The “I Dream of Jeannie” star previously described how Mike Connolly, a columnist for The Hollywood Reporter, had a fascination with her navel, which was famously covered in the series.
“It didn’t so much help me become a star, as I was known because I had done lots of movies before I did ‘I Dream of Jeannie’ at studios like MGM, Columbia and Universal,” the actress explained to The Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday.
“Fox would loan me to these studios for movies,” she continued. “So, I was known but mostly kissed, rescued and sung too. When Mike came in and started teasing me about my belly button, it spread like fire and spread around the world. We had a good time with it and I would tease him back, but I had no idea it would become something… Mike was a wild man.”
Eden told the outlet that she doesn’t “miss a thing” about that era in television. Instead, she’s eager about Hollywood’s future and the new opportunities it now holds for its stars.
“I don’t miss a thing,” the 89-year-old insisted. “I’m very happy that I lived during that time. I’m happy that I had my beginnings then, but things changed. What a wonderful time now, more actors are working than ever before with all the companies like Netflix and Amazon, all of these movies and TV shows they are producing.”
As for turning the big 9-0? The actress said she’s just thankful to keep busy.
“It’s like any other birthday, I’m just happy to be here,” said Eden. “I really don’t think about it. Everybody else does but I never have. I’m looking forward to going back to work. In February of 2022, I’m going to do a show with the Edward Twins. They’re wonderful impersonators. I’ve seen them many times and they’re great artists.”
“They do all kinds of people, Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand and, of course, Judy Garland,” she shared. “They asked me to come and do their show, so I’ll do a little singing and we’ll probably have interaction with the audience. It’ll be fun. I’m really looking forward to it.”
When asked what else she wants to accomplish, Eden replied, “Bring it on.”
“I like to work,” she said. “I really do. It’s just what I do. That’s all. That’s my life.”
Back in 2017, Eden told Fox News why her belly button was such a hot topic.
“I have a big ‘thank-you’ to the media for that,” she said at the time. “I was on the set one day and [a writer] for The Hollywood Reporter walked on the set and right over to me. He said, ‘I don’t believe you have one.’ I said, ‘A what?’ And he goes, ‘A belly button!’ And then he poked me in the middle! He started writing about my belly button… The next thing I knew, the ‘Laugh-In’ wanted to premiere my navel on NBC. I know a lot of women are known for very glamorous body parts, but my navel? Ha!”
Eden also revealed that despite her success on “I Dream of Jeannie,” she never felt typecast.
“No, I didn’t, I really didn’t,” she said “Because after I did ‘I Dream of Jeannie,’ I did at least two other television shows. And I don’t know how many television movies playing entirely different kinds of people. I was so busy… So, I didn’t feel that I was ever typecast. In fact, I wasn’t. ‘Jeannie’ just so happens to be the one people remember and that’s all right with me. She’s easy to live with. I really like her.”