Oct. 20, 2006
Television legends Barbara Eden and Hal Linden visited Wilkes-Barre to share some romantic correspondence.
The pair performed in the A.R. Gurney play “Love Letters” at F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts, the kickoff to the venue’s 20th season.
The play centers on a man and woman and their decades-long relationship told through letters.
Larry Hagman — who played opposite Eden in the TV show “I Dream of Jeannie” — originally starred with her in the “Love Letters” tour. But as it progressed, Hagman stepped away from the role for one in the FX series “Nip/Tuck.”
While best known for her role in “Jeannie,” Eden got her start in television on a show called “How to Marry a Millionaire,” which was based on the movie of the same name. From there, she was a featured actress on popular shows, such as “Rawhide,” “Route 66” and “Burke’s Law.”
Following “Jeannie,” Eden acted in numerous TV movies and had roles in shows such as “Dallas” and “Harper Valley PTA.” Her most recent screen role was in the 2019 holiday movie “My Adventures with Santa,” in which she played Mrs. Claus.
Eden also appeared in more then 20 Bob Hope specials. In December 1987, she joined Hope and other performers to entertain Navy personnel serving in the Persian Gulf, the Philippines and the South Pacific. The performances would later be shown as part of a 1988 television special called “Bob Hope’s USO Christmas from the Persian Gulf.”
Linden, best known for his role on “Barney Miller,” made his Broadway debut in the musical “Bells are Ringing” and went on to star in numerous other productions, such as “The Pajama Game,” “Chicago” and “Cabaret.” He won a Tony award in 1971 for best actor in a musical for his role in “The Rothschilds.”
After “Barney Miller,” Linden continued to appear on television in numerous guest roles on such shows as “The Golden Girls,” “Touched by an Angel,” “Law & Order: SVU” and “Grey’s Anatomy.”
Brian Fulton has been the librarian at The Times-Tribune for the past 14 years. On his blog, Historically Hip, he writes about the great concerts, plays/musicals and celebrity happenings that have taken place throughout NEPA. He is also the co-host of the local history podcast, Historically Hip. He competed and was crowned grand champion on an episode of NPR quiz show “Ask Me Another.” Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9140; or @TTPagesPast