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Groovy Leading Ladies Of The '60s

The leading ladies who lit up the TV screen during the 1960s did so with a comical spin, likeability and combination of femininity and class.

Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith sat down with four leading ladies of the 1960's, Barbara Eden (Jeannie) of "I Dream of Jeannie," Dawn Wells (Mary Ann) of "Gilligan's Island," Barbara Feldon (Agent 99) of "Get Smart" and Kathy Garver (Cissy) of "Family Affair" to chat about how their characters changed their lives.

Eden had the ability to grant wishes on "I Dream of Jeannie" and today people still recognize the leading lady, who won over hearts with her powers.

"I'm very happy and pleased with Jeannie. She is easy to live with. That's okay," Eden said.

Wells played Mary Ann, the girl next door stuck on a deserted island with six other castaways including one named Gilligan.

Today, regardless of where she is, on the mainland or an island, people still recognize her.

"All over the world, Beijing, Solomon Islands, 'Mary Ann, Mary Ann,' it's a fascinating experience I think," Wells said.

Feldon, who played Agent 99, battled the evil forces alongside Maxwell Smart in the spy spoof "Get Smart."

Feldon's signature bangs give away her character.

"Yes, they do. Oh, yes, people yell out the cab windows, 'yo, 99!'" Feldon said.

And, finally, Uncle Bill and his butler Mr. French raised Cissy, played by Garver, and her twin siblings Buffy and Jody on "Family Affair."

"What a show you were on, that was such a sweet little show. You were really the mom even though you were a sister," Smith said.

"In a way I was. I tried to take care of them. Our producer was aiming to make it a classic show, so that concept really stayed with it, as well as the family values," Garver said.

Each show had its own unique effect on viewers.

"I think it took people's minds off their troubles. In fact, I'm pretty sure it did, because I was in the airport in San Francisco and a man came over to me and said, 'I want to thank you. I want to thank you because when I get home from work, I can just relax and I'm in another world.' I said, 'well, thank you," Eden said.

The man continued on to say "but you don't know what I do for a living. I'm a psychiatrist."

Traveling with a bunch of colleagues at Stanford University, he admitted that he was the designated person to come over and talk to Eden, and they were all there waving, she said.

Oftentimes people who watched "Gilligan's Island" ask Wells whether she is Ginger or Mary Ann.

"That's the first thing they say, but, however, they say Mary Ann is their favorite but if they were standing next to Ginger, they would say she was their favorite," Wells admitted.

"Especially in retrospect, the premises of these shows were so crazy. Yours was the craziest of all," Smith replied.

"Yes, it was. And they didn't expect us to last more than three weeks, I don't think," Wells said.

"Gilligan's Island" proved everyone wrong with 98 episodes.

On the other hand, "Get Smart" had some very smart people behind that show, such as Buck Henry and Mel Brooks, according to Smith.

"The writing was really sharp," Feldon said. "It was great fun. There's something really lovely about being on a comedy because you laugh a lot when something goes wrong and that makes it even funnier."

Smith admitted that of all the shows, he watched "Family Affair" because it was so sweet.

"It was very nice. It was a kinder, gentler time and it was so classic," Garver said.

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