The one time witch used to have the world at her feet. Everyone loved tuning in to watch Elizabeth Montgomery showcase her magical powers on TV. On the show, she had the powers to get anything she wanted. That would be a great power to have in real life. But as we’ll see, Montgomery was human just like the rest of us.
The Real Magic
In today’s world of advanced technology, we are able to just CGI (computer-generated imagery) things such as a 50-foot tall robot that can transform whenever it chooses to. Back in the days of Bewitched, how did they make the magic happen without the advanced technology? There must have been a trick.
Everything was done by a team of those committed to stagehands. An example being, when Samantha wanted to clean up in a hurry she would raise her hand and “zap” it clean. When this happened she would raise her hand while the director yelled cut and others would come in and clean up the set.
She Wanted The Name Tabitha
If you are going to be a mother in a show, wouldn’t it be great if you got to choose the name of the children you will be acting with that are supposed to be yours? Montgomery did just that when she chose Tabitha.
“I loved it, because it was so old-fashioned,” she said in 1967. “I got it from one of the daughters of Edward Andrews, the actor. The two Andrews girls are named Tabitha and Abigail. But, somehow or other, her name came out ‘Tabatha’ on the credit roll, and that’s the way it’s been ever since.”
While other actors in the show would be replaced at a whim and producers would hope the audience would not notice, Montgomery was the exception to the rule. When a show replaces someone nonchalantly, it is called “The Darrin Syndrome” because Dick Sargent replaced Dick York without a notice.
Montgomery got the chance to play two characters. We know the main one but she also got to play Samantha’s cousin Serena. In that role, she would wear short skirts and black hair. The credits would put the name Pandora Spocks even though it was not a big secret that Montgomery played two characters.
It has been well noted that Elizabeth Montgomery was no fan of Hollywood. Not just because it didn’t fit her personality but because she just did not like the vibe of it all and trying to fill the shoes of her father who was famous. After Bewitched she found a way to live comfortably for a while.
Montgomery did a plethora of Japanese commercials from 1980 to 1983. It was enough to pay her a nice amount that would allow her to stay out of Hollywood for a nice chunk of time. She went across the globe to leave the limelight.
Voiceover in Batman
Before you passed away, wouldn’t it be nice to voice an animated version of yourself? Whether you agree that it would nice is your decision but Montgomery had the chance to do so for one of the most iconic comic book heroes of all time, The Caped Crusader or as you may know him, Batman.
Before she passed away from cancer in 1995, Montgomery did a voice for a character in Batman: The Animated Series. It was only for one episode which was titled “Showdown” in case ever wanted to check it out. It aired after she passed away so she didn’t get a chance to see it.
Almost A Hitchcock Blonde
When you hear the title “The Master of Suspense” you instantly think of Alfred Hitchcock. He was the originator of plenty elements that are a part of the psychological thriller and suspense genres. One of his famous quotes is, “there is no terror in the bang, only the anticipation of it.”
He was so impressed by Montgomery’s appearance in an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, that he wanted her to be Sean Connery’s sister-in-law in the film Marnie. She couldn’t play the role so it ended up going to Diane Baker. Maybe that could have been the role to win her an Emmy!
When NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal was at the peak of his fame, delivery rooms across America had many babies being named after the dominant basketball player. He had that big an influence on society. Well, Elizabeth Montgomery had the same type of influence once the ’60s came around.
Because she was so loved on Bewitched as Samantha Stephens for eight seasons, parents must have got ideas. The name of Samantha spiked up because of that show and how cherished Montgomery was in that role. That name had not been as popular prior to the ’60s if you happen to recall.
The Nose Twitch
In just about every popular show, the main character has a trademark that fans grow to love and can anticipate on happening. The Olsen twins would say “you got it dude” in Full House and Erkel would famously announce “did I do that?” in Family Matters. Well, Montgomery had something of her own.
The nose twitch that Samantha had in the show was based on a real-life quirk that Montgomery had. It was noticed that her lip would shake when she got nervous. They worked in the facial distortion so that it would go together just right and not look weird.
Forever In Stone
Few people get a statue made for them. You have to have had a lasting impact on society or just be appreciated to a certain extent by a certain group of people. That is how you get to live forever, through a statue. Elizabeth Montgomery made the list of being immortalized.
In June 2005, Salem Massachusetts either played a joke that will go on forever or they decided to pay homage. Montgomery had a bronze statue built of her in Salem which happened to be where the witch trials took place. Could just be a good marketing scheme if you think about it.
So Close But No Cigar
For those who are nominated for awards, there can be no greater feeling. That goes for any award like an Oscar, an Emmy, an Espy, a Grammy, or whatever. And it gets even better when you actually win one of the awards! Of course, it takes a lot of skill and talent to become nominated so that is why it is so special to be considered.
Montgomery was nominated a whole eight times for an Emmy. That says a lot about her skills right there. The only thing is, she never won any of the times she was nominated. That has got to hurt.
How To Stuff A Wild Bikini
There have been times throughout film history when a character from a different show or movie makes a cameo. In fact, since the early turn of the century, there has been a slew of movies that parody other movies such as Scary Movie which takes popular horror films and turns them into jokes all in one film.
Elizabeth Montgomery made a cameo in the 1965 film, How to Stuff a Wild Bikini which starred Mickey Rooney and Annette Funicello. Montgomery made an appearance and parodied her Bewitched role. Something that only true fans would know about because that movie pretty much flew under the radar.
Fight For Happiness
Montgomery had the talent and the magnetism to get her many of the things she wanted out of life. Still, that was not enough for her as she battled to find happiness. This led to her having a very up and down life that dealt with many abusive relationships on top of other things that affected her.
We will delve in deeper to uncover the other life of Elizabeth Montgomery. An author by the name of Herbie Pilato wrote a biography about the star so many of the insides about her will come from him.
There are people right now asking the following question: why do women chase the bad guys? Being a good guy can often times make you finish last so that is not just a cliche. In Montgomery’s case, she had a reason for chasing troubled guys (more on that as the story progresses).
“She seemed drawn to troubled men, not nice guys”, said Pilato. “She was always looking for the ‘bad boy.'” There is a link which connects why she would always do this. More on that coming up, but why do you think she did this to herself?
The Young Rebel
Ever heard of the phrase “daddy issues”? Well, Montgomery was the poster child of this and it rubbed off on her in her personal life. That is the reason why she would go for the bad boys and troubled men in sort of way to spite her father. Hey, we don’t make the rules we just report facts.
“She was always looking for the ‘bad boy’, which may have been part of her rebellion against her father,” said Pilato. That is the correct way to rebel by doing something the oppressor does not really like. And she did it well, might we add.
Liz And JFK
Now we are not saying she’s a gold digger, but she only messed with people of fame and money. You can say everyone in Hollywood does that, but not everyone goes after the president himself. And this time, Montgomery’s eyes were set on John F. Kennedy. Say it’s not so, JFK.
Back during the early ’60s is when she had become close friends with the president and Pilato notes, “He chased almost every beautiful woman he met, though if anything happened Elizabeth never spoke about it.” That is how you do it, you do not kiss and tell especially with the president.
The Public Did Not Need To Know
At her funeral, the obituary was wrong on two accounts. The first reason why it was wrong was just a formality and not what we are here for. We are here for the second mistake that was prevalent on her obituaries and that is that it said that she was single but that is a fallacy.
It may have been because she was so private that this mistake occurred. Montgomery did not inform the public that she was married to Robert Foxworth. It was just thought that they were dating and did not take the next step. That is a great job at keeping private!
Gary Cooper And Montgomery
As the further along you get in this article, you will see a common theme of Montgomery being involved with other men who were not hers and possibly in another marriage. This mishap occurred with Gary Cooper. And it happened on the set of a movie they were working on together.
“She worked with Gary Cooper on the movie The Court-Martial Of Billy Mitchell and he had a thing for her. He was an older man, which she loved,” said Pilato. Someone caught the two in his dressing room alone and after that, a scandal was in the air.
Elvis Had A Thing For Her
There was another huge name that had the hots for Montgomery. Not just any big name but one of the biggest. His name was Elvis Presley. He might not have been the older type that she preferred but hey, he was one of the kings of music so he gets a pass.
“Elvis Presley was closer to her age when they co-starred in Kid Galahad but he wanted her. Her much older husband got upset when he saw Elvis flirting with her on set but Presley called him an [expletive],” said Pilato. Wow, Elvis was a bit harsh with his words.
One Affair Too Many
Here we are again adding to the list of men she got down with. Maybe Elvis did not have an abusive trait with him, he is the very rare exception. This next person was an alcoholic and abusive as well. His life spiraled out of control but Montgomery wanted it all.
Alexander Godunov was her next man of interest in hopes that she could fix him. “He was an alcoholic and she was drawn to him, perhaps hoping to rescue him, says Pilato. He was abusive and self-destructive. Elizabeth had an affair with him while with the man who became her fourth husband.”
Gig Young Comes Into The Picture
The next person added to the list of alcoholics is Gig Young. Young was 25 years older than Montgomery and that made her father unbelievably mortified. This was her second husband, by the way, and it looks like it was another rescue mission gone wrong. There was something she loved about messed-up men.
“Elizabeth was 22 and infatuated but Gig Young was an alcoholic, emotionally abusive and probably physically abusive as well,” said Pilato. “She tried to save him but their marriage broke down. It may have been a lucky escape. Young shot his second wife to death and then killed himself in a murder-suicide.”
And Another Affair
Not even people on the set of Bewitched were safe with Montgomery around. Hide your dads, hide your husbands, and don’t forget about your sons. Montgomery got a hold of most of them and either tired to fix them or it turned out to be a disaster. This one is no different.
While she was acting for the show, she became tired of it after a few seasons (more on that later). When boredom strikes, evil has an open gate to enter in. This is when she got into an affair with the director, Richard Michaels. The end result was both of their marriages being broken in 1971.
The Rebel Tried to Right the Ship
Even though she rebelled a lot from her father, she did try. And this is one of those things that you see happen all the time. You know a situation is supposed to be well and it isn’t, so you try and fix it but sometimes it just does not turn out how it should be.
It is reported that she spent her life attempting to fix things with her overbearing and famous father. Many mishaps happened between them that made it hard for this to come to fruition but at least an effort was put out. Some people just would not care.
Her Dad Was Against Her Being An Actress
This could for sure be a part of a reason why you might not totally get along with someone. When a person does not advocate for you to go for your dreams or to do what you really want to do in your life then there can be some strife between you and that person especially if they are your parents!
“He didn’t want her to become an actress and that sparked the beginning of her resentment,” said Pilato. “He was her toughest critic as an actress and was very hard on her personal life too, from the way she walked and her posture to her penchant for older men.”
There is a huge percentage of Americans that grew up in a broken household. Psychologists note that it factors into how a young person grows up by shaping how they view society and how they act. Montgomery was a part of a broken home when her parents split when she was a teenager. It did not influence her positively.
“Elizabeth was a teen when her parents divorced and that strained her relationship with her father even further,” said Pilato. “Her dysfunctional childhood family home haunted her for years.” That is a lot going on with her as she grew up. We wouldn’t wish that on anyone.
Okay, we have gone over how she rebelled against her father and tried to reconcile with him as well. When someone tries to do opposite things it usually ends up being a conflicted situation. Well, that is what she became, a conflicted individual trying to appease and go against her old man.
“She was conflicted, trying to please her father but also rebelling against him,” said Pilato. “She wanted him to play her father on Bewitched but he refused. I think he resented the fact that his daughter had become a bigger star than he was.” Her father seemed to be a bit hard to appease.
Another Reason For Conflict With Her Dad
The story becomes more clear the more you read. And we all know how people handle politics; it’s either you believe in this or you believe in that. There are hardly any objective individuals when it comes to politics. That often leads to heated discussions or even losing friendships. Politics are no joke and a bomb was dropped when Montgomery chose to be a Democrat even with her father being a Republican.
“Robert Montgomery was a staunch Republican and Elizabeth became a fervent Democrat, fighting for social causes that antagonized her father,” said Pilato. Too many things were adding to their feud now.
One Of The First To Support Big Causes
Being a Democrat meant being more liberal and supporting causes that others may not be that big on but it is the right thing to do. Back in those days, the HIV/Aids epidemic was huge and many people were afraid of it. People were also not really for helping those who were homosexual, either. Montgomery went against the grain and supported both of those causes openly.
This was a very bold choice for a big star but she was not really concerned with what the rest of Hollywood thought of her. “And she was one of the earliest stars supporting HIV/Aids victims and campaigning for gay rights,” said Pilato.
She Wanted To Call It Quits
Hey, even the best want to call it quits sometimes. The great Michael Jordan quit basketball after he won a championship to go play baseball. People get tired of doing something or tired of all the external factors that come with it. In Montgomery’s case, it is probably the latter. All she needed was some words of encouragement.
“She had wanted to quit acting before she even began filming Bewitched but her husband Bill Asher told her, ‘Don’t quit – you have too much talent.'”, said Pilato. A husband that believes in you is a great husband. There could have possibly been no Bewitched!
York Was In Love
One other person added to the list of those smitten by Montgomery was her co-star, Dick York. Isn’t that a tad awkward for the two if feelings are not mutual? Apparently so, because it went south fast and things got ugly. She did not even like him at all.
“Elizabeth Montgomery didn’t get along with Dick York, who played her husband Darrin Stephens,” says biographer Herbie Pilato. “He was in love with her but she was married to the show’s producer and it became very uncomfortable for her.” Maybe he should have waited until he got kicked off the show before making a move.
The Lonely Death
A person’s last wishes can be quite sacred. They do not have much time on the planet so if they request something that is not ridiculous, they should have given to them. For Montgomery, she jokingly wanted something that satisfies people on the islands and a bit of privacy.
A lot of people may wish to go out this way, it’s a preference thing. She did not want anyone around her while she was on her deathbed. She also jokingly requested that she get a piña colada in her IV. “She didn’t want anyone to see her that way,” recalled former husband Asher. “Then she slipped away.”
Her First Nomination
Earlier we discussed how many awards that Elizabeth Montgomery was nominated for. Yes, it is sad that she did not win anything but if you needed help keeping score then we got you covered. The first Emmy she was nominated for was for her role on The Untouchables.
She played a prostitute by the name of Rusty Heller back in a 1960 episode of the drama. The role was played alongside David White, who would later co-star with her in Bewitched. When the chemistry is good onscreen, directors and producers seem to stick with the actors who mesh well together.
We know by now how much Montgomery was not too keen on Bewitched as the series went on but did that carry over with her in other roles? One cannot be too sure but if the failed pilot of her role in a spinoff after Bewitched is any indication then we do know.
Once Bewitched ended, she got a part in the feature-length pilot for Mrs. Sundance. She played the role of Etta Place in the TV sequel to the 1969 movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Audiences were not amused by this pilot one bit and it got canned.
The Girl With The Ax
What if you were related to O.J. Simpson? Or just anyone, in general, that was accused of murder and then acquitted of it. People might look at you differently and wonder if you have the same genes in you to cause you to murder. Well, that might be a little dramatic but Montgomery was related to someone of that nature.
She played the role of Lizzie Borden who was an accused ax murderer in a 1975 TV movie. The two are sixth cousins once removed who both descend from the 17th-century Massachusetts dweller John Luther. From a witch to a murderer!
Dean Martin Was Head Over Heels
This should not come as a surprise seeing as to all the older men Montgomery has been with that we mentioned already on this list. Dean Martin was another one that bit the dust and fell under the spell of Montgomery and the feelings were mutual. Martin was a singer, actor, comedian, producer and another lover of the lovely Montgomery.
‘Dean Martin was smitten with her when they filmed Who’s Been Sleeping In My Bed? He was a romantic and loved women. And again for Elizabeth, there was the attraction of an older man,” said Pilato. She must have really put spells on these men!
The First To Be Her Husband
Surprisingly, we have discussed mainly all of her other relationships, but have failed to mention who she tied the knot with first. No, it was not Elvis (that would have been interesting) it was a New York native by the name of Fred Cammann.
“Her first husband was rich New York socialite Fred Cammann, about a decade older than her, whom she met while filming a TV show,” says Pilato. Here again, we see the theme of her being attracted to older men. By now, if you wanted to have a chance with her you better had been older and loved drinking.
There is one theory as to why she was able to attract so many men. It has all to do with her personality and nothing more. That is quite fine because something as superficial as looks doesn’t last forever. In all honesty, this trait of hers is what made her become so resentful to Hollywood as well because it can be fake out there.
“Despite her pampered upbringing, she was unaffected, very down-to-earth. Perhaps that’s why she bewitched so many of the men in her life. She walked away from the Hollywood life. She didn’t like the fakeness of Hollywood and its people,” said Pilato.
Trouble With Agnes
Not only did she have trouble with her real parents, she had problems with her on-screen mother, Agnes Moorehead. Just feels like she couldn’t catch a break in any realm of her life from those who ruled over her even if it was just for show.
“Elizabeth also had great battles with Hollywood veteran Agnes Moorehead, who played her mother. Agnes was very fond of Dick York and didn’t want to see him go. She reduced his replacement to tears on occasion,” said Pilato. If she made a grown man turn to tears she must have been one tough character.
One of the issues that you can come across when filming actresses is when life occurs. If she just so happens to get pregnant, the creators have to figure out a way to add that in the show or cover it up the best way they can. Some shows write in the pregnancy and a child to the mix and that is exactly what happened here.
Montgomery would just wear looser clothes to hide her belly that was growing. She had two pregnancies and each of them was written in the script which is where Tabitha and Adam come from.
It was well-known that Elizabeth Montgomery was an advocate for social issues like we mentioned earlier. Did you know that she was a high-ranking power for a popular parade in Los Angeles? Not everybody gets made Grand Marshal or even have the credentials to become that, but Montgomery did.
Back in 1992, Dick Sargent and Montgomery were made Grand Marshals of the Los Angelas Gay Pride Parade. A Grand Marshal is just a person of high rank for the court, a ceremony or for the military. The parade falls in the category of ceremonial. That must have been a great accomplishment for the former co-stars.
Have you ever heard of any shows where the cast would drink on the set? Well, Bewitched had a cast full of people who loved to let the liquor wet their whistle while performing on some of the episodes. There is a list of each episode where a character had a real drink.
Here are the eposide #s : 2, 3, 10, 12, 13, 21, 30, 46, 57, 61, 67, 68, 70, 73, 74, 76, 81, 90, 97, 100, 110, 115, 119, 122, 128, 129, 131, 132, 139 (twice), 144, 149, 153, 167, 170, 176, 180, 187, 189, 191, 194, 196 (as Serena),198, 200, 201, 202, 210, 211, 212, 218, 236, 238, 239, 243, 247, 249, 252, and 254.