Bewitched by a witch
Meet Elizabeth Montgomery, star of ABC’s hit sitcom in 1966
She’s the kind of mother every child dreams of having — a magical mummy who can make things disappear and appear at the twitch of her nose.
From Television Stars 1966, published by Purnell
But to a husband such a wife could be a problem, as we see when we watch that very funny series “Bewitched”, in which Elizabeth Montgomery as Samantha, the lovable witch, and Dick York as her constantly perplexed husband, Darrin, sort out their domestic problems.
For Samantha the problem is to try and behave normally without calling on her magical powers to make things easier. For Darrin, the problem is trying to stop his wife from utilizing her powers of witchcraft to solve difficult situations, especially when she is egged on by her witch of a mother, Endora, played by Agnes Moorhead.
The result is escapist entertainment with the accent on comedy.
Elizabeth Montgomery plays her unbelievable role in such a way that she has us almost believing that housewife witches really do exist! And so we are left slightly bewitched, slightly bothered and slightly bewildered!
Elizabeth’s real-life husband is Bill Asher, the director of “Bewitched”. Says Bill, “The reason she’s so good is that Elizabeth has no witchy side, and the whole thing with Samantha is not to be a witch—it’s a past she’d like to cover up. They are two totally different people, so much so that when we’re working I always call her Samantha, and, funnily enough, I’ve never called her Samantha at home. If that ever happened, I think she’d hit me over the head!”
Says Elizabeth on the subject of witches, “They’re not much different from ordinary beings, except that they have certain powers and they live longer.”
How old is Samantha?
“I don’t really know,” says Elizabeth, “but she once chided her mother for producing an old picture Samantha was in. It was dated 1689! Mother herself hasn’t given her age. But she did say once, ‘I’ll remember that if I live to be 1,000 — and I have’.”
The daughter of actor Robert Montgomery, Elizabeth studied at the New York Academy of Dramatic Arts. She has appeared in numerous television shows and films. Her role of Samantha has endeared her to millions of TV fans, from the youngest to the oldest.
A mother herself, she understands why the show is so popular with children. It is basically a kind of fantasy in which anything can happen, and usually does.
With that twitch of the nose she can transport herself to anywhere in the world. She can make dreams come true.
As the bewitched husband in the show, Dick York represents the normal human being, who would never believe the things Samantha does unless he sees them with his own eyes, as he does.
Dick was married in 1952 to a girl he met when they were both acting in a radio show in Chicago.
They now have three daughters, Kimberly, Amanda and Stacie, and two sons, Christopher and Matthew.
“Luckily for me,” smiles Dick, “nothing unusual happens when my wife twitches her nose!”
He has also made feature films and appeared in other TV series. He has been in the theatrical profession most of his life.