Elizabeth Montgomery was an actress who captivated audiences on the screen. She is best known for her iconic role as Samantha Stephens in the television series Bewitched. With her natural beauty and talent, she enchanted people worldwide, leaving her mark on the streets of Hollywood. However, her fans were shocked after her untimely death in 1995. They mourned the loss of their favorite witchy celebrity.
The Early Life of Elizabeth Montgomery
Elizabeth Montgomery was born in Los Angeles, California on April 15, 1933. Elizabeth was born into some great acting genetics. Her father was actor Robert Montgomery and her mother, Broadway actress Elizabeth Bryan Allen. So, the apple did not fall far from the tree in her case. Growing up in a family dedicated to show business or the entertainment industry, Elizabeth was exposed to the life of acting from a young age.
In 1964, Elizabeth Montgomery first cast a spell on television viewers, in the classic ABC TV series, Bewitched. #ElizabethMontgomery #Bewitched pic.twitter.com/1ASOY46vgB— TV Time Machine (@TVTimeMachine) December 23, 2018
Her parents were married in 1928. Then, in 1931 they had their first child (Elizabeth’s older sister) who died at 14 months of age. Elizabeth was born shortly after and was soon joined by her sister, Martha Bryan Montgomery, and Robert Jr. Montgomery. Elizabeth’s famous father was a busy many in the acting world, and he was often away on a job. There were rumors that he was not faithful to his wife, and they divorced in 1950.
Elizabeth Montgomery decided she wanted to start a career in acting, to carry on her parent’s lineage. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times in 1954, she said, “Dad tells me I often climbed on his lap after dinner and remarked, ‘I’m going to be an actress when I grow up.’ I don’t know whether he encouraged me or not, but he told me he would humor me and would tell me to wait and see what happened when I grew up.”
Starting her Career
Robert Montgomery played a small hand in helping his daughter make her way on-screen. Something Elizabeth Montgomery appreciated immensely. She spoke about how he would critique her work, but supported her all the same. ”I’ll be real honest and say that Daddy did help me get a break in TV and I’m really grateful for his assistance and guidance,” she said.” He’s my most severe critic, but also a true friend as well as loving father.”
ELIZABETH MONTGOMERY… pic.twitter.com/SUwhEGU9Hn— Peter Oxley (@oxley264) June 1, 2020
In 1953, she got a lead role in a Broadway production called Late Love. Prior to that, she made guest appearances on her father’s show, Robert Montgomery Presents. She was still a teenager then. Then, she got her film debut in 1955 for the movie, The Court Martial of Billy Mitchell.
It wasn’t until 1964 that she got her role in the iconic TV series, Bewitched. And so, the world’s believed witchy actress was born. Her character, Samantha, would simply wriggle her nose to cast spells. This nose twitch gained her universal recognition.
Elizabeth Montgomery’s Personal Life
Herbie Pilato, the author of the biography Twitch Upon A Star, noted how Elizabeth Montgomery “enchanted every man she ever met.” He went on to say that her taste in men was unsavory. “She seemed drawn to troubled men, not nice guys,” he wrote. “She was always looking for the ‘bad boy’, which may have been part of her rebellion against her father. Though she had her Bentleys and Beverly Hills mansion and made millions from Bewitched, ultimately she had a dark side to her.”
Elizabeth Montgomery befriended John F. Kennedy in the early sixties. However, no one knows if the 35th president f the United states and the Bewitched actress ever had a romantic connection. “He chased almost every beautiful woman he met, though if anything happened Elizabeth never spoke about it,” speculated Pilato.
Elizabeth Montgomery was married four times throughout her life. Her first marriage was to socialite Frederic Gallatin Cammann in 1954. But, their union only lasted one year. Her second marriage was in 1956 to actor Gig Young.
However, they divorced in 1963. Next, Elizabeth married the producer and director of Bewitched, William Asher. The couple married in 1963 and had three children together: William, Robert, and Rebecca. This union was said to be her deepest love connection, but they divorced in 1973.
She would then wait 20 years until she married again. In 1993, Elizabeth married actor Robert Foxworth. They remained together until Montgomery’s untimely death in 1995.
Her Untimely Death
Elizabeth Montgomery’s death was rapid and shocking to all who knew her. She was diagnosed with colon cancer in March 1995. She passed away only eight weeks later at 62 years of age. By choice, she died alone in her mansion (which consisted of 26 rooms). Her family came to say their goodbyes, and she asked them to leave her. “She didn’t want anyone to see her that way,” recalled Asher. “Then, she slipped away.“
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- “Elizabeth Montgomery.” Biography.com. July 11, 2019.
- “The salacious ‘other’ life of TV’s most beloved witch: Tell-all book reveals how Bewitched star Elizabeth Montgomery cast a spell over America’s most famous bad boys.” Daily Mail. Peter Sheridan. November 23, 2012.
- “She became a household name & global phenomenon but her sudden death shocked us all.” Viral News.