The hit series “Bewitched” premiered September 17th, 1964. At the time of its premiere, no one could have imagined it would still be popular today! The show went on for eight seasons. The little nose trick that Samantha was known for is a little gesture that likely everyone knows! This show was also made into a movie with Will Ferrell playing Darrin and Nicole Kidman as Samantha. There has also been talk of a TV remake on NBC with rumors of a pilot swirling. Witchy woman Samantha tried to keep her witch-ness a secret, but the cast and crew had plenty of secrets themselves! Join us and read on for some juicy secrets you may not have known about the show “Bewitched.”
Elizabeth Montgomery Played Multiple Roles
Multiple characters on the hit show “Bewitched” had to be replaced for one reason or another. Darrin had to be replaced at one point, along with Gladys. Luckily, the leading lady, Elizabeth Montgomery, never had to be replaced. Of course, we all know that she starred on the show as the witch, Samantha – but did you know she also played another role on the show?
Elizabeth Montgomery led the series “Bewitched” as the lovable witch Samantha, but you can also see her playing Samantha’s cousin, Serena. Yes, it is true, Elizabeth played both roles simultaneously on the show!
Bewitched Creator, Sol Saks, Reveals His Inspiration
The TV series “Bewitched” came to life after Sol Saks had a brilliant idea after watching two films. Sol watched ‘I Married A Witch’ and ‘Bell, Book and Candle’, and that is how “Bewitched” was born! The two films were the inspiration he needed to create his hit show.
Sol created the script for the pilot episode and really just cloned the two films. He was not worried about any lawsuits or copyrights, he knew he was in the clear, since both films were owned by Columbia Pictures - this was not a problem since Columbia also owned Screen Gems, which was the company that was producing “Bewitched.”
Elizabeth Montgomery was such a beauty. She stole hearts during the 1960s with her portrayal of Samantha on “Bewitched". It seemed like people everywhere had little crushes on the beautiful Samantha! She was absolutely stunning, and funny to boot! Her acting talent also seemed to add to her ravishing beauty.
As Elizabeth got older, she remained absolutely stunning! It even seemed like she used her special powers to put a spell on herself! She seemed to just get more and more beautiful, almost as if she knew of a secret anti-aging spell. Her beauty lived on, just like her beloved character, the nose-twitching witch, Samantha.
Darrin Was Almost Played By Someone Else
When you think of the show ‘Bewitched’ of course, you immediately think of Samantha and Darrin, played by Elizabeth Montgomery and Dick York. But did you know that the iconic role of Darrin was actually offered to someone else? Yes, it is true! Richard Crenna, an actor from the show “The Real McCoys,” was offered the role of Darrin, but passed on it due to his prior engagement on “The Real McCoys.” Thankfully, another actor, Dick York, landed the lead role of Darrin.
Of course, as you know, Dick York did end up leaving the show and was replaced from Sargent. Hard to tell if “Bewitched” would have been an 8 season success story if he started off in the role.
Dick York’s Real Reason for Leaving
Dick York ended up leaving his role of Darrin on “Bewitched.” This was for some reason never explained on the show, and left viewers wondering. Of course, though, Dick was not going to just up and leave for no reason. In fact, he had a very good reason.
While filming “Cordura,” Dick York tore some muscles on his back. He never fully recovered from this injury. He was able to mask some of it with pain medication, but it wasn't enough. He was still struggling, and it was affecting his ability to act.
Enter Dick Sargent
Poor Dick York was suffering and in a lot of pain due to his torn muscles and injuries from filming “Cordura.” This was, of course, affecting him on set while filming episodes of “Bewitched.” One day while they were filming season 5 of the show, there was a replacement doctor on set. Dick was experiencing pain, and this doctor administered some B-12 to Dick while he was on his lunch break. At this time, Dick began to have a seizure on set, and they had to rush him to the nearest hospital.
After this incident, the next few episodes of the show had no Darrin in them, and Dick York never did return to the show. At this point, they hired a replacement Darrin, actor Dick Sargent.
Elizabeth Montgomery’s Real-Life Pregnancies
Elizabeth Montgomery got pregnant three times during her 8 seasons on “Bewitched". Her first pregnancy resulted in her firstborn child, in July of 1964. Luckily for Elizabeth (and “Bewitched” fans everywhere), she did not need to take a hiatus from the show during her pregnancies.
The producers and writers were able to include two of her pregnancies into the storyline and script of the show. These pregnancies added the characters of Tabitha and Adam to Elizabeth and Darrin’s little TV family. The addition of these two characters enhanced the show's plot and kept everything looking natural and running smooth!
Tabitha’s Post-Bewitched Life
The original Tabitha on the show “Bewitched” was played by actress Erin Murphy. After making quite a name for herself on the show “Bewitched,” Erin landed roles on hit shows such as “Lassie,” and also filmed dozens of national commercials. In addition to all of that she even did modeling. She made such a name for herself which led to her having amazing opportunities to audition for other roles alongside stars such as Jodie Foster and Helen Hunt!
Her family eventually moved her to Orange County California, they wanted to give her the opportunity to have a normal life as a normal teenager. She went to high school there and won the title of homecoming queen.
Dick York As Darrin Stephens
The iconic role of Darrin Stephens on the TV series “Bewitched,” was played by actor Dick York. He played the husband of a witch named Samantha Stephens. Darrin was of course, a mortal. Dick became a very famous actor at the time, and this was mostly due to his success on “Bewitched.”
Also during his time on the show, he had a role in in the classic film, “Inherit the Wind.” He was known for being very handsome and a total heartthrob! In fact, he aged very gracefully and continued to be handsome and charming and loved by all.
Alice Pearce: Cursed With Terminal Cancer
The role of Gladys on “Bewitched” was played by actress Alice Pearce. In 1966, Alice completely disappeared from the show. Sadly, this was because she had passed away from ovarian cancer. She got diagnosed with this deadly disease just four months before she got cast as Gladys on “Bewitched.”
She had surgery, but the doctors let her know that the cancer was indeed terminal. She chose not to share this information with the cast and crew of “Bewitched.” It was a complete shock to fans and the cast alike when she passed away.
Alice Pearce played the role of Gladys Kravitz on “Bewitched.” The role of Gladys was a nosy neighbor to the Stephens family. She was always suspicious of the things going on over at Darrin and Samantha’s and that of course fed on her nosy nature! Everyone always thought Gladys was a bit crazy because of the things she thought to be going on at the Stephens household - but no one else ever seemed to see them!
The first episode that Alice filmed where Gladys was introduced was called “Be It Ever So Mortgaged". Two short months after she passed, Alice won an Emmy award for Outstanding Supporting Actress for her role as Gladys.
The Truth Behind Their Costumes
Here is a juicy secret that was spilled by actress Kasey Rogers. Kasey played the role of Louise Tate on “Bewitched.” She shared that the supporting actors on the show all had to provide their own clothing. The supporting cast would bring in their selections a week prior to filming the episode, and then the crew working in wardrobe would clean and iron the clothing to be used on filming day.
Of course, the main actors did not have to bring in their own wardrobe, but it was definitely a way to save money by having the supporting cast bring in their own options for wardrobe.
A Special Brooch
Like we had mentioned earlier, the supporting cast of the show “Bewitched” had to provide their own wardrobe and accessories. Actress Agnes Moorehead who played the role of Samantha’s mother, Endora, would usually be seen wearing a brooch in the shape of a starburst. This brooch was complete with 8.5 carats of diamonds! This was her own personal accessory, which she constantly wore on the show.
Elizabeth Montgomery always mentioned how much she loved the beautiful diamond pin. When Agnes died in 1974, she left the beautiful pin to her TV daughter, Elizabeth Montgomery. How sweet!
York and Moorehead: Off Camera Friendships Bloomed
On the show, Darrin (played by Dick York) and Endora (played by Agnes Moorehead) did not get along. In fact, the character of Darrin actually despised his mother-in-law, Endora!
Ironically, the two were best friends off screen. Despite their hatred for each other on screen, it was said that Moorehead and York had one of the closest relationships between any cast members. Agnes was very upset when Dick York left the show, she did not like the fact that he was replaced by Dick Sargent. In fact, a couple of episodes even went by with no one playing the role of Darrin.
We shared with you earlier the fact that Agnes Moorehead and Dick York were very close friends. So, of course, it comes as no surprise that Agnes greatly admired York's talent, and thought he was a brilliant actor. Because of her relationship with York, and the fact that she was fond of his talent, she was not at all happy when he was replaced.
York had to leave the show because of a chronic injury which ended with an onset seizure. He was replaced with a different actor, Dick Sargent, who went on to play the role of Darrin. Agnes was not happy with the new Darrin and they even filmed a few episodes with no Darrin in them at all.
Aunt Clara Actress Marion Lorne Collected…What?
Here is a fun fact! You know how Aunt Clara on “Bewitched” is totally obsessed with doorknobs? Well, the actress who played Aunt Clara, Marion Lorne, had an obsession with them in real life! The basis for this funny obsession was based on the actress's real-life hobby!
Marion Lorne had over one thousand antique doorknobs in her personal collection. We mentioned earlier that some of the supporting cast would bring in their own wardrobe and accessories to be used in the show, this was no different for Aunt Clara. She used her own doorknob collection in the show as well!
Even though the role of Aunt Clara may have been a bit strange with her bizarre doorknob collection, she was still able to win the heart of Darrin and the hearts of fans everywhere!
This was especially interesting since Darrin and the majority of Samantha’s relatives did not get along. In fact, he despised more of them! He did not let this strange collection of doorknobs get in the way of a nice relationship. Surely, it was a breath of fresh air for Samantha as well, to finally have a family member be accepted by her husband, Darrin.
Larry Tate’s Son’s Tragic Naming & Fate
On the show “Bewitched,” the characters Larry and Louise Tate had a son. The actor playing the role of Larry Tate had one request when this occurred. He requested that their son on the show be named Jonathan. David had a son in real life, whose name was Jonathan and he wanted to name his on-screen son after his real-life son.
David had raised his son Jonathan on his own. Sadly his wife had passed away due to pregnancy complications when she was pregnant with their 2nd child. Unfortunately, this was not the only tragedy that David would endure.
David tragically lost his wife due to complications during pregnancy. All that was left of his family was his son, Jonathan. Sadly, his son Jonathan was on the deadly Pan Am flight 103. This flight exploded in 1988 directly over Scotland.
David’s heart was quite literally broken, and just two short years after his son Jonathan’s death, he had a heart attack. David’s heart attack was fatal, and he died in 1990. David and his son Jonathan are buried side by side at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Such a sad series of events for this family.
The Famous Christmas Episode, “Sisters at Heart”, was Written by Black High School Students
The script and the storyline for the “Bewitched” episode entitled “Sisters at Heart” was actually written by a group of African American high school students. These students were in Marcella Saunders’ class in Central LA at a school called Jefferson High School.
This episode was aired on Christmas Eve and was meant to be an eye-opening moment while telling the tale of a wonderful story; however, this episode would never air today. It is absolutely politically incorrect due to the fact that several cast members appear in blackface at some point during the episode.
While the special episode “Sisters at Heart” was meant to be a heartwarming tale written by a group of African American high school students, it was actually pretty politically incorrect.
In the episode, Darrin encounters a racist client and then to teach him a lesson, he allows Samantha casts a spell on them. In this spell, the client sees everyone having black skin. To do this, obviously, the cast had to be in blackface. Eventually, Darrin’s client admits that he had been racist. If this aired today, it would have been a complete disaster. However, when this aired in the ’70s, it was applauded and even won an Emmy award!
Samantha’s Magic Was Really Just Stagehands
Of course, CGI and all kinds of movie magic did not exist yet back in the ’60s when “Bewitched” first got started. The magic that Samantha created with her witchery had to be done in a very particular manner. The production team had stagehands who worked tirelessly to conjure up all of the magic.
Let's say, for instance, Samantha wanted to clean up a messy room quickly, Elizabeth (who played Samantha) would actually just stand there, she would throw her arms up, and then the director would cut the scene. At this point, stagehands would come on set and remove everything that her magic was going to remove. Then they would roll again, and it would look like she had made everything disappear.
We let you in on the little secret about how all of Samantha's magic really happened, and how without the help of stagehands the magic could never really take place. Which brings us to the next part of this little secret. Whenever they were about to create some magic, Elizabeth Montgomery would have to stand there with her arms up to create the effect of the magic. This is when the stagehands would come in and do the real magic.
Elizabeth had to stand there with her arms in the air. She was not allowed to lower her arms or continue the scene until the director called action. They did give her a device to help her arms stay up for a length of time so she would not get tired.
The Mysterious Theme Song
Did you know that the famous “Bewitched” theme song actually has lyrics! Yes, it is true! Despite the fact that the actual lyrics are in fact never sung during the opening credits of the show, it indeed does have lyrics. The reason why it did not have lyrics was that the network that “Bewitched” was played on had a major time crunch to get the theme song ready for their first episode to debut. Steve Lawrence did not get the lyrics to them soon enough, and it ended up just being the instrumental since that was all that they had.
Steve Lawrence’s version of this song pretty much went unheard until a few years back. But a clip can be seen on YouTube of Steve Lawrence singing it, lyrics and all!
While we may not have known that the theme song to “Bewitched” actually had lyrics, There is a version of the theme song sound on YouTube song by Steve Lawrence. Apparently, Steve was not able to record the lyrics fast enough to the theme song. The studio was really concerned about the pilot episode having a theme song, so they just went with the version that had only instruments and no lyrics.
The lyrics of the song are actually quite interesting. The theme song is written as if it was Darrin singing it. It is from his perspective. The lyrics suggest what it would be like if he knew that his wife, Samantha, was really a witch.
Elizabeth Montgomery’s Obituary Is So Wrong
Actress Elizabeth Montgomery who played the iconic role of Samantha on “Bewitched” was actually a very private person. She did not live her life in the Limelight at all. She did not think that it was necessary to make her personal life public information.
Because of this, Elizabeth obituary was actually very wrong. When Elizabeth passed away, it was sad that she was 57 years old. In fact, they were very off. Elizabeth was actually 62 years old. Additionally, several obituaries were posted saying that she was single...this again was untrue. She never revealed to her fans that she had married Robert Foxworth just a few years prior.
Birth Certificate Inconsistencies
It was no surprise that Elizabeth Montgomery's obituary was all over the place. She was a very private person and did not share information about herself with people. In her obituary, they got her age wrong and her marital status wrong. But did you also know, her death certificate and birth certificate even had inconsistencies.
On her birth certificate, she is named Elizabeth Victoria Montgomery. Her death certificate, however, names her as Elizabeth A. Montgomery. We are not sure what the 'A' stands for, but her middle name was Victoria, so her death certificate is incorrect.
Drunk On Set!
A lot of things that happened back in the sixties while filming television shows would never fly in this day and age! One thing, for example, was that cast members would often drink on the set of “Bewitched.” in fact, they were even filmed drunk at times. Sometimes if you saw them drinking on the show, they really were drinking! Even the producer, William Asher, would drink on set!
The drinking was so expensive that there were even stand sites created that would calculate the number of times a character was seen drinking and each episode. Sounds like a pretty fun drinking game!
Record-Breaking Drinking Habits
It was no secret that drinking was excessive on the set of “Bewitched.” However, it was rumored that the rules around drinking were a little bit more strict when they had the child actors on set. When they had kids on set, they were supposed to have iced tea in their drinks to look like alcohol.
Not only did they drink a lot on set, but they also mentioned various bars or clubs all the time on the show. It was as if they had nothing else on their mind! Some of the bars and clubs that were mentioned in the script were, Joe’s Bar and Grill, The Diamond Slipper, Hearthstone Bar, Happy Times Bar, and then, of course, Dundee’s Bar which is referred to as the best in town!
Elizabeth Montgomery Almost Didn’t Make The Cut
The creator of “Bewitched,” Sol Saks, had his heart set on casting the lead role in his series. He was hoping to give the role to Tammy Grimes who was an actress. He wanted to cast her in the main role of the witch, Cassandra. At the time the name of the character was not yet Samantha. Tammy, Sol had said, had an elf-like appearance which he was very fond of.
Ultimately, the creator Sol, along with Bill Asher decided to cast Elizabeth Montgomery in the role of the witch for the show “Bewitched,” it was also then that they changed the name from Cassandra to Samantha.
Cassandra Wasn’t Meant To Be
Could you imagine the classic “Bewitched” with a different actress and a different name?! It almost was that way. Tammy Grimes was an actress who almost became the lead witch in “Bewitched.” At this time the role was named Cassandra, not Samantha! She auditioned for the role, and Sol Saks really wanted her to play Cassandra, but she was under a contract with Screen Gems and would not have been able to take the job.
At that point, they cast Elizabeth Montgomery and changed the role to Samantha. The rest, as they say, is history! She became an iconic character, and the show was a mega success.
Home Is Where The Magic Is
If the set of “Bewitched” looks a little familiar to you, you are not alone. The “bewitched” set was actually a reversed copy of the house that was in the movie “Gidget” in 1959! If you watch the two side by side, you will see that the living room and patios were duplicated from the movie.
It was not just the interiors that were duplicates, the exterior of the “Bewitched” home was also pretty well-known. The exterior was also used in TV shows such as “Dennis the Menace” and even “I Dream of Jeannie.”
Gladys Kravitz’s Hand-Me-Down
The neighborhood of homes on this lot is known in Hollywood as Blondie Street. This lot has been in use for over 50 years. You can catch it On a multitude of TV shows and movies. Sometimes the use of these homes also overlap.
During the filming of “Bewitched” Ms. Kravitz, who was the neighbor of Samantha and Darrin, lived in the same home that they were using to film “The Partridge Family.” The two shows were filming simultaneously, so during two seasons of filming both shows shared the same house! The house was two stories and had a little white picket fence. The fence was removed and taken down in 1999!
Olsen twins, move over! Erin and Diane Murphy were the original twin stars! The fraternal twins were cast to split the role of Tabitha, Samantha and Darrin’s daughter. Just like Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen shared the role of Michelle in “Full House” these two also shared the role. It was pretty typical for twins to play one role as it was a taxing filming schedule and good to have two kids on hands to play the one role.
After “Bewitched,” Erin went on to be a makeup artist, stunt double and even a casting director. She also became a teacher and speaker. She was known for her work advocating people with autism.
As soon as the twins started in the role, it was pretty obvious that Erin was going to be the star and play the role of Tabitha the most. Erin was always used for the close-up scene and also for any speaking lines. Her sister, Diane, was usually only used in the longer shots.
After “Bewitched,” Erin really made an impact in the world, using her Hollywood status to become an advocate for people with Autism. She has a son, Parker, who has autism and she really believes in this cause. She also wore many hats in Hollywood, becoming a casting director, makeup artist, teacher and more.
War Of The Witches
When you are on a hit TV show like “Bewitched,” tons of eyes are always on you. “Bewitched” was a really unique show with an interesting plot and characters. About a year after “Bewitched” debuted on ABC, the rival network NBC put out a series that was very similar to “Bewitched” entitled “I Dream of Jeannie.”
It was rumored that Elizabeth Montgomery was not at all happy when this happened. She was the blond witch in town and now had to compete with another blond, who was another non-mortal, this time a genie.
Both TV shows “Bewitched” and “I Dream of Jeannie” were actually pretty similar. They both starred beautiful blond female lead characters who had various powers. Jeannie was a genie in a bottle who had a love story with an astronaut from NASA. Samantha was a witch married to a mortal. The characters were similar, and at times, they even had very similar storylines.
While there were rumors swirling that Elizabeth Montgomery was not happy when “I Dream of Jeannie” debuted, she has confirmed that she never felt any animosity toward the cast members, Barbara Eden (Jeannie) or Larry Hagman. She was just upset about the show.
Tragedy Over The Airwaves
During an episode of “Bewitched” entitled “I Confess” which aired on April 4th, 1968, tragedy struck. The episode was interrupted by ABC news to announce the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. They announced that the civil rights leader was assassinated in Memphis Tennessee earlier that evening. Sadly, America was dealing with high tensions and race riots for years, and this was the boiling point!
It is unknown if the episode of “Bewitched” continued on after the news announcement or if they just saved the episode to re-air at a later day. I do not know if Bewitched resumed where it was interrupted or if this episode was re-aired at another time.
The episode of “Bewitched” that was interrupted due to the announcement of the assassination was entitled “I Confess.” In this episode, Darrin and Samantha get into a quarrel because Darrin accuses her of using her magic excessively. He is worried that if she does too much magic, especially in public, she is going to let everyone know that she is a witch.
In the episode, she uses her magic to dump a bucket of water on someone's head who is drunk. After that, Darrin thinks that everyone is going to know she's a witch, so he decides he's going to tell everyone himself. Samantha, of course, will not let this happen, so she uses her magic to put a spell on Darrin which gives him a dream about what would happen if the world knew she was a witch. When he wakes up, he realizes he is not going to tell anyone.
Elizabeth Montgomery Never Actually Wiggled Her Nose
Just like Samantha's magic in the show, “Bewitched” was actually just the handiwork of stagehands and camera tricks, Samantha’s famous nose wiggle was also nothing more than a little trick.
According to Erin who played Samantha’s daughter Tabitha on “Bewitched,” it was said that Samantha's nose wiggle was nothing more than a simple camera trick. If you really pay attention to the movement, you will see that Elizabeth Montgomery never moves her nose. The illusion is that her upper lip is moving which makes it look like her nose is moving. Fans of the show also claim that it is Samantha's mouth moving, which makes the nose look like it is moving too.
“Bewitched” had an amazing starring cast. However, it has to be noted that they also had a lot of strong supporting cast members as well. A unanimous favorite among fans was the character of Uncle Arthur. He was played by actor Paul Lynde.
Paul Lynde also made appearances on “I Dream of Jeannie” not once, but three times! Some role he played on the competing show was a director, an IRS agent and a co-worker at NASA. It was always surprising when people who had supporting roles showed up on both “Bewitched” and “I Dream of Jeannie” as the two shows were in direct competition with each other.
Another supporting cast member who was a fan-favorite was the doctor to the Stephens family. They, of course, could not have a regular doctor, they had a witch doctor. His name was Dr. Bombay. He was played by an actor named Bernard Fox. Dr. Bombay would appear in episodes in crazy costumes.
It was also said that the supporting cast members had to bring their own wardrobe. It is not certain if the outlandish costumes Dr. Bombay wore were actually his own Or if he was an exception to that rule. He also appeared as Dr. Bombay multiple times on the “Bewitched” spin-off called “Tabitha.”
We shared the fact earlier that the cast of Bewitched were all heavy drinkers and would drink all the time on set. But did you know that most of the stars and even the supporting cast of “Bewitched” were also smokers? It is reported that Elizabeth Montgomery was a chain-smoker and the same goes for Paul Lynde! According to sources, even Dick York smoked three packs of cigarettes a day!
In an interview with actress Erin Murphy who played the daughter Tabitha, she had said she remembered her parents telling her that smoking was bad, but she didn't understand why it was bad since everyone around her at work was doing it nonstop. Definitely confusing for a child.
A Real-Life Curse?
Fans of the show “Bewitched” have a long-running suspicion that there is a Bewitched curse. A very large amount of cast members have passed away. A big percentage of that has been cancer-related deaths and early deaths. Many of the cast members went on to pass away at a young age.
Elizabeth Montgomery, of course, passed away early. She is in the company of others who died under the age of 65, such as Alice Pearce who died from cancer, Paul Lynde who died after suffering a heart attack, Dick York and Dick Sargent who both died of cancer. While some may say it is witchcraft or a curse, it can also be said that unhealthy lifestyles of excessive drinking and smoking could have also caused these.
Early Richard Dreyfuss Role
A couple of big-name stars got their start on the hit show “Bewitched.” One of them was Richard Dreyfuss. Richard had gotten cast in an episode of Bewitched in 1966. It was one of his very first television roles. The episode was entitled “Man’s Best Friend.” in this episode he played the role of a bratty boy named Rodney.
In the episode, Samantha and Darrin are celebrating because she had not used her powers in a month. At this point, Rodney appears, and he tries to break up their marriage despite Samantha telling him over and over she loves Darrin. At this point, Rodney turns into a dog and continues to try to break up their marriage.
When they introduce the character of Rodney, who is played by Richard Dreyfuss, it was said that Samantha used to be his babysitter. At this point, he is older and comes back to tell Samantha that he loves her. She obviously does not return his love and tells him that she loves her husband, Darrin.
Rodney does not take the news well and uses his own magic to turn himself into a dog so that he can stay with Samantha in her home. Darrin ends up loving the dog so much even though the dog is out to get him, literally. These days, Richard Dreyfuss is a major star! So funny to think of his start back in the “Bewitched” days.
When you are on a television show for many years, it does not matter how amazing the show is, you will most likely get tired at some point. This is exactly what happened to Elizabeth Montgomery. She began to get tired of playing the role of Samantha on “Bewitched” and by season 5 she was ready to quit.
When producers heard about this, they offered her a lot of money. So much that she absolutely could not turn it down. She ended up staying on the show, but you could tell that she was not all in. It was sad that her acting in the final three seasons was sub-par and nothing like it was in the beginning of the show.
Way To Show ‘Em
It was known that Elizabeth Montgomery was not really into her role of Samantha anymore by the end of the series. She had wanted to quit as early as season 5 but stayed on due to an excessive pay raise.
By the end of her time on “Bewitched” Elizabeth Montgomery had been no longer wearing a bra while filming. This was said to be a symbol of her support for the women's liberal movement. Montgomery was a big activist for social causes, so this comes as no surprise; however, some may say that she did it just because she was no longer invested in the role and just plainly did not care.
More Tabitha, Please
While some of the cast members of “Bewitched” were ready for it to end, most notably Elizabeth Montgomery, the fans still wanted more. There was a spinoff created of the show “Bewitched” called “Tabitha.” This show followed Tabitha, Samantha and Darrin’s daughter. It was about her life as an adult. People were really excited about the show; however, it ended up being a big disappointment.
Fans of the show loved the actress who played the role of Tabitha on “Bewitched,” but she was not involved with the spin-off, and they cast a new actress to play the role of Tabitha. For that reason, along with many others, the spin-off did not do well at all.
In the show “Tabitha,” which was a spinoff of “Bewitched,” the role of Tabitha was not played by the original actress who played Tabitha. They cast an actress named Lisa Hartman in the role. Lisa had moved to LA at the young age of 19 to pursue music. She Was even signed by a record label the same year she landed the role on “Tabitha.”
While this spin-off was a major flop, and of course did not last, Lisa Hartman did continue to have a very successful acting career. She played the role of Cathy on the hit TV show “Knots Landing.” She is married to a fellow musician, Clint Black.
It is always curious to learn about the real-life relationships that go on between actors. Fans were always interested in the dynamic between Samantha and Tabitha in real life. Erin Murphy was a child actress who played the role of Tabitha, alongside her twin sister.
Erin recently had an interview about her role on “Bewitched,” and of course talked about the dynamic between her and Elizabeth Montgomery. She said that she was extremely close with her on-screen parents, Darrin and Samantha, she even said that she had nicknames for them. She revealed that she looked up to Elizabeth much like a real parent. She also stated that she is a lot like Elizabeth Montgomery since she grew up so close to her.
Elizabeth Montgomery was married to “Bewitched” director, William Asher. of course, being so close to her he had all of the inside scoop to her nuances. He had stated that her little wriggle was a nervous tick that she had, and it came out when she was nervous or when she got frustrated. Elizabeth Montgomery was Asher’s 2nd wife.
Asher was a big wig director, and he was nominated 4 times for Emmy Awards! He won the award once, in 1966 for his direction of “Bewitched.” Elizabeth and William got divorced shortly after the series “Bewitched” ended in 1972. He was married two other times after the divorce.
“The Darrin Syndrome”
The role of Samantha's husband Darrin was originated by the actor Dick York. Unfortunately, Dick York had to leave the show due to severe back pain. He was on medication to help with the pain but, it was unbearable. Additionally, he had a seizure on set. After that, he never came back.
They replaced him with actor Dick Sargent. They never mentioned it on the show and basically just hoped that fans and the audience would not notice the change in actor, or at least would not care. This ridiculous Act of swapping actors without any explanation whatsoever got dubbed “The Darrin Syndrome.”
Darrin Wasn’t The Only Character to Be Swapped
“The Darrin Syndrome” was contagious! The producers were at it again, they did not stop at the replacement of Darrin, they also swapped out Samantha’s neighbor Gladys.
Originally the role of Gladys Kravitz was played by actress Alice Pearce. When Alice left the show, she was replaced by another actress named Sandra Gould. As if they thought nobody would notice, the producers just swapped out these actors without so much of an explanation. It is funny when you think about it! Do you think this would ever fly today? Probably not!
Switching Darrin was Bad For Ratings
Of course, fans everywhere noticed right away that there was a new actor playing the role of Samantha's husband, Darrin. Ratings began to fall drastically over the next three years, and the show ended up ending its run after 8 seasons. The show ended with actor Dick Sargent playing the role of Darrin, which Dick York originated. Who knows if the show would have gone on for longer if Dick York ended up staying.
Fans did not want to accept the change and embrace a new actor playing a role that they already were invested in. And rightfully so, especially because it was never mentioned or spoken of... So weird!
It seems like the production team of the show “Bewitched” had no problem swapping actors and actresses around. The role of Darrin’s secretary was also played by many different actresses.
Maybe they just did not think that the role of his secretary would be a long-standing one, and then eventually decided it was going to be a recurring role. Either way, multiple actresses played the role including actress Marcia Wallace. Marcia would eventually play the role of Edna on the hit cartoon, “The Simpsons.” She also played another secretary in the 1970s on “The Bob Newhart Show!”
Did you know that Elizabeth Montgomery played two roles on the show “Bewitched?” she played Samantha, of course, but she also played the role of Serena. The two, while very different, also had many similarities.
Just like Samantha, Serena hung out with Mortals. She dated them as well; however, she was not married, she was more of a hippie swinger. She approved of Samantha marrying Darrin, who was just a mortal. Typically the two characters were not filmed in the same scene because that kind of technology was not around yet, but they would try to use split screen to have them appear simultaneously.
Bell, Book, and Candle
The creator of the show “Bewitched,” Sol Saks, has said that the inspiration for the show was a movie called “Bell, Book, and Candle.” in this movie, the main role is a blond beauty just like Samantha.
Actress Kim Novak portrays a beautiful young witch who lives in New York City. In this movie, she really loves her neighbor but does not like the fiance of the neighbor. She uses her magic to put a spell on him to fall in love with her, however, it all back by her is when she ends up falling in love with him as well, especially since he is a mortal.
Elizabeth Montgomery’s Magical Transformation
Elizabeth Montgomery may have been able to make anything she wanted to happen while she was playing the role of Samantha on “Bewitched,” but off-screen, she was not as happy.
She dated many famous stars, such as Elvis and Dean Martin. It was said that she had a “father complex” which kept luring her to abusive relationships. She was also linked to JFK at one point, but there was no proof that anything happened between them romantically. She ended up marrying a director from “Bewitched” but divorcing soon after the series ended. She did remarry eventually And was married at the time of her passing.
They say art parallels real life. Especially in this case. Elizabeth Montgomery gave birth to her biological daughter Rebecca on June 17th. June 17th also happened to be the birthday of Erin and Diane who were the twins playing her on-screen daughter, Tabitha. Of course, this was not planned but wow what a coincidence!
The actress, Erin, who played Tabitha had said that she was very close with her on-screen mother, so it is even more shocking that Elizabeth’s real-life daughter would have the same exact birthday!
RIP, Dick York
Dick York was the original Darrin on “Bewitched.” He had a previous back injury that left him with severe back pain and unfortunately he ended up leaving the show because of this.
Dick York passed away due to emphysema at the young age of 63. He is buried in Michigan. Sadly he is one of the many “Bewitched” actors who died before the age of 65. They are said to have the Bewitched curse! Of course, there is probably not really a curse at hand, and more so the unhealthy habits of chain-smoking and binge drinking.
Bernard Fox Dies at 89
Another “Bewitched” actor gone too soon was actor Bernard Fox. He played the character of Dr. Bombay on both “Bewitched” and the spin-off TV series, “Tabitha.” Before his passing in 2016, he had a very full and promising career. He was also on the hit TV show, “The Andy Griffith Show” as well as a role in the film “Titanic.”
He died at the age of 89 (which was considerably older for a “Bewitched” cast member) and died from heart failure at his home in California.
The End Of An Era
“Bewitched” was a classic. It ran for eight seasons! However, some fans feel like it should have ended after season 7 and it went on just one season too long.
The ratings started to drop after Dick York left the show, and Elizabeth Montgomery wanted out after season five but stuck around because the money was so good. She had checked out, and it showed. There were also more sitcoms coming out, and that provided more competition for the series. The writing staff also started to leave and left the final season pretty dull. It would have been nice to end the series on a high note, but the show still lives on as a classic!
Dick Sargent, who was the replacement for Dick York on the hit TV show “Bewitched” appeared on TV at an event on National Coming Out Day in 1991. It was at this event that Dick publicly announced that he was gay.
He was aware that this decision to come out publicly could hurt his career, but he had said in an interview that he was so relieved to finally open up and be himself. He said that it would be worth it even if his career was tarnished. He had come to terms with the fact that he would probably never be a father figure in a roll again and he realized he would probably lose a lot of work, but what was important was that he was true to himself.
A Long-Lasting Legacy
“Bewitched” remains one of the all-time greatest TV shows; however, the show's legacy did not end when the series ended. The show is still popular today. Even though its last episode aired on television many decades ago, people of all ages know about Samantha, the witch.
You can even still catch episodes of the show on TV, as it has been airing in syndication since 1972. Additionally, they released the entire series on DVD so that a whole new audience of fans can watch the shelf for the first time. The entire series of the show can be bought for just 30 bucks, a small price to pay to get your hands on a classic.
The show “Bewitched” was so wildly popular That in 2005, they released a movie based on the show. It had a star-studded cast, featuring Nicole Kidman Samantha. Will Ferrell played the role of Darrin.
They didn't end with the lead roles, the entire cast was laden with big names. Some of the cast included Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Kristin Chenoweth, and David Alan Grier to name a few. Despite the star-studded cast, the movie was a major flop. It did not live up to the expectations of the TV show and was a pretty big failure. The film ended up earning 63 million dollars; however, they had a budget of 85 million.
What Went Wrong?
The movie was just a little strange. It wasn't so much a remake of the series as it was loosely based on it. The movie followed a woman named Isabel Bigelow, who is played by Nicole Kidman. She moves to LA and gets cast as Samantha in a remake of “Bewitched.” Will Ferrell plays her husband, Darrin.
The twists and turns start, and we find out that Isabel is actually a witch. Of course, the cast and crew of the “Bewitched” remake do not know this, and that is where they are trying to get the comedy to shine through. They try really hard to recreate some of the mishaps that Samantha would encounter on the original show, but unfortunately, the movie did not hold a candle to the original.
A Critical Failure
Nobody responded well to the movie. Critics and viewers alike both felt like it was a major flop. Rotten Tomatoes gave it 75% negative rating. It was said to have a lack of direction, and it was said not to be very funny at all.
This film had a budget of 85 million dollars, but it did not gross nearly that. It earned 63 million dollars in the United States and a little bit more worldwide. It totaled 131 million dollars which, despite sounding like a lot, was quite a disappointment. The creators anticipated that the film was going to be a huge success because it already had such a large following; unfortunately, they were not able to deliver.
Golden Raspberry Awards
The movie rendition of “Bewitched” was such a disaster that it was nominated for a bunch of Golden Raspberry Awards, also known as the Razzies. This award ceremony celebrates the absolute worst performances in films. It is like a backward Oscars ceremony.
The film had nominations in the 26th Annual Golden Raspberry Awards in categories such as worst director, worst screenplay, worst remake, and even worst actor. The film won in the category of worst actors. Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell both won in their respective categories and took home the Golden Raspberry Award celebrating the worst couple!
It’s All About Samantha
Some roles are just too iconic to be remade. When you think of the role of Samantha in Bewitched, you automatically think of amazing Elizabeth Montgomery. The movie should have done well, everyone loved the show “Bewitched,” but this we make just did not work. Mostly due to the fact that Elizabeth Montgomery was not involved and when you think of Bewitched, you think of her.
People everywhere fell in love with the heartthrob Elizabeth Montgomery during her time on “Bewitched.” Of course, she was beautiful and very talented, but she was also so much more. She was very active in political activism.
A Champion for Human Rights
It was pretty common knowledge that Elizabeth Montgomery was a huge supporter of women's right. During the end of filming “Bewitched,” she even stopped wearing a bra to support the women's movement.
She was one of the very first celebrities who openly supported gay rights, and she was a huge advocate to people living with AIDS. She constantly volunteered in Los Angeles for the AIDS project, her support was monumental to the gay rights movement. Her unwavering support was right on time, people at this time did not know much about AIDS, and it was very misunderstood, so she came as a breath of fresh air to enlighten people and help them understand what the disease really was.
A Liberal Lady
While Elizabeth Montgomery may have been private about her personal life, Elizabeth Montgomery did not keep her political views a secret. It was common knowledge that she was very liberal. She used her Celebrity Status to bring awareness to causes that she felt strongly about. She was an activist of women's rights, the AIDS movement, and gay rights.
She was a frequent volunteer at the Los Angeles Unit of Learning Ally. She also recorded their best selling poetry book entitled “When We Were Very Young.” In addition to recording the book, she produced TV and radio PSA is for them as well. The organization is known for recording books, CDs, etc for disabled people.
Richard Crenna Admits He Almost Was Darrin
Before the show, Bewitched even came to air, and they were doing the casting for it, a young actor by the name of Richard Crenna auditioned for the role of Darrin. It was said that he was very close to being cast as Darrin, but he ended up accepting another role. They were still trying to cast the role of Samantha, and it was taking longer than anticipated, so Crenna decided to move on.
It is not noted how serious a consideration it was to hire him for the role, but we do know for sure that the show would not have been the same without Dick York. However, perhaps we would have been able to avoid the Darrin Syndrome! The world may never know.
A Documentary Star
People will always remember Elizabeth Montgomery as beautiful Samantha Stephens from “Bewitched.” however, what you may not know is that she also took on a lot of controversial work. Many people just saw her as beautiful and funny, but she wanted to do serious work.
She voiced the narration for not one, but two political documentaries which of course showcased her liberal political beliefs. The first one that she did was entitled “Coverup: Behind the Iran Contra Affair” and that was released in 1988, long after “Bewitched.” The second one that she voiced was in 1992 and was a much more controversial documentary. However, it still won an Academy Award!
A Lasting Legacy
Elizabeth Montgomery was always an activist for the people. Even after she had passed away, she continued to help people in need. A few years after she passed away, there was an auction held featuring all of her clothing. Her “Bewitched” on-screen daughter, Erin Murphy, who played the role of Tabitha, modeled all of the clothing for the auction.
The auction, of course, benefited one of the causes Elizabeth Montgomery was an activist for, the AIDS Foundation. They raised so much money with this auction which was so fitting for Elizabeth, as while she was alive, she fought so hard for the people living with AIDS.
Wonder Lake State Park
After Elizabeth Montgomery passed away, she gave a very special gift to New York State. She had owned a beautiful summer home in Patterson, New York. After her death, the estate was sold to the state of New York. It was a whopping 794 Acres! The enormous amount of land was turned into Wonder Lake State Park!
The park, like Elizabeth, is wonderful, it was expanded and now totals 1145 acres! The park boasts almost 9 miles of hiking trails and one scenic trail that has a pond and lines the entire lake! The park also helps to protect parts of the Great Swamp.
Tributes to Montgomery
After Elizabeth Montgomery passed away, She finally earned her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It was given to her 13 years after she died, in January of 2008. It was awarded to her for her work on TV, but of course, she was so much more than just an actress.
Another fun tribute to Elizabeth can be seen in Salem, Massachusetts. As you know, Salem was the location of the Salem Witch Trials, which seems fitting that they put up an enormous statue of Elizabeth Montgomery playing the role of Samantha. This bronze statue went up in 2005, a witchy, ironic tribute to one of the most famous witches of all time.
Breaking the Good Girl Image
Despite her being a witch, the role of Samantha was seen as a wholesome housewife on “Bewitched.” This was very different from the real-life Elizabeth Montgomery. It was said that while she seemed wholesome on the show, she definitely had a dark side in real life. A tell-all book was published about Elizabeth, entitled Twitch Upon a Star, and it revealed tons of juicy details and secrets about her life.
It was revealed in the book that Elizabeth always seemed to attract abusive relationships and troubled men. She was never attracted to the so-called nice guys. It was assumed that her attraction to bad guys was in response to a rebellion towards her own father.
It was known that Elizabeth Montgomery was drawn to the bad boys, and found herself in many unsuitable relationships. There was even talk that she had a relationship with president John F Kennedy. Not many details are known about their exact relationship, but what is known is that they were friends in the 1960s.
In the tell-all book, author Pilato adds that JFK was known for chasing beautiful women. Elizabeth Montgomery had affairs with many other famous men, including Dean Martin, Elvis, and other older men. Elizabeth was married four times, and it is rumored that during all of her marriages she had multiple affairs.
A Family Affair
The third husband of Elizabeth Montgomery was a famous film producer and director named Bill Asher. She married Bill in 1963. A year later in 1964, Bill became the producer and director of “Bewitched.” this happened after he had huge success with the show “I Love Lucy.” In 1966 he even won an Emmy for “Bewitched.”
Elizabeth was Asher’s second wife. Similar to Montgomery, Asher was also married four times. They were divorced in 1973, shortly after “Bewitched” was over. At that time, Elizabeth Montgomery had fallen in love with another director, Richard Michaels. Richard was also a director for “Bewitched.” It is not known if they had an affair while she was still married to Asher.
The Cast of Bewitched Gets Involved
It was well known that Elizabeth Montgomery was an activist for all of the political causes that she backed. But, did you know, she was not the only member of the cast to be an activist.
Once Dick Sargent came out as a homosexual, he began to be an advocate for gay rights. He was tired of hiding behind lies and wanted to show people that you could be successful despite being gay. At the time people's attitudes towards gay people were very negative. He wanted to be an example for young people struggling with sexuality. He was hoping to lower the suicide rates that were skyrocketing among the youth.
Acting for Life
The two actors who played the role of Darrin on “Bewitched” where Dick York and Dick Sargent. Dick York was the first Darrin, followed by Sargent. Close to the end of his life, Dick York began to get involved with charities. He spent his last few years of life fighting emphysema. During his life, he smoked three packs of cigarettes a day. He wanted to use his final time before he passed away to do some good.
It was at this time that he founded the charity, acting for life. This charity was to help people in need, including the homeless population. Since he was battling emphysema, he was very sick and working from home because he was bedridden. But even with these limitations, he contacted politicians businessman and many other people to help contribute money to his charity.
What Could Have Been
Elizabeth Montgomery almost did not become a famous actress. She was first married in 1955 when she was only 20. Her husband was a socialite named Fred Cammann. He did not like the fact that Elizabeth was an actress and urged her to quit acting. During this time, women usually were housewives, so it was not that absurd that he wanted her to quit her career.
Elizabeth Montgomery was not satisfied with this life, she wanted more. She did not want to sit at home and be a stay-at-home housewife. She left her husband Fred and moved to Los Angeles. After about a year, they were divorced, and soon after, Elizabeth Montgomery became a household name.
A Secret Scandal?
With any TV shows, and actors, there will be scandals, and there will be secrets. Herbie Pilato used this to write a book about Elizabeth Montgomery, and it was a tell-all about the show “Bewitched.” In the book, he reveals that Dick York was in love with Elizabeth Montgomery. He goes on to say that one of the reasons Dick York was replaced in the show was because of his infatuation with Elizabeth, it was not purely because of his medical condition.
Herbie also goes on to say that Elizabeth did not get along with fellow actress, Agnes Moorehead who played Samantha's mother. Moorehead and Dick York, however, were close friends, and she was so angry when he was replaced on the show by Dick Sargent. It was said that she took out her frustrations on him and even made him cry on set.
After the Show
At the end of season 5 of filming, Elizabeth Montgomery wanted out. She was feeling like the role was getting stale. The producers offered her so much money that she could not turn it down. She stayed with the show until the series ended in season 8.
Once she was free, Elizabeth looked for roles that would get her away from the good girl image she was typecast in with the role of Samantha she had portrayed for so many years. She took on a very controversial role as a victim of sexual assault in “A Case of Rape.” She also played a murderer, Lizzie Borden in the film The Legend of Lizzie Borden.