Recognizing a star: Rothschild honors Tucson-born Barbara Eden at TenWest fest

Mayor declares Oct. 15, 2019 as ‘Barbara Eden Appreciation Day’

Tucson film expo

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Watch for what you wish for because it looks like there’s a genie in Tucson.

Mayor Jonathan Rothschild read a proclamation declaring Oct. 15, 2019 as “Barbara Eden Appreciation Day.”

Barbara Eden, best known for her role in the hit show, “I Dream of Jeannie,” is here to celebrate and participate in the TenWest Impact Festival taking place downtown at the Tucson Convention Center.

Although her family moved to California when she was young, Eden still remembers her hometown and loves being back. She was born in Tucson in 1931.

“I have great great memories of Arizona and Tucson which my mother didn’t believe that I remembered Tucson. I do because I remember the house; I remember sitting on the cement steps that went into our kitchen," Eden said. "And there was a horse in the pasture beyond us. So, yes, I’m happy to be back and thank you so much for this.”

Eden will be honored again tonight, as part of the inaugural class of inductees into the Arizona Film and Media Hall of Fame at Hotel Congress.

Also being inducted: Gary Clarke, best-known as “Steve Hill” from “The Virginian”, stunt legends Ivan “Red” and Margie Wolverton and Old Tucson Studios will be recognized in person, and posthumous recognition will be given to Arizona film pioneer Romaine Fielding Sr. (1867-1927), silent movie star Tom Mix (1880-1940) and former Old Tucson Studios owner Robert “Bob” Shelton (1921-2016) and the Lubin Manufacturing Company (1896-1916).

This is the first year for the Arizona Film Expo organizers say this is part of concentrated efforts to bring more movie-making back to Arizona. It seems to be working.

Chuck Williams, chief executive officer of Avondale Pictures, is a Tucson native. Based in Burbank, California now, he’s working on his newest project called “The Righteous Twelve.” Williams says it’s a prequel to the hit movie, “Tombstone.”

In fact, the whole movie takes place a week before the Earps come to town.

“It’s a movie about 12 bad guys that are going to go revenge the death of one of their brothers," he said.

Williams says he’ll be filming in December at Old Tucson and the studios at Mescal east of Tucson and plans to release “The Righteous Twelve” next summer.

Williams tries to use local residents as extras and even as actors in his movies. Click here for more info on his film and casting: www.avondalepictures.com.

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