The only thing more bizarre than the genie-in-a-bottle premise behind the 1960s sitcom I Dream of Jeannie
is the alleged behind-the-scenes behavior of loopy series star Larry Hagman
Jeannie co-star Bill Daily (who played Roger Healey) remembers Hagman as "a little of an egomaniac" who would sometimes act like a "naughty boy" on the set as a way of getting attention, according to a new book, Dreaming of Jeannie: TV's Prime Time in a Bottle, by Steve Cox (St. Martin's Griffin).
"It all boils down to he wanted to be the star," says Daily, adding that Hagman was apparently frustrated by all the media attention placed on their shapely co-star, Barbara Eden. "He'd get weird and clam up and get angry and hide in his trailer."
Even more startling revelations appear in the book courtesy of late director Gene Nelson: "When Larry got really mad, he'd go down to the set and piss all over the set. I understand that eventually, NBC had to hire an on-the-set psychiatrist to be with him every day."
Toward the end of the series's run in 1970, Daily says Hagman would spend all his time in his dressing room and wouldn't talk to anyone connected with the show.
"I just would love to know, somehow, someday, what really pissed him off," Daily says. "As tough as he was to work with and his temperament, I liked the work and I liked him. I wish we could do another [project] before we both have strokes."