Anthony Nelson
Major Anthony Nelson
Larry Hagman as Anthony "Tony" Nelson
Vital characteristics:
Species: Human
Rank/Title (If any): Master Tony, or Master
Alias(es): Tony Nelson, Master, Master Tony
Nickname(s): Tony
Gender Male
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 188 lbs.
Hair color: Brown
Eyes Green
Age: 33-38
Nationality: White
Date of birth: Dallas, TX, U.S.
Family/Personal information:
Spouse(s): Jeannie, 1970-present
Children: Anthony "T.J." Nelson, Jr. (son)
Related to: Mrs. Nelson (mother), Arvel Nelson (cousin)
About: Becomes master to Jeannie after finding and opening her bottle after it washes ashore on Cocoa Beach
Character information
Appeared on/in: I Dream of Jeannie
I Dream of Jeannie... Fifteen Years Later
Number of episodes: 139, all in TV series Seasons 1-5
First appeared in: "The Lady in the Bottle" (Season 1)
Last appeared in: "My Master, the Chili King" (Season 5)
Portrayed by Larry Hagman, in TV series
Wayne Rogers, in I Dream of Jeannie... Fifteen Years Later
 USAF Captain/Major Anthony "Tony" Nelson is an astronaut and a jet pilot for NASA and a former serviceman for the United States Air Force. He is also Jeannie's master and eventually becomes her husband. On the NBC-TV series I Dream of Jeannie, Tony is played by Larry Hagman; on the 1985 NBC-TV movie I Dream of Jeannie... Fifteen Years Later, he is played by Wayne Rogers.

About Tony

In the pilot episode, "The Lady in the Bottle", astronaut Captain Tony Nelson, United States Air Force, is on a space flight when his one-man capsule Stardust One comes down far from the planned recovery area, near a deserted island in the South Pacific. On the beach, Tony notices a strange bottle that rolls by itself. When he rubs it after removing the stopper, smoke starts shooting out and a Persian-speaking female genie (wearing an enticing harem costume) materializes and kisses Tony on the lips with passion, shocking him. (In the second season's animated opening, it is a kiss on the cheek; and, Tony is happy to receive it.)

They cannot understand each other until Tony expresses his wish that Jeannie (a homophone of genie) could speak English, which she then does. Then, per his instructions, she "blinks" and causes a recovery helicopter to show up to rescue Tony, who is so grateful that he tells her she is free. But Jeannie, who has fallen in love with Tony at first sight after being trapped for 2,000 years, re-enters her bottle and rolls it into Tony's duffel bag so she can accompany him back home. One of the first things Jeannie does, in a subsequent episode, is break up Tony's engagement to his commanding general's daughter, who, along with that particular general, is never seen again. (This event reflects producer Sidney Sheldon's decision that the engagement depicted in the pilot episode would not be part of the series continuity; he realized the romantic triangle he created between Jeannie, "Master", and Melissa Stone wouldn't pan out in the long run.)

Tony at first keeps Jeannie in her bottle most of the time; but, he finally relents and allows her to enjoy a life of her own. However, her life is devoted mostly to his, and most of their problems stem from her love and affection towards Tony, and her desire to please him and fulfill her ancient heritage as a genie, especially when he doesn't want her to do so. His efforts to cover up Jeannie's antics, because of his fear that he would be dismissed from the space program if her existence were known, brings him to the attention of NASA's resident psychiatrist, U.S. Air Force Colonel Dr. Alfred Bellows. In a running gag, Dr. Bellows tries over and over to prove to his superiors that Tony is either crazy or hiding something, but he is always foiled ("He's done it to me, again!") and Tony's job remains secure. A frequently used plot device is that Jeannie loses her powers when she is confined in a closed space. She is unable to leave her bottle when it is corked; and, under certain circumstances, the person who removed the cork would become her new master. A multi-episode story arc (see below) involves Jeannie (in miniature) becoming trapped in a safe when it is accidentally locked.

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