James Henerson, who wrote on television classics I Dream of Jeannie and Bewitched, died at 84 on June 18th, per The Hollywood Reporter. According to Henerson’s sons, Matthew and Evan, Henerson died peacefully in his sleep in Sherman Oaks, California.
During his lifetime, Henerson was well known for writing on television shows, television movies, and miniseries such as The Fire Next Time (directed by Tom McLoughlin), Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (directed by Paul Mazursky), Cannonball (created by Robert Maxwell), and The Love Letter (directed by Dan Curtis). Henerson also received an Emmy nomination for his work on Attica (directed by Marvin J. Chomsky), a made-for-television film about the 1971 Attica prison revolt.
The Love Letter is Henerson’s most well-known TV movie. He won a WGA Award for Best Adapted Long Form for writing The Love Letter. The movie was also inducted into the Hallmark Hall of Fame. The fantasy romance drama starred Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight, Dolores Claiborne) and Campbell Scott (Big Night, Roger Dodger) as the leads. IMDB’s synopsis of the movie reads, “20th century computer games designer Scott exchanges love letters with 19th century poet Elizabeth Whitcomb through an antique desk that can make letters travel through time.” Henerson adapted The Love Letter from author Jack Finney’s 1959 short story of the same name.
Henerson also wrote on I Dream of Jeannie, an American fantasy sitcom that centers around an astronaut who uncorks a bottle containing a female genie (IMDB). The show ran from 1965 to 1970 and starred Barbara Eden (Harper Valley P.T.A., Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea) as Jeannie and Larry Hagman (Dallas, Primary Colors) as Major Anthony Nelson, the astronaut. Henerson’s most notable episodes include “My Master, the Chili King,” “Hurricane Jeannie,” “An Astronaut in Sheep’s Clothing,” “Eternally Yours, Jeannie,” and “Help, Help, A Shark” (IMDB). In total, Henerson wrote 36 episodes for I Dream of Jeannie from 1967 to 1970.