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How Each Bewitched Cast Member Died

The ABC sitcom Bewitched ran for 8 seasons from 1964-1972. It was a charming tale of a witch attempting to avoid using her powers while enjoying suburban life with her husband Darren.

It became a massive success but cost the lives of several major actors. Conspiracy theorists felt that the show must be cursed.

Like and subscribe for more on your favorite TV casts. Watch our video for an overview of how nearly every Bewitched cast member met their end.

The Bewitched Curse

Several tragic deaths occurred while Bewitched was on air. Alice Pearce who played Gladys Kravits died at 48 of ovarian cancer on March 3rd, 1996. Marian Lorne who played Aunt Clara died at 82 on May 9th, 1968 of a heart attack.

There were several other deaths after the show concluded.

Two actors played Frank Stevens. Roy Roberts died of a heart attack at the age of 75 in May of 1975. Robert F. Simon died of a heart attack at the age of 83 in November of 1992.

Two actresses played Gladys Kravitz. Alice Pearce died of ovarian cancer at the age of 48 pm March 3rd, 1966. Sandra Gould died at 82 of complications from heart surgery in July of 1999.

Two actresses also played Louise Tate. Kasey Rodgers died of a stroke at 80 in July of 2006. Irene Vernon died of an unspecified illness at the age of 76 in April of 1998.

.Paul Lynde played Uncle Arthur and died of a heart attack at the age of 55 in January of 1982.

Mabel Albertson played Phyliss Stevens and died of Alzheimer’s at the age of 82 in September of 1982.

Maurice Evans played Maurice and died at the age of 87 of cancer in March of 1989.

Alice Ghostley who played Esmeralda died at the age of 81 of colon cancer and a stroke in September of 2007.

Rumors of the Bewitched curse flew for decades after it went off the air. Some believed that the show’s supernatural nature influenced these tragic deaths.

The Bewitched curse extended to almost every role, from the star Samantha Stevens to smaller roles like her neighbor Abner Kravitz. Only one young actress has managed to escape it so far.

Elizabeth Montgomery

Elizabeth Montgomery was born into stardom. Her mother Elizabeth Allen was an actress. Her father Robert was a leading man in several projects in the 1930s and later became an acclaimed director.

Robert put his daughter on his TV playhouse series Robert Montgomery Presents in the 1950s. It launched her career, and she went on to appear in over 200 live TV programs in the following decade.

Elizabeth Montgommery starred in Bewitched from 1964-197. It was her only series but became a massive hit. Its first season was surpassed only by Bonanza.

The showrunners worked her pregnancy into the show in 1966. Samantha had a baby girl named Tabitha.

Elizabeth underwent surgery to remove a malignant tumor. She died at the age of 62 on May of 1965 in her home with her husband Robert Foxworth and her children beside her.

Like and subscribe for more on the lives of your favorite cast members. Keep watching for more explanations of how Bewitched cast members died, including one tragedy that led to a major, unexplained replacement.

Dick York

Dick York was born on September 4th, 1928 in Fort Wayne Indiana. He began working on the radio show That Brewster Boy at the age of 15.

10 years later, he moved to New York and began working on radio soap operas. He also married his childhood sweetheart Joan Alt at this time. They had 5 children and remained married until his death.

Dick played Samantha’s husband Darrin Stevens on Bewitched from 1964-1969.

No on screen explanation was given for the eventual replacement. The public came up with several possible explanations including network and cast disputes. The truth was much simpler and more tragic.

Dick injured his back while shooting the 1959 film They Came to Cordura. The pain was so severe that he ended up addicted to painkillers.

Dick’s health became so affected that he passed out on set in 1969 and had to be rushed to the hospital. He knew his time on the show was over after that.

His only comment on the event was this: “Five years as Liz’s husband on Bewitched; there are no hard feelings. I just want a chance to do other stage and movie roles.”

Dick attempted to quit painkillers cold turkey in 1971. His career and economic situation never recovered, and he was forced to rely on welfare, unemployment checks, and odd jobs. His only other acting appearances were small roles in the 1980’s, including Simon & Simon and Fantasy Island.

Dick’s family moved to Rockford, Michigan in 1986. He was suffering from emphysema at the time due to his smoking habit and became reliant on oxygen. He spent his final days working to spread awareness on the issue of homelessness in the US but died on February 20th, 1992 at the age of 63.

Dick Sargent

Born Richard Stanford Cox, the “second Darrin” took the name Dick Sargent from another artist who originally bore the name. He was born on April 19th, 1930 to Ruth McNaughton and Colonel Elmer Cox. He attended Menlo Park’s Military Academy before entering the arts.

Dick began his career with a part in the 1954 film Prisoner of War. He got his big break starring as Stanford Wilson in the 1957 film Bernadine.

Dick Sargent was the second actor to take on the role of Darrin Stevens in Bewitched. He was cast first but was too busy with other parts at the time. He accepted later in 1969 after Dick York’s terminal illness. He took on the role for the final 3 seasons of the show.

Allegations about Dick’s sexuality flew, and The Star was the first to report on it. They claimed he was gay and had a lover for months before.

Dick Sargeant came out as gay in 1991 on National Coming Out Day. Despite this, he sued the Star for false claims they’d included in their report. 

Dick later became a gay rights activist and was even the Grand Marshall of the Los Angeles Orange County Gay Pride Parade alongside Elizabeth Montgomery. He also participated in other outreach programs that brought relief to developing countries.

Dick’s last known partner was Albert Williams. They stayed together until his death.

Dick Sargeant died of prostate cancer in 1994 at the age of 64. He was first diagnosed in 1989 but only revealed it to close family and friends.

Agnes Moorehead

Agnes Moorehead was born on December 6th, 1990 in Clinton Massachusetts to former singer Mary McCauley and clergyman John Henderson Moorehead. She inherited their flair for the dramatic.

The family moved to St. Louis when Agnes was 13. She tried out for the St. Louis Municipal Ballet and earned a spot in the choir. Her father supported her ambitions, and she spent the next 4 summers with the St. Louis Opera Company.

Agnes majored in biology and acted in campus productions at Muskingum College in New Concord, Ohio. She taught, coached debate, and directed plays at Soldiers Grove Wisconsin for the next 5 years. She eventually saved enough money to achieve her dream of attending the American Academy of Dramatic Arts or AADA in 1926.

Agnes wanted to do a TV series years before Bewitched aired. She auditioned for Hazel in the show of the same name based on a series of Ted Key cartoons but lost the role to Shirley Booth.

Agnes played Endora on Bewitched. Tales of how she earned the part differ. One story says that the showrunners were having trouble finding an actress to play Endora. They met Agnes and asked her to join right there and then. She somewhat reluctantly agreed.

Charles Tranberg’s biography of the star, I Love the Illusion: The Life and Career of Agnes Moorehead, states that she grew to love the part. It made her a household name and gave her 8 years of consistent income to supplement other projects.

Agnes Moorehead died at the age of 73 on April 30th, 1974. Her mother outlived her by 16 years and died at the age of 106 in 1990.

Many believe that it was Agnes’ work on John Wayne’s 1956 film The Conqueror that led to her death. The set was near a radioactive bomb testing site. By 1980, 91 of the 220-person crew had been diagnosed with or died from cancer.

David White

David White was born in Denver, Colorado on April 4th, 1916. He later graduated from Los Angeles City College.

His first major acting parts were at the Pasadena Playhouse and Cleveland Play House. He served in the marine corps during WWII but eventually went on to Broadway.

David’s first television roles included The Pink Elephant and A Roomful of Roses. His appearance in the 1957 film Sweet Smell of Success helped him break into the industry.

David White landed the role of Larry Tate on Bewitched in 1964. He appeared in 191 of the show’s 254 episodes.

David lost his first wife Mary Welch in 1958 and his first son Jonathan in December 1988. He died from a heart attack himself in 1990 at the age of 74.

George Tobias

George Tobias was born on July 14th, 1901 to a Jewish family in New York. He began acting at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena, California. He spent years in theater groups before finding his way to Broadway and then Hollywood.

George signed a contract with Warner Brothers in 1939. He appeared in several films in the 1940s such as Yankee Doodle Dandy, Sergeant York, and This Is the Army.

One of George’s first TV roles was as Penrose in 8 episodes of ABC’s Adventures in Paradise. He later played Abner Kravitz on Bewitched.

George retired from acting in 1977. He died of bladder cancer on February 27th, 1980 at the age of 78.

Erin Murphy

Erin Murphy is the only surviving Bewitched cast member. She played Tabitha, the daughter of the main character Samantha, along with twin sister Diane from 1966-1972.

The showrunners wanted a child who looked like Elizabeth Montgommery and was comfortable onstage. The sisters auditioned and got the part.

By season 4, Diane left while Erin took up the part. She asserts that Elizabeth was like family to her and often made her laugh.

Erin Murphy is now a mother of 6 and continues to act. She starred in the 2017 TV movie Life Interrupted and appeared as Tabith in a 2019 episode of TV Therapy. She also attended the Family Film Awards on March 24th of this year.

Erin doesn’t mind when fans come up to speak to her and says “I’m thankful that people appreciate what I did. I think it’s awesome.”

Despite the tragic deaths during and after its run, Bewitched will live on in TV history forever. It’s been a blessing rather than a curse to many fans.

Which of these deaths surprised you the most? Let us know in the comments below and subscribe to us for more.

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