Barbara Eden Turned Down JFK — She Found True Love with Spouse of 31 Years Who Helped Her through Loss of Her Son

“I Dream of Jeannie” was a staple in most households in the 1960s, but the beautiful woman that every man was after because of the series was faithful to her husband until a family tragedy tore them apart.

Barbara Eden shot to fame after starring in “I Dream of Jeannie,” Soon after becoming a household name, she began getting marriage proposals from men who watched the show and loved her on it.

Eden knew that her marriage was a priority and often declined these men. She had two marriages, which both failed, and she suffered a significant loss, leading to many changes in her life.

Barbara Eden on the set of “I Dream of Jeannie” in Hollywood, California. April 18, 1966 | Source: Getty Images
In 2011, Eden was interviewed by The Sunday Morning Herald, where she revealed details of all the men who had approached her during her lifetime. Two of the most notable were Elvis Presley and John F. Kennedy.

She told the story of how one night, when she was working at Ciro’s nightclub as a dancer when the owner said to her that Elvis Presley wanted a date with her. She thought the owner was kidding and didn’t give it much thought.

Barbara Eden in a publicity portrait for the US television series, ‘I Dream of Jeannie’, USA, circa 1967 | Source: Getty Images
The pair then worked together on “Flaming Star,” and Elvis once again expressed his interest in Eden. However, Eden said only that Elvis had good manners and was pleasant to speak to, but she never went out with him.

When she met John F. Kennedy, she was at the airport. She mentioned that she was buying candy at the airport in New York when a man asked her if she would like to meet Kennedy. She agreed but said that he was wearing a heavy coat and she couldn’t really see him.

Barbara Eden onstage at Poplar Creek Music Theater, Hoffman Estates, Illinois, August 3, 1980 | Source: Getty Images
They exchanged a polite greeting, and just before Eden could walk away from him, he slipped a piece of paper into her hand and told her to call him. She confessed:

“I binned the piece of paper, but I wish I still had it.”

Eden also admitted that she turned down an advance from Tom Jones. Many men wanted to be with Eden, but she remained steadfast in her polite rejections of each of the men.

Barbara Eden and Michael Ansara holding hands while seated at a table with cocktails in formal attire circa 1965 | Source: Getty Images
When asked why she turned every man that made a pass at her down, she mentioned that it was because she was married, but there was more to the reason. She also revealed that she felt like those men didn’t see her as a person.

Neither of Eden’s Marriages Succeeded
Eden’s first marriage was to Michael Ansara from 1958-1974. The couple welcomed one child, Matthew, but their marriage dissolved after Eden miscarried their second child. Eden admitted:

“I’ve heard a tragedy can bring a couple together, but the death of our second son hurt our relationship beyond repair.”

Barbara Eden and reporter Charles Fegert being photographed on March 26, 1976 at Chasen’s Restaurant in Beverly Hills, California | Source: Getty Images

Three after her relationship with Michael Ansara came to an end, Eden fell in love with Charles Donald Fegert and married him in 1977. However, this relationship also did not work out, and the couple divorced in 1983.
Eden Finally Found True Love
Eden was in her 50s by the time she found her happily ever after. It was not something that Eden was anticipating, but she expressed gratitude for the beautiful relationship that she was able to build with Jon Eicholtz.

Barbara Eden and John Eicholtz during The Museum of Television & Radio Turns 30 at The Museum of Television and Radio in Beverly Hills, CA, United States | Source: Getty Images
The pair got married in 1991, and Eden revealed that they were fiercely loyal to each other and had one another’s backs no matter the circumstances. She also shared that they enjoyed traveling together and shared the same philosophies about life.

Eicholtz and Eden had a small ceremony attended by only 35 guests. Their ceremony was held at the Grace Cathedral and their ceremony at Fairmont Hotel. The couple stayed at the hotel overnight but later took a more extended honeymoon.

Barbara Eden and son Matthew Ansara attend the “Hollywood Walk of Fame Ceremony Honoring Barbara Eden with a Star” on November 17, 1988 at 7003 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California | Source: Getty Images
Just as Eden finally found her happy ending, her world was rocked again. Eden’s only son, Matthew, passed away three years after her wedding to Eicholtz. Her son was slumped over his car’s steering wheel in an L.A. service station months before his wedding.
The police that found his body mentioned that there was no trauma to the body and his cause of death went under investigation. Eden revealed that she was “in shock” about her son’s death and was left “devastated” by the news.

It was then said that Matthew’s death surprised everyone because he was in such good shape. Eden’s son was a bodybuilder at the time of his death, and sources close to Eden said that he looked great.

Barbara Eden and her husband Jon Eicholtz arrive for the funeral service at the Forest Lawn Cemetery for her son Matthew Ansara July 2, 2001 in Los Angeles, CA | Source: Getty Images
Despite Eden’s immense heartache at losing her son, she had her husband to support her through her grief. The couple has now been together for over 30 years and is still going strong.
Eden and Eicholtz’s Marriage Secret
Eden and Eicholtz have one of the most enduring relationships in Hollywood and have often been asked how they did it. They have shared their secrets to having a successful marriage, one of which is to be friends.

Actress Barbara Eden and John Eicholtz attend Writer’s Guild of America Gala Honoring Robert Blake on October 24, 1993 at the Director’s Guild Theater in Hollywood, California | Source: Getty Images
Eden stressed the importance of being friends with your partner and having their back, no matter what. She also mentioned that you must always care for your partner. Another secret they shared was to be yourself and not try to change into someone else.

The one secret that Eden pays the most attention to is seeing things from her husband’s perspective if they disagree. She admitted that putting herself in his shoes was difficult, but she had to try.

The couple has managed to have an enduring relationship even though Eden came into the marriage with much heartache. They have always been supportive of each other and are loving.

Barbara Eden and husband Jon Eicholtz attend the Go Red For Women Red Dress Collection 2015 presented by Macy’s fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2015 at Lincoln Center on February 12, 2015 in New York City | Source: Getty Images

Eden also shared that all she cares about now is being able to spend time with the people that she loves the most and doing all her favorite things. Two of the people she loves the most are her husband and her sister.

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