62 (passed away May. 18th, 1995)
Apr. 15th, 1933
Los Angeles, California, USA
Elizabeth Montgomery's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Elizabeth Victoria Montgomery (April 15, 1933 – May 18, 1995) was an American film and television actress whose career spanned five decades. She is probably best remembered as the star of the TV series Bewitched.
Born in Los Angeles, California, Elizabeth Montgomery was the child of actor 'Robert Montgomery' and his wife, Broadway actress 'Elizabeth Bryan Allen'. She had an older sister, Martha Bryan Montgomery, who died as an infant (named after her aunt Martha-Bryan Allen) and a brother, Robert Montgomery, Jr. (1936 - 2000). She attended Westlake School for Girls (now Harvard-Westlake School in Holmby Hills). After graduating from Spence School, she attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts for three years.
Elizabeth made her TV debut in her father's 1950s playhouse series Robert Montgomery Presents (1950) and appeared in more than 200 live programs over the next decade. She once remarked "I guess you could say I'm a TV baby". Notable early film roles included The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell (1955) and Johnny Cool (1963).
Montgomery played the central role of lovable witch Samantha Stephens with Dick York (and later with Dick Sargent) as her husband in the ABC situation comedy Bewitched. Starting in the second season of the series, she also played the role of Samantha's increasingly mischievous, sexy cousin, Serena, under the pseudonym of Pandora Spocks.
The show became a rating success (it was, at the time, the highest rated series ever for the network). The series aired for eight seasons, from 1964 to 1972, and remains popular through syndication and DVD releases. The show had been renewed for a ninth season to run from 1972 to 1973. Montgomery, however, had fallen in love with director Richard Michaels and moved in with him, ending any possibility of another season.
Montgomery received five Emmy and four Golden Globe nominations for her role on Bewitched.
After her first and only TV series ended she turned to made-for-TV movies, many of which won critical praise: A Case of Rape (1974), The Legend of Lizzie Borden (1975), Black Widow Murders: The Blanche Taylor Moore Story (1993). She narrated the movie The Panama Deception (1992) which won an Academy Award in 1993.
A star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame was presented in honor of Montgomery's work in television on January 4, 2008. The location of the star is 6533 Hollywood Blvd.
Montgomery's first marriage was to New York socialite Frederick Gallatin Cammann in 1954; the couple divorced less than a year later. She was married to actor 'Gig Young' from 1956 to 1963, and then to director-producer 'William Asher' from 1963 until their 1973 divorce. They had three children: William Asher Jr (July 24, 1964), Robert Asher (October 5, 1965) and Rebecca Asher (June 17, 1969). The last two pregnancies were incorporated into Bewitched as Samantha's pregnancies with Tabitha (primarily Erin Murphy, with twin Diane) and Adam Stephens.
On January 28, 1993, she married for a fourth time to actor Robert Foxworth, after living with him for nearly twenty years. She remained married to Foxworth until her death.
In the spring of 1995, Montgomery was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. She had ignored the flu-like symptoms during the filming of Deadline for Murder: From the Files of Edna Buchanan, which she finished filming in late March 1995. By the time the cancer was diagnosed, it was too late for medical intervention. With no hope of recovery and unwilling to die in a hospital, she chose to return to the Beverly Hills home that she shared with Foxworth. Early on May 18, Montgomery died at home eight weeks after her diagnosis. She was 62.
On June 18, 1995, a memorial service was held at the Canon Theatre in Beverly Hills. Herbie Hancock provided the music, and Dominick Dunne spoke about their early days as friends in New York City. Other speakers included her husband, Robert Foxworth, who read out sympathy cards from fans, her nurse, her brother, her daughter, and her stepson. She was cremated at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery.
Montgomery had a summer home in Patterson, New York, in Putnam County. Following her death, the 800-acre estate was sold to New York State and became Wonder Lake State Park.
- She lost out on the part of Edie Doyle in _On the Waterfront (1954)_ (qv) to 'Eva Marie Saint' (qv). Director 'Elia Kazan' (qv), in his autobiography "A Life," says that the choice of an actress to play the part was narrowed down to Montgomery and Saint. Although Montgomery was fine in her screen test, there was an air of finishing school about her. Kazan thought this genteel quality would not be becoming for Edie, who was raised on the waterfront in Hoboken, NJ. He gave the part to Saint who won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar, in the part.
- Died on the same day as her _Johnny Cool (1963)_ (qv) co-star 'Elisha Cook Jr.' (qv).
- Children 'William Asher' (qv): William Jr (b. July 24, 1964), Robert (b. October 5, 1965), Rebecca Elizabeth (b. 17 June 1969).
- She died 8 weeks after being diagnosed with colon cancer and was cremated.
- Biography in: "American National Biography". Supplement 1, pp. 422-423. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.
- Daughter of 'Elizabeth Allen (IV)' (qv) and 'Robert Montgomery (I)' (qv).
- Was a grand marshal with former TV husband 'Dick Sargent' (qv) at the 1992 Los Angeles Gay Pride Parade. Elizabeth was a supporter of gay rights and also women's rights throughout her life.
- She had an older sister, Martha Bryan Montgomery, (born October 13, 1930) but died of spinal meningitis at the age of 14 months, before Elizabeth was born.