"I lost my son and I love him dearly. I have to do something that he’d be proud of me for,” she said.
Veteran actress Barbara Eden has no plans to retire from her acting career and feels young even today. The 91-year-old actress says, that despite all the challenges life has hurled at her she feels happy to be living a good and healthy life and is thankful to god and her spouse, Jon Eicholtz.
The actor has been through some rough patches in her life, where she lost her two sons on different occasions. Her fist born son died of a drug overdose while her second son was stillborn as he died in her womb, before taking birth. Barbara reveals that it was the support of her husband of 30 years, Jon Eicholtz, and her immense faith in god that she is still leading a happy and regret-free life. The actress’ career takes are traced back to as early as the decade of 1950s when she debuted with the 1956 movie, Back from Eternity, in the film industry.
Barbara’s first son, Mathew Ansara was born to her with Michael Ansara, her first husband. Mathew died on June 25, 2001, which came as a huge shock to her as he had been a very health-conscious person. Mathew was a fitness trainer and actor. The paramedics found him lying dead in his car reporting the cause of his death due to drug overdose. Mathew was all set to get married the same year. Barbara had lost her son already back in 1971 when she became pregnant with her second son. The death of her unborn son was so shocking that the actress would often look up to her firstborn son Mathew and feel happy to have him with her, never knowing she’ll face the pain again.
With the physical trauma after the loss of her baby son, she could barely move from her bed. Recalling those days, Barbara says that the distasteful experiences she has had in life taught her the important lesson of asking for help when in need. The postpartum depression eventually led to the end of her second marriage. Despite all of it, there’s no stopping for her. The actor says that she was under intense physical training at the age of 87 and still feels young. Her workout routine involved spin classes, weight lifting, and regular visits to the gym as told by her to People.
After Matthew's death, she told TV host Larry King, “I happen to have a faith in God, of a higher power, whatever you want to call it. I think we’re put on this earth for a reason and it is to be productive. It’s not to sit and do nothing. I think probably I will always hurt. But you really have a responsibility to people around you to get going, to put one foot in front of the other, as I said before, and to try to do something creative and productive for the world. You know, life is a gift. And, yes, I lost my son and I love him dearly. I have to do something that he’d be proud of me for,” she said.
The actor is known for her big break in the series I Dream of Jeannie, which aired in 1965 and ended in 1970. Barbara’s several appearances on TV shows like I Love Lucy, The Andy Griffin Show, Father knows Best and Gunsmoke, are some of the highly noted projects where her role left an indelible impression on the audience.
Coming back to the present, the actress remains the same cheerful and optimistic person in life and works towards using her creative abilities to leave an unforgettable image of herself.
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | David Livingston