William Henry Rorke. He’s pretty confused by why Tony is always asking so strangely. Usually because Tony is trying so hard to hide Jeannie, so the doc catches him constantly ‘cracking up.’
Rorke was a theatre actor and starred in Hollywood films with the likes of Doris Day. He made appearances on popular television shows Bonanza, Love Boat, I Love Lucy, The Twilight Zone, The Andy Griffith Show, Mister Ed, and the Beverly Hillbilies. He died of multiple myeloma at the age of 76 in 1987.
Karen Sharpe is Melissa Stone, the daughter of Phil Ober’s character General Wingard Stone. In the first season, she is engaged to be married to Tony Nelson. However, the night before their wedding (still in season 1), she calls it off to reunite with an ex. Post I Dream of Jeannie was in several television series, including Perry Mason, Gomer Pyle, and Playhouse 90. Sharpe was awarded a 1959 Modern Screen Golden Key Award.
Emmaline Henry played the part of Alfred Bellows’s wife, Amanda Bellows, and one of Jeannie’s cousins. Initially working in musicals, she’d been living in Los Angeles in the Hollywood scene since the 50s. She first appeared in John Astin’s I’m’ Dickens, He’s Fenster. She continued to appear in shows like Mickey, as celeb Mickey Rooney’s wife, Bonanza, Three’s Company, and The Bob Newhart Show. Emmaline died in 1979 of a brain tumor in Culver City, California.
Michael Ansara was only in a couple of episodes of the show. First, he was the Blue Djinn or evil genie who imprisoned Jeannie in her bottle initially. In the second season, he was in the “Happy Anniversary” episode at the top of season two. Then, in the third season, he was the King Kamehameha in “The Battle of Waikiki” episode. He was in other television shows, included many within the Star Trek universe. Off-screen, Michael Ansara was married to I Dream of Jeannie co-star and star Barbara Eden, and the two had a son, Matthew Ansara. Michael died of a heroin overdose in 2001. They were married from 1958 to 1974. He died in 2013 at the age of 91.