10:44 AM EST, November 28, 2012
TV’s Jeannie, Barbara Eden got emotional as she read a moving tribute she wrote on Facebook for her good friend Larry Hagman. The legendary actor died last Friday after a year long battle with cancer.
A tearful Eden read, “Goodbye Larry, there was no one like you before and there will never be anyone like you again.”
INSIDE EDITION’s Victoria Recaño asked, “Tell me about the moment you found out about his passing.”
“It was shocking to me. The floor fell out from under when I found out that he had passed,” said Eden.
In an INSIDE EDITION exclusive interview, Eden, who starred with Hagman in the classic sitcom, I Dream of Jeannie, revealed details of their nearly 50 year friendship.
They last spoke a few weeks ago and Eden says she thought Hagman had beat cancer.
She said, “I knew he was ill, but, Larry, Larry was always bigger than life, he always persevered. He beat the odds all the time. So, I just thought he would this time.”
Hagman remained friends with all of his co stars, but he was especially close to Eden.
They met in 1965, when TV was still black and white, on a remote beach in Malibu when they filmed the pilot episode for I Dream of Jeannie.
Eden revealed, “Oh, he loved being called master.”
Recaño asked, “So you knew immediately there was an instant connection.”
“Oh yeah, oh yes, there was,” said Eden.
During the filming of Jeannie, Hagman was battling a bottle of a different kind. He was an alcoholic, and by the time he became J.R. Ewing, he was drinking as many as five bottles of champagne a day. The alcohol damaged his liver so badly that in 1995 he needed a liver transplant.
Eden will say goodbye one final time at the memorial for Hagman this weekend. It's not yet known whether she will deliver a eulogy, but, this is what she would say about the man who was one of her dearest friends, “I would probably tell them how much I loved him and how much I missed him."