the stars: Elizabeth Montgomery, Dick York, Dick Sargent and Agnes Moorhead
are all deceased. The only original members of the main cast who are
still alive at the time of writing are Erin and Diane Murphy, who played
Samantha’s daughter Tabitha and David and Grey Lawrence who shared the
role of Adam, Samantha’s son. Lisa Hartman portrayed Samantha’s daughter
Tabitha in a spin-off series ‘Tabitha’ in 1997.
In the television series Elizabeth Montgomery played Samantha. She originally decided to take on the role because she wanted to work with her husband, William Asher, who directed the first 14 episodes of the series. Elizabeth was eight months pregnant at the time, so her husband had to film the first five shows without her, adding in her parts at a later date.
her promise, situations occur which lead her to use her powers regularly,
mainly due to the mischievous actions of her mother Endora, her father
Maurice and her Uncle Arthur, the latter a practical joker. The premise
launched the 306 episode half hour show (180 of them in colour) which
made its debut in September 1964 and lasted until July 1972.
Asher was to say, “The show portrays a mixed marriage that overcomes, by love, the enormous obstacles in its path. Samantha, in her new role as housewife, represents the true values in life. Material gains mean nothing to her. She can have anything she wants through witchcraft, yet she’d rather scrub the kitchen floor on her hands and knees for the man she loves. It is emotional satisfaction that she craves.”
father, Maurice (Maurice Evans), lives in London but materialises in
his Rolls Royce from time to time to see his grandchildren and taunt
his son-in-law. There is also Uncle Arthur (Paul Lynde), a warlock who
loves playing practical jokes, Aunt Clara (Marion Lorne), who is loveable
but completely incompetent and Esmeralda (Alice Ghostley) who often
acts as baby sitter and housekeeper, but with disastrous results. Serena
(also played by Elizabeth Montgomery) was Samantha’s mischievous identical
Adding to the frustrations of the harassed ad agency executive are other visitors to the house, including Dr Bombay (Bernard Fox) who is on call to remove unusual spells or provide special incantations and the Apothecary (Bernie Kopell), to supply the special ingredients needed for various spells, including bat’s wings, mouse’s whiskers, lizard’s tails and ground unicorn horn.
The mere mortals don’t stand a chance. They include Darrin’s parents, Phyllis and Frank Stephens (Mabel Albertson and Robert F. Simon)’ Darrin’s boss Larry Tate (David White) and his battling wife Louise (Kate Rogers) and nosey neighbours Gladys and Abner Kravitz (Sandra Gould and George Tobias). Due to the interference of his supernatural in-laws, Darrin gets fired from his job at least twice a month and Sam has to use her powers to help him.
Elizabeth was born in Hollywood on April 15 1933, the daughter of actor
Robert Montgomery. She made her television debut in her father’s show
and at the age of 21 married TV director Fred Cammann, a marriage that
only lasted a few months. Her second marriage was to actor Gig Young,
14 years her senior, who was an alcoholic. Following their divorce,
she married director William Asher in 1963 and the couple were to have
three children - William, Robert and Rebecca.
‘Bewitched’ ran for eight years and when the series ended, Elizabeth and Asher were divorced. She lived with actor Robert Foxworth for the rest of her life and died of cancer on May 10th 1995 at the age of 62.
Dick York first played her husband Darrin, but was in constant pain from an injury caused during the filming of ‘They Came To Cordura’, which tore all the muscles loose from his spine. The injury became seriously debilitating and caused him to miss 14 episodes of the show.After five years, he suffered a seizure one day on the set and had to be taken to hospital. He never returned to the show.
Dick Sargent replaced his character, although there was no explanation given for the change of actors, and the show dropped in the ratings. York died of prostate cancer on July 8th 1994 at the age of 63. Sargent was also to die of cancer.
popular in the series was veteran actress Agnes Moorhead, six times
nominated for an Oscar. As Samantha’s mother Endora, who disapproves
of her daughter marrying a mortal, she makes Darrin’s life a misery
and during the course of the series turns him into a chimp, a gorilla,
a mule, a goose, a frog, a statue, a pony, a crow, a goat, a little
boy and an invisible man. Her appearance in the series garnered her
five Emmy Award nominations. Agnes was to die of lung cancer in 1974
at the age of 68.
‘Bewitched’ had been in the movie planning stage for almost a decade and several actresses, including Meryl Streep, had been mentioned in connection with it at one time or another, but Nicole Kidman eventually took on the adventures of the nose-twitching suburban housewife who just happens to be a witch in the 2005 movie version of ‘Bewitched’!
Interestingly enough, back in the late 1990s, Nicole Kidman was mentioned as possibly starring in a remake of the 1942 comedy, ‘I Married a Witch’, playing the role originated by Veronica Lake. At the time, the concept was that she would have been co-starring with her then-husband, Tom Cruise (who was also producing).