Though actress Elizabeth Montgomery remains best known to the public for her iconic lead role on the 1960s sitcom Bewitched, she was born into a show-business family and had been turning heads in the industry for many years before receiving it. Elizabeth showed interest in acting early on, and was ready to become a star by her coming of age. Join Facts Verse as we take a look at how young Elizabeth Montgomery was turning heads even before Bewitched.
Elizabeth Montgomery Was Born Into Show Business
Elizabeth Montgomery was born on April 15, 1933. Her mother was a notable Broadway actress by the name of Elizabeth Allen, while her father was Golden Age film star Robert Montgomery. With parents like these, it’s no wonder that Elizabeth developed an interest in performing at an early age. Despite this, Elizabeth’s parent didn’t force her to become a star during her childhood years as so many over show-business parents would have. Instead, they allowed their daughter to receive her education and formally train before debuting on her father’s television series during the 1950s. That television series was the playhouse production Robert Montgomery Presents. Prior to appearing on the program, Elizabeth had studied the craft of acting in New York City for several years, both at the Spence School and the Academy of Dramatic Arts. The young actress didn’t want to rest on the laurels of her famous parents, and she began turning heads soon after her television debut.
After making her television debut on her father’s playhouse program, Elizabeth Montgomery could be seen performing in a variety of minor roles all over television. The more the actress appeared, the more heads she turned. One notable television appearance came in 1960, via the program The Untouchables. Elizabeth’s appearance in the popular program was one of her most head-turning so far, and it would only be a few years later that she would finally receive her iconic and star-making role in the sitcom Bewitched.
Prior to landing the iconic role of witch Samantha Stephens in the classic 1960s sitcom Bewitched, Elizabeth Montgomery had also appeared in a few films. These films included The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell and Johnny Cool, which were released in 1955 and 1963, respectively. Though Elizabeth had her sights set on becoming a film star, it would ironically be the television role of Samantha that would turn her into a household name. Elizabeth’s role on Bewitched took advantage of the actress’s stunning looks, and she turned more heads than ever when the show debuted in 1964. On the series, the character of Samantha was a witch that fell in love with a mortal man. She then has to hide her powers in order to marry this man and start a family. The man was Darrin, who was first played by Dick York but then later replaced by Dick Sargent. Dick York had to be replaced in the role as a result of a health condition, though Elizabeth always claimed that she was glad to see him go. Elizabeth never got along well with Dick York, and ended up getting along much better with his replacement. It was simply a coincidence that both actors were named Dick.
Bewitched Made Elizabeth a Huge Star
Elizabeth was the only member of Bewitched’s cast who appeared in every single one of the show’s 254 episodes. After the series ended, Elizabeth claimed that she kept in touch with Dick Sargent, but never talked to Dick York again. On the series, one of Samantha’s trademarks was that she always twitched her nose whenever she was about to do anything supernatural. Elizabeth came up with Samantha’s trademark one day while working with the show’s producer and director, who was a man by the name of William Asher. Funnily enough, William was also Elizabeth’s husband at the time! The two of them had been attempting to come up with some kind of trademark for Samantha in order to make the character stand out. William had noticed that Elizabeth always wiggled her nose when she got nervous, and the two of them then made this nose wiggle a character trait.
Elizabeth Montgomery had married William Asher in 1963, which was a year before Bewitched premiered. At the time that the pilot episode of Bewitched was being filmed, Elizabeth had been pregnant with her and William’s first child for a period of two months. That first child would be named William Asher Jr. Two months after giving birth to her first son, Elizabeth filmed the first season of the series. Bewitched would remain on the air from 1964 to 1972, over which period of time Elizabeth and William had two more children. Each pregnancy necessitated another maternity leave, though executives at the ABC network were willing to work around the needs of one of it’s biggest stars. These two children were named Robert and Rebecca. Rebecca was born in 1969, and her mother was 36 years old at the time. The birth occurred just before Bewitched’s sixth season.
After Bewitched came to an end in 1972, Elizabeth Montgomery sadly never received another role as iconic as Samantha Stephens. However, she was offered the opportunity to play the character of Krystle Carrington on Dynasty. If you’re enjoying this video so far, be sure to hit the like button to show your support! Also, subscribe to the channel if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!
Elizabeth Turned Down a Role on Dynasty
Following the end of Bewitched, Elizabeth Montgomery appeared in several made-for-television features over the course of the ensuing 1970s. One of the more notable of these was 1975’s The Legend of Lizzie Borden, which cast Elizabeth in the role of the titular serial killer. Towards the end of Elizabeth’s career, she could be found doing voiceover work. In 1992, her voice could be heard narrating the documentary movie The Panama Deception. The film went on to win the award for Best Documentary Feature at the 65th Academy Awards ceremony, which was held in 1993. In the early 1980s, Elizabeth had been offered a television role that could’ve become just as iconic for the actress as her turn in Bewitched nearly two decades prior. Prior to Linda Evans’ casting in the series, Elizabeth had been offered the opportunity to portray the character of Krystle Carrington on the hit primetime soap opera Dynasty. For whatever reason, Elizabeth ended up turning the role down. She may not have foreseen what a massive hit Dynasty was going to become, or she may have considered herself about such things as primetime soap operas.
Elizabeth’s Troubled Love Life Before Bewitched
Elizabeth Montgomery was married four times over the course of her life, and the aforementioned William Asher was her third husband. Elizabeth’s first husband had been a man by the name of Frederic Cammann, though their marriage was incredibly short lived. The two tied the knot in 1954, and were divorced only a year later. Not all that much is known about Frederic, though he seems to have been a prominent socialite in New York City. He seems to have been one of many that couldn’t resist the head-turning allure of Elizabeth Montgomery. Following her divorce from her first husband, Elizabeth married an actor by the name of Gig Young. Gig Young had received some awards recognition earlier in the decade, and Elizabeth likely felt that she had scored by hooking up with a big move star like him. However, Elizabeth’s father never approved of the union due to Gig’s alcoholism. Gig was said to have been abusive towards Elizabeth and their marriage dissolved in 1963. Gig would go on to kill his fifth wife and then himself in 1978, though that’s a story for another time and place! Following the dissolution of her union with gig, Elizabeth didn’t waste much time in hooking up with the aforementioned William Asher.
Elizabeth Had an Affair That Ended Bewitched
Elizabeth and William’s marriage lasted the entirety of Bewitched’s run and then came to an end a year after the show did. Despite the fact that their marriage lasted for a decade and the pair had several children, it seems that the two had a fairly hard time being faithful with each other. Towards the end of Bewitched’s run, Elizabeth was known to have started up an extramarital affair with a many by the name of Richard Michaels, who worked behind the scenes on the series. Following the filming of Bewitched’s eighth season, the two moved in together. This was before Elizabeth and William Asher were officially divorced.
Some credit Elizabeth’s extramarital relations with Richard Michaels for causing her marriage to William Asher to come to an end. However, others are more skeptical of this theory due to the fact that it seems like both Elizabeth and William had been unfaithful to the other previously. If Elizabeth had left her husband to be with Richard, she arguably made the wrong choice. Her and Richard only remained together for a period of three years, after which point Elizabeth eventually took up with an old flame by the name of Robert Foxworth.
Elizabeth Montgomery’s Later Life
Elizabeth Montgomery and Robert Foxworth had been romantically involved during the 1970s, though they had fallen apart over the years. They eventually got back together and decided to tie the knot in 1993. Sadly, Elizabeth wouldn’t be around for very much longer following their union. Elizabeth ended up passing away in 1995, with Robert by her side. The actress died of colon cancer. Over a decade later, Elizabeth Montgomery was granted a posthumous star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Though not all that much was seen from Elizabeth Montgomery during the later years of her life, a big part of this may have been because of the fact that she decided to devote more of her time to activism than acting. In 1992, her and former on-screen husband Dick Sargent could be seen acting as grand marshals at the 1992 Los Angeles Gay Pride Parade. She claimed she was always passionate about gay rights.
Though Elizabeth Montgomery remains best known for her iconic role on the classic 1960s sitcom Bewitched, she had been turning heads for many years before receiving it. Now it’s time to hear from you: did you know that Bewitched’s Elizabeth Montgomery had famous parents, and that she was involved in an extramarital affair during the filming of her classic sitcom? As always, like this video to show your support, and subscribe and hit the notification bell if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!