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I Dream of Jeannie: 10 Hidden Details About The Main Characters Fans Completely Missed

This popular sitcom, which first debuted in 1965, starred Jeannie, a genie, as her name suggests, discovered on a desert island by Tony, a stranded astronaut. Far-fetched as it sounded, the show attracted a large audience and ran for a full five seasons. It also drew attention from fashionistas who tried to replicate Jeannie's long blonde tresses and ponytail.

While not all TV viewers had a chance to watch the sitcom, others have fond memories of the light-hearted, fun-filled series and memorable characters. Here are 10 interesting details about the main characters which might have been missed by even the most serious of fans.

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10 The pregnancy cover-up

Barbara Eden, who played Jeannie, was so convincing in her role, no-one even noticed she was actually pregnant when the series started. Those who paid close attention would have realized that Eden was heavily covered for the first 10 episodes of the series.

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This wasn't for modesty reasons (she would later sport a harem costume). Rather, it was to hide her heavily-pregnant belly. Eden herself remarked she looked like a walking tent in the initial episodes of the sitcom.

9 A blonde moment

When casting for Jeannie, producer Sidney Sheldon battled to find an actress who fit his ideals for Jeannie. He had a specific rule that he didn't want someone who was blonde.

It was only after many unsuccessful auditions that he eventually got hold of Barbara Eden's agent. Blonde it was... Sheldon never looked back, nor did he expect Eden would be so immensely popular with fans.

8 The anxious Hagman

Actor Larry Hagman suffered from bouts of anxiety, which often interfered with his performances. At one stage, he had to get prescription drugs from a doctor to alleviate personal anxiety. What's more, he often felt he was playing second fiddle to Eden. It was difficult to say whether it was jealousy or anxiety which was the reason for his nerves.

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As another way to calm his nerves, Hagman also took to drinking and in the 1990s had to receive a liver transplant as his liver had suffered from years of alcohol abuse.

7 Hair today, gone tomorrow

Which lady wouldn’t want the luxurious, long locks of Eden? Thing is, the tresses of Jeannie weren't all genuine. Actress Eden's hair was plaited back and her fringe combed to the front before artificial hair was placed on her head, giving her character exotic, enticing appeal.

Apparently, it took three hours to get her hair right and that was when it wasn't a bad hair day! One wonders how many female fans spent those long hours trying to get their ponytails to resemble the artificial hair of Jeannie.

6 Viewers do a double-take

For actress Barbara Eden, starring in the popular show was a double challenge. For the same show, she played Jeannie, the blonde bombshell with admirable tresses but also Jeannie's evil brunette sister. To add to the confusion, Jeannie's evil sister went by the same name, Jeannie.

It would seem Eden rose to the acting challenge. She pulled off starring as two characters so convincingly some viewers might not have realized she was playing both parts.

5 The 'lion whisperer'

It would seem Barbara Eden's talents knew no ends. She was also called the on set 'lion whisperer'. In one of the earlier episodes, an actual lion (with no teeth) was used in the narrative.

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Eden confessed to having experience with such animals on film sets and even taught the others to stand still and let the lion smell them. Thereafter, to lean forwards slowly and stroke the predatory feline as gently as possible to assure the beast everything would be fine. The cast members all made it to the 5th season so her advice must have been pretty good.

4 Tying the knot

3 A real crank

Rumors abounded about Larry Hagman's rudeness on set. At one stage, Hagman is said to have irritated guest star Sammy Davis Jnr so much that he even swore and complained to Eden.

Apparently, he became so irate with Eden's success, he regressed to turning up for a filming session in a gorilla suit to scare a group of nuns who were visiting the set. As the 'gorilla', he arrived with an axe in his hand, giving the nuns the fright of their lives.

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This strange behavior could possibly have been attributed to the champagne which he so often drank while filming was underway.

2 Eden's finest act

One could argue that actress Barbara Eden's finest act was as an elderly woman - a role she showed she could master with great aplomb. The talented actress continued to dazzle audiences into her 70s.

When she was 78 years old, in 2013, she wore her red-and-pink Jeannie outfit to a charity gala event in Vienna, Austria. She even met Bill Clinton who was enthralled by her professional and personal conduct. Something about her bravado in stepping up and out despite her age encourages women to love the skin they are in.

1 A grand exit

Viewers might remember how Jeannie made her grand exit, or rather how the series drew to a startling close. The bottle which Jeannie uses is shown broken right at the end of the series and for fans aware of genie mechanics, this surely meant the end.

Actress Barbara Eden was given the stunt bottle which was used for the filming of the final episode of the series. The woman who did her make-up kept it for her and passed it on to her as a reminder of her years as Jeannie. Other original bottles were kept by Bill Daily and Larry Hagman. Who wouldn't want to get their hands on one of those priceless bottles?

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