Anniversary Post: Elizabeth Montgomery

Elizabeth Montgomery

On this day, 15 April, in 1933 the iconic actor Elizabeth Montgomery was born (there is some controversy about the year; it might have been 1938). She is best known for starring in the television show Bewitched, which ran on ABC for 8 seasons.

It was an interesting role in that Samantha acted as the connection between the normal world of humans (represented by her husband) and the madcap witch world featuring such icons as Agnes Moorehead (The Woman in White), Paul Lynde (Send Me No Flowers), and Bernard Fox (Hogan’s Heroes).

After Bewitched

Her career after Bewitched took a decidedly dark turn with her starring in a lot of serious made-for-TV dramas. She won an Emmy Award in 1974 for A Case of Rape. She also starred (with OJ Simpson) in A Killing Affair in 1977 and Black Widow Murders: The Blanche Taylor Moore Story in 1993.

Montgomery had a big effect on my thinking with the 1975 made-for-TV movie, The Legend of Lizzie Borden. I had only known her as the very nice Samantha Stephens. And that movie was my introduction to casting against type.

Ever since, I’ve enjoyed seeing actors take roles like this. It isn’t just that it’s fun. It shows that the actors are serious about their craft. They didn’t go into acting so they could play the same part over and over. Montomery showed herself to be very serious and talented for the two decades that were left of her life.

She was also involved in politics, particularly the fight against AIDS. After Dick Sargent came out, she accompanied him in the Los Angeles Gay Pride where he was Grand Marshal in 1992.

She also narrated a number of political documentaries, most specifically the The Panama Deception about the absurd US invasion of Panama in 1989.

Elizabeth Montgomery died in 1995 due to colon cancer at the age of 62 (or maybe 57).

Also on 15 April

Actor Hans Conried (Dudley Do-Right) was born in 1917, Emma Thompson (Stranger than Fiction) is 61, Seth Rogen (Pineapple Express) is 38, and Emma Watson (Harry Potter) is 30.

Producer Craig Zadan (Footloose) was born in 1948.

Image cropped from Elizabeth Montgomery by Milburn McCarty Associates-publicity agency and in the Public Domain.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *