Barbara Eden Discusses What it Was Like Working With Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz in ‘I Love Lucy’

Barbara Eden has enjoyed an illustrious acting career that spans more than 70 years, but one of her most precious highlights came in 1957 when she appeared alongside Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz in the famed sitcom I Love Lucy. It was just her third job in Hollywood, but one she’ll remember for the rest of her life.

In August of 2022, Eden attended Christmas Con and was asked about her brief experience alongside the two legendary performers. After being asked, she immediately stood up out of excitement and gushed over how ‘wonderful’ it was working with them – calling Ball a ‘wonderful, beautiful person to work with.’

She explained how her time on the show was a breath of fresh air after her first two gigs in Hollywood – citing having to work with a diva in her second job. “I’d had a little difficulty with the second one, who was a diva I worked with and she didn’t like me, so I was really worried,” said Eden, still standing up. 

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Barbara Eden shared one of her fondest memories of Lucille Ball. She was called in to Ball’s dressing room, which gave her immediate anxiety because she thought she was going to get chewed out. Instead, it ended up being a moment that defined the type of person and actress Ball was – dedicated to her craft. 

“She said, ‘Do you like that dress?’ And I said, ‘I love it. It’s fine, it’s fine, everything’s wonderful. She said, ‘Take it off.’ So I take it off. Do you know that Lucy and her assistant sat there and put those shiny things [rhinestones] on that dress? They punched them in. But it was to make the dress look better,” said Eden.

Barbara also revealed that Ball was interested in signing her at the time – something she thinks about often as she wonders what could’ve been if she had Ball as a coach and teacher. Unfortunately, Eden had already signed elsewhere. Still, her short time on I Love Lucy was memorable in every way possible. 

Of course, that was more than 65 years ago and Barbara Eden has had an incredible career during that time as one of America’s most beloved actresses – best known for her lead role as Jeannie in I Dream of Jeannie. What’s even more surprising is the 91-year-old has no interest in stopping anytime soon. 

Barbara Eden Is Happy With Where Life Has Taken Her

In an interview with TODAY in 2021, Barbara Eden opened up about her continued drive to be great in her later years. “Sometimes one is forced to slow down, but I’ll do what I do until I can’t,” she said at the time – a sentiment she shares to this day. She’s also enjoying life with her husband, Jon Eicholtz

She has learned a lot throughout her career, but one of the more important things she has learned is that people must find their own way in life. “Learn to recognize in other people what you have inside yourself because that’s the one thing we all have. Knowing that kind of got me over a lot of humps,” she added.

Her most recent project was a children’s book titled Barbara and the Djinn – which was released in 2021 by Neighborhood Publishers. The book tells the story of a young girl who meets a wizardly Genie who takes her on an adventure that only her imagination could create. It has received good reviews so far. 

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“I’m really lucky. 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 continued as she gushed over where life has taken her.

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