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. But as we'll see, Montgomery was human, just like the rest of us. Read on to learn more about this bewitching woman.
The Nose Twitch
Samantha's signature nose twitch in Bewitched was based on a real-life quirk that Montgomery had.
It was noticed that her lip would shake when she got nervous, so they worked in the facial distortion so that it would go together just right and not look weird.
While other actors in the show would be replaced at a whim, Montgomery was the exception.
Montgomery got the chance to play two characters. She played both Samantha and Samantha's cousin Serena. She was even credited as Pandora Spocks, even though it was no big secret that Montgomery played both characters.
The Real Magic
Back in the days of Bewitched, how did they make the TV magic happen without the advanced technology we have today?
Everything was done by a team of committed stagehands. For example, when Samantha wanted to clean up in a hurry, she would raise her hand and "zap" it clean. In reality, the actress would raise her hand while the director yelled cut, and others would come in and clean up the set.
She Chose The Name Tabitha
Montgomery chose the name Tabitha for her on-screen child.
"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."
She was so loved on Bewitched as Samantha Stephens for eight seasons, and parents of the 60s must have been inspired.
The name Samantha spiked up in popularity that decade, likely because of that show and how cherished Montgomery was in that role.
Emmy Nominations, But No Win
Montgomery was nominated a whole eight times for an Emmy. That says a lot about her skills as an actress.
Unfortunately, she never won any of the times she was nominated.
Her First Nomination
The first Emmy she was nominated for was for her role in The Untouchables.
She played a woman of the night 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.
Voiceover in Batman
Before she passed away from cancer in 1995, Montgomery did a voice for a character in Batman: The Animated Series.
She was in one episode, titled "Showdown," but it aired after she passed away, so she didn't get a chance to see it.
Almost A Hitchcock Blonde
Alfred Hitchcock 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.
Unfortunately, she couldn't do it, so the role ended up going to Diane Baker.
It has been well noted that Elizabeth Montgomery was no fan of Hollywood. After Bewitched, Montgomery did a plethora of Japanese commercials from 1980 to 1983.
It paid enough to allow her to stay out of Hollywood for a while, so she went across the globe to leave the limelight.
Forever In Stone
In 2005, Salem Massachusetts either played a joke that will go on forever or decided to pay homage to Montgomery.
A bronze statue was built of her in Salem, the place where the witch trials happened.
Her Fight For Happiness
Montgomery had a very up-and-down life, and she dealt with many abusive relationships and struggles that affected her.
An author by the name of Herbie Pilato wrote a biography about the star that revealed many insights about her life and legacy.
Montgomery was a part of a broken home. Her parents split when she was a teenager, and it definitely had an impact on her.
"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.
Her Dad Was Against Her Being An Actress
There was strife between Montgomery and her father due to him not supporting her dream of being an actress.
"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."
Drawn To Troubled Lovers
According to biographer Herbie Pilato, Montgomery had a tendency to chase troubled guys.
"She seemed drawn to troubled men, not nice guys," said Pilato. "She was always looking for the 'bad boy.'"
The Young Rebel
Maybe she would go for the bad boys and troubled men to spite her father.
"She was always looking for the 'bad boy', which may have been part of her rebellion against her father," said Pilato.
Liz And JFK
At one point, Montgomery had her eyes set on John F. Kennedy.
Back during the early '60s, 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."
A Secret Marriage
At her funeral, the obituary was wrong on two accounts. The first reason was a formality, and the second was that it said she was single, which is false.
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.
Gary Cooper And Montgomery
Montgomery also had a habit of being involved with men that were unavailable. This mishap occurred with Gary Cooper.
"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.
"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.
One Affair Too Many
Alexander Godunov was Montgomery's next man of interest. He was an alcoholic and abusive as well, but she thought 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 Was Trouble
Montgomery's second husband was Gig Young. Young was 25 years older than Montgomery, and that made her father unbelievably mortified.
"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
Montgomery became tired of acting in the show after a few seasons (more on that later). When boredom strikes, evil has an open gate to enter in.
This was when she got into an affair with the director, Richard Michaels. As a result, both of their marriages ended in 1971.
She Tried To Make Things Right
It is reported that Elizabeth Montgomery spent much of 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 she did make an effort.
Montgomery found herself in a conflicting situation with her father, trying to both rebel against him and reconcile with him.
"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.
She Was Down-To-Earth
Not only was she beautiful, but Elizabeth Montgomery also had a great personality, which is probably what attracted so many admirers.
"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.
Another Reason For Conflict With Her Dad
Politics are no joke and, and Montgomery shocked her father when she chose to be a Democrat, despite his Republican views.
"Robert Montgomery was a staunch Republican and Elizabeth became a fervent Democrat, fighting for social causes that antagonized her father," said Pilato.
One Of The First To Support Big Causes
Montgomery went against the grain and offered support for the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the gay rights movement, despite the stigma surrounding both issues at the time.
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.
Back in 1992, Dick Sargent and Montgomery were made Grand Marshals of the Los Angeles Gay Pride Parade.
A Grand Marshal is a person of high rank, and this must have been a great accomplishment for the former co-stars.
She Wanted To Call It Quits
When Montgomery wanted to leave the industry, 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.
York Was In Love
Another person smitten by Montgomery was her co-star, Dick York, but the situation 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."
Dean Martin Was Head Over Heels
Dean Martin was another one who fell under the spell of Montgomery. Martin was a singer, actor, comedian, producer, and 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
Montgomery's first husband 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. If you wanted a chance with her, you better have been older and and a drinker.
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, and it ended up getting canned.
The Girl With The Ax
Montgomery also played the role of Lizzie Borden, who was an accused ax murderer in a 1975 TV movie.
Interestingly, the two women are sixth cousins once removed who both descend from the 17th-century Massachusetts dweller John Luther.
Trouble With Agnes
Not only did she have trouble with her real parents, she had problems with her on-screen mother, Agnes Moorehead.
"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.
When Montgomery got pregnant in real life, she had to 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.
Her Last Wishes
Montgomery 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."