Barbara Eden, Christopher Atkins appear on Applause Radio Show

On Oct. 7, Applause Radio Show (APR) welcomed actor Christopher Atkins from the movie “The Blue Lagoon.” A god/Adonis back in the 80s, he’s now a distinguished man.

For those who remember the movie, it was somewhat taboo for its time. Two cousins abandoned at sea eventually fall in love and noticeably young love at that. I was reminded by a friend this movie was the first “R” rated movie they saw. It’s funny, I do not recall it being rated R and by today’s standards, it could possibly be a rated “PG.”

Atkins, who had no intentions on being an actor, landed the role out of thousands who attended the casting call. He was and still is an avid fisherman, sailor and outdoorsmen, so much so, he even had a sporting goods company when he created a new mousetrap to fishing lures.

Those days are long gone. However, his interview was conducted in the mountains in Connecticut as he was camping with his good friend. I could hear the crackling of the fire in the background.

His movie and television credits are more than you could possibly imagine.  He lived the good life as an actor in his heyday and he also saw the downside as well.  His choice to walk away from acting to raise his two children is the best role he has ever played, he says, and I commend him for it.

Because of the pandemic, Atkins has several projects in the works.  He will be directing new scripts he created: “The Lake of Fire,” “The Curse of Gorgon” and “Attraction to Paris.” I am looking forward to seeing them once they are completed.

We had a lot of laughs and I found him incredibly kind and down to earth. He is also a very caring, kind and generous man.  He was gearing up for the National Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Oct. 11. At this juncture, he had raised $800.00 of his goal of $1,500.00.

On Oct. 8, APR put on a special broadcast as we welcomed the amazingly talented and beautiful Barbara Eden from “I Dream of Jeannie.”

If you are a TV junkie and grew up watching “I Dream of Jeannie” like me, this was a treat, indeed.  Her voice sounded the same as when she was on the show.  She truly is a Jeannie, remaining timeless in her beauty.

The show debuted 55 years ago. Everything we grew up watching are celebrating their 50th or greater anniversary. Can you believe it? Many of these shows are still great today and a great escape to a much simpler time. I love catching the re-runs — they never get stale.

Eden started her career in a beauty pageant on the west coast, was a singer and a dancer and acted in many television shows and movies. “Gunsmoke,” “Perry Mason,” “The Andy Griffith Show,” and “Dr. Kildare” are just a few shows she was in — and she also starred opposite Elvis Presley in “Flaming Star.”

Her resume is too longx to fully list.

I asked her which episode of “Jeannie” was her favorite?  They were all great, but her reply was, the first episode. I can see why. It started the role she would be most remembered for. Not sure if anyone else could have done it better.

Eden is currently enjoying life now but for the 55th anniversary, she narrated a Dear Diary by Jeannie online on her Facebook page.  She read it with heart, feeling, conviction and as “Jeannie,” it’s priceless.  She put you right there for the first episode.  If you get a chance, check it out.  On Oct. 10, they also produced a Zoom broadcast for the celebration which is on her social media and at

Legendary character actor Ronnie Schell, who is mostly known for playing Duke Slater in the “Gomer Pyle” sitcom, joined me Oct. 11.  Schell is the only surviving member of the cast, but that is not the only place you will recognize him.

He was in so many commercials in the ‘70s.  The one that stands out for me was the Wesson Oil commercial he did with Florence Henderson. However, he has not only appeared in hundreds of television shows and movies, but he was also a voice over actor for Hanna Barbera’s cartoons and let us not forget, he is a hilarious comedian.

Schell is currently retired but if the right role came about, I do not doubt that you might see him again. He also has a new book out, “Gomer Says Hey! Inside the Manic and Much-Loved Gomer Pyle,” which is available at amazon.

Want to reminisce with me and my guests?  Go to to hear the full interviews. I promise you will have a great time.

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JoAnn Barton | Special to The Observer

Jo-Ann Barton is a singer/songwriter and musician for the past 25+ years who contributes entertainment-related stories to The Observer. Her last CD, 'POP and CIRCUMSTANCES,' spawned a number one hit song at college radio stations throughout the United States, including Hawaii, in 2001. She is the host of the Applause Radio Show, a platform JoAnn brings to an ever-growing audience tuning into listen to their favorite celebrities.