It’s impossible to hear Elizabeth Montgomery without hearing the tiny sparkle that preceded her character’s nose twitch on Bewitched.
Sadly, the lovely actress passed away unexpectedly in 1995. She rose to fame in the 1960s and became a global phenomenon.
Elizabeth didn’t require hair and makeup artists, unlike the majority of actors and actresses in movies and television shows. I adored seeing her in Bewitched because she was such a natural beauty.
After playing Samantha Stephens in the 1960s sitcom, what happened to Elizabeth Montgomery?
Let’s look back at the outstanding actress’s career in cinema and television before her sad death in 1995. She would have turned 90 in 2023.
Acting was in Elizabeth Montgomery’s blood since she was a baby; she was born in Los Angeles on April 15, 1933, to a Broadway performer and a movie.
“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,” Elizabeth said in 1954 interview with the Los Angeles Times.
Her father, Robert Montgomery, was a very popular and acclaimed actor.
”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. He’s my most severe critic, but also a true friend as well as loving father.”
Before relocating to New York City, Elizabeth attended school in California. There, she attended the Spence School. She spent three years studying at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts after graduating.
She made her television debut while still a teen on her father’s program, Robert Montgomery Presents. She kept appearing on his show a number of times.
Elizabeth made her Broadway debut in 1953 as the lead in the play Late Love. She made her film debut in The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell two years later, in 1955, and then she went back to Broadway two more years later.
Elizabeth discovered love as her career developed, but it never lasted for very long.
She wed Frederick Gallatin Cammann in 1954, but the union ended in divorce the following year. She wed award-winning actor Gig Young in 1956, and the couple remained together until their divorce in 1963.
Elizabeth got to know director and TV producer William Asher while they were filming Johnny Cool. He would not only be helpful to her work but the two also clicked romantically.
Three kids were born into their union after their 1963 wedding.
While Elizabeth Montgomery did appear as a cast member on programs including Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Loretta Young Show, The Untouchables, and The Twilight Zone, her work as the nose-twitching witch Samantha Stephens on Bewitched is probably her most well-known performance.
Elizabeth gained notoriety thanks to the spooky comedy, which ran for eight seasons from 1964 to 1972.
All of a sudden, Samantha became well-known, and people started copying her signature nose twitch.
”I’d never thought much about a series because I liked the idea of picking a script I liked with a character I thought I could sustain for an hour. In a series, you live with one character day in and day out – and you only hope it will be one that will not drive you crazy,” Elizabeth told AP in 1965.
Elizabeth went on to star in a number of made-for-television films after Bewitched’s run and the dissolution of her marriage to Asher, many of which stood in stark contrast to her prior role on Bewitched.
She appeared as Lizzie Borden in The Legend of Lizzie Borden (1975), A Case of Rape (1974), Mrs. Sundance (1973), Black Widow Murders (1993), The Body Had a Familiar Face (1994), and Deadline for Murder: From the Files of Edna Buchanan (1994). (1995).
She first met Robert Foxworth while Mrs. Sundance was being filmed. Although not being married until 1993, the couple remained together until Elizabeth’s passing in 1995.
“Before Jane Seymour, before Lindsay Wagner and before Valerie Bertinelli, Elizabeth was the first Queen of the TV movies; she went from queen of the witches to queen of the TV movie and it was no longer a struggle to break away from Bewitched,” Herbie J Pilato, author of two books on Elizabeth Montgomery, said.
Sadly, her career was cut short when she passed away on May 18, 1995, following a protracted fight with colon cancer.
Although numerous sources placed her birth year as 1933, making her 62 at the time of her death, her family claimed she was 57 when she passed away, according to the Los Angeles Times.
During filming Deadline for Murder: From the Files of Edna Buchanan, the actress who had battled the disease for years and thought she was cancer-free fell ill.
In March 1995, when she finally had the chance to be examined, it was already too late. Her liver had become infected with malignancy.
With her husband and three children by her side, Elizabeth passed away peacefully at her Hollywood Hills home. A memorial service was conducted at the Beverly Hills Canon Theatre one month following her passing. Herbie Hancock, a well-known jazz musician, performed as Dominick Dunne, a lifetime friend of Elizabeth’s author, talked about their early acquaintance while they both lived in New York City.
The Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles performed the cremation of the Bewitched actress.
On playing a variety of characters throughout her career, Elizabeth said in a 1992 interview:
“They all have different kinds of ‘feels’ to them and that’s probably one of the reasons why I’ve done them. I get letters from people saying one of the things they like best about what I’ve done since ‘Bewitched’ is that they never know what I’m going to do next.”
Such a beautiful woman by nature! She was tragically snatched from us far too soon.
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