Elizabeth Montgomery was an iconic actress, particularly during the 1960s. She is best known for her role as Samantha Stevens in the classic supernatural comedy Bewitched, although she accomplished amazing performances in other films and television shows, such as A Case of Rape and The Legend of Lizzie Borden. Up until her tragic death in 1995, Elizabeth Montgomery remained an iconic and much-beloved celebrity in America.
She also had an impressive filmography. Aside from Bewitched, Elizabeth Montgomery appeared in thirty three other television shows, as well as thirty three movies. Her hard work on the television series Bewitched earned her five Primetime Emmy Award nominations, as well as four Golden Globe nominations.
Elizabeth Montgomery would go on to be nominated for two more Emmy Awards, for her work in the television movies A Case of Rape and The Legend of Lizzie Borden. While she never won any of the awards she was nominated for, her hard work and talent was more than enough to earn her permanent fame.
Sadly, many fans of Elizabeth Montgomery had trouble imagining her as anyone other than the good-natured witch Samantha in Bewitched. As a result, Elizabeth worked hard to act in films and television shows with starkly different roles. Many fans were shocked to watch Montgomery perform such dramatic and brutal roles, but the actor never seemed to care what others thought of her.
Anyone who came into contact with Elizabeth Montgomery described her as a warm and surprisingly down to earth person. Meeting a celebrity is often disappointing, especially if you find out that they aren’t as kind or charismatic as they appear in films or on television. Elizabeth Montgomery, however, was one of those rare beauties who treated everyone around her compassionately. However, she was also an intensely private person, and many interviewers tried and failed to get her to open up about her life.
However, over two decades after her death, friends and family have written enough kind words about Elizabeth Montgomery for fans to piece together the puzzle of her life story. In today’s video, we’re going to look at Elizabeth Montgomery’s legacy, as well as some of the highlights of her life, right up until her tragic and untimely death. While Elizabeth was a kind and loving person, life wasn’t always as kind to her. Make sure you stick around to find out about one horrifying marriage that left her traumatized for life.
She Wanted to Act from a Young Age
Elizabeth was born on April 15th, 1933, in Los Angeles, California. Her mother, Elizabeth Daniel Bryan, was a Broadway actor, and her father, Robert Montgomery, was a film star. The two met on the Broadway production Dawn in 1924. The two fell in love and had three children; Martha, Robert Jr., and, of course, Elizabeth.
Many young children dream of becoming an actor. Countless little girls look up to talented and beautiful movie stars and dream about the glitz and glam of Hollywood. By the time she was just four years old, Elizabeth Montgomery knew that acting was her destiny. It’s not unusual for young children to play make-believe, but it was seemingly all young Elizabeth liked to do. She even admitted in an interview that her teachers in school hated her, because she wasn’t interested in learning about anything that didn’t involve acting.
Robert Montgomery recalled his daughter climbing onto his lap every evening and proclaiming “I’m going to be an actress when I grow up.” Robert would patiently say “We’ll wait and see what happens.” Of course, Elizabeth would go on to follow her dreams, and she made her debut on her father’s show, Robert Montgomery Presents.
She Had a Complicated Relationship with Her Father
While her parents both heavily influenced Elizabeth’s desire to act, her relationship with her father was very complicated. Even though she eventually made her acting debut on her father’s personal television series, Robert reportedly didn’t want her to become involved in acting at all. While he tried to support his daughter’s wishes, he didn’t want his daughter to follow in his footsteps. Presumably, he was unsatisfied with his own career.
While Elizabeth was very close with her father when she was young, her successful acting career eventually soured their relationship. Elizabeth quietly admitted that her father was a little bitter about her success. While Robert was moderately successful as an actor, he certainly wasn’t an A-list celebrity, and he was upset when he found himself in his daughter’s shadow, rather than the other way around. After Elizabeth’s mother requested a divorce from Robert, on the grounds of “mental cruelty,” Elizabeth’s relationship with her father deteriorated even more.
Furthermore, while many would imagine that having two actor parents would have given Elizabeth Montgomery a boost into her career, in an interview in 1954, she claimed it was the opposite. “Being [Robert’s] daughter means that I have to work harder to prove myself to others. Others can make horrendous mistakes, I can’t. My ability as an actress and my personal life reflect on him. It sort of means that I have to work a little harder at everything.”
She Was Trapped in an Abusive Marriage
In 1954, Elizabeth married Frederick Gallatin Cammann. The two got along well at first, but the marriage quickly devolved due to differences in values. Frederick was looking to settle down, but Elizabeth’s ambitions were set on becoming a movie star. The two separated, and Elizabeth found someone new; Gig Young. She married him in 1956, but the relationship proved to be a nightmare for poor Elizabeth.
Gig Young was 20 years older than Elizabeth, and he was both manipulative and abusive. Gig Young may have received praise for his role as an alcoholic in the film Come Fill the Cup in 1951, but perhaps that was because he wasn’t really acting. He became an alcoholic in real life, and after nearly ten years of marriage, Elizabeth finally managed to divorce him after citing evidence of physical and emotional abuse. While it was a relief for Elizabeth to finally leave that terrible marriage, it left a huge toll on her, and she became a much more private person.
While Elizabeth’s life moved in a generally upward direction after she finally divorced Gig Young, her life would devolve into tragedy shortly before her death. Make sure you stick around until the very end, where we’ll reveal the sad story behind her death. And, if you’re enjoying this content so far, please take a moment to like this video and subscribe to our channel for more!
She and William Asher Hated Each Other When They First Met
In 1963, Elizabeth Montgomery finally managed to leave her abusive husband Gig Young. This was also the year that she met William Asher, who directed the film Johnny Cool, in which Elizabeth played the role of Darien “Dare” Guinness. When they first met, the actor and director hated each other! However, after some time, hatred turned to respect, respect turned to curiosity, and, over time, as they learned more about each other, that curiosity bloomed into love. They married that very same year, and they would stay married for ten long years. They had three children together; William, Robert, and Rebecca Asher.
Sadly, William and Elizabeth’s marriage ended during the eighth and final season of the TV series Bewitched. During this time, Elizabeth became involved in an affair with her director, Richard Michaels. William Asher divorced her, and Elizabeth moved in with Michaels. However, the relationship didn’t last.
She Was a Political Activist
While Elizabeth Montgomery has been largely remembered for her acting ability, she was more than just an actor. She also worked very hard as a political activist, standing up for the rights of many vulnerable communities.
During the AIDS crisis, which largely took place between the 1960s and 1990s, Elizabeth Montgomery lent her voice to advocate for more research regarding the disease. She was also a huge supporter of gay rights. In fact, in June of 1992, she and her former co-star, Dick Sargent, acted as grand marshals for the Los Angeles Gay Pride Parade.
Furthermore, she worked hard as an activist for women’s rights and animal rights. She also volunteered at a non-profit organization called Learning Ally, which created CDs that were specially formatted for people with disabilities. Throughout her life, Elizabeth Montgomery worked hard to support vulnerable groups of people.
Her Death Was Mourned Throughout the Country
As she grew older, Elizabeth Montgomery discovered she had colon cancer. After a long struggle, however, doctors were convinced she had finally beat the disease. While working on the film Deadline for Murder: From the Files of Edna Buchanan, she had experienced flu-like symptoms, which she ignored. In 1995, however, a visit to the doctor revealed that the cancer had returned, and it was far worse than before. The disease had already spread from her colon to her liver, and she was given very little time to live. She stayed at home in Beverly Hills with her husband Robert Foxworth, whom she had married just two years earlier. She died on May 18th, 1995, when she was 62 years old. However, even after her death, her work as an actor, as well as her political activism, left a permanent legacy.
Elizabeth Montgomery always remained strong in the face of adversity. She was a kind, warm, and down to earth person. Were you more surprised to learn about her role as a political activist, or to learn about her complex relationship with her father? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to subscribe to Facts Verse for more!