From Fame to Grief: The Startling Passing of a Global Icon

When you think about Elizabeth Montgomery, you probably remember the sound that went along with her character’s nose twitch on Bewitched. She was a beautiful actress who became really famous around the world in the 1960s. But, unfortunately, she passed away suddenly in 1995

At Newsner, we’ve talked about many beautiful and talented women, but Ms. Montgomery captured my heart from the beginning!Most actors and actresses need makeup and hairstylists to look good, but Elizabeth didn’t. She was naturally beautiful, and I enjoyed watching her in Bewitched.So, what happened to Elizabeth Montgomery after she played Samantha Stephens in the 1960s sitcom?In 2023, she would have turned 90, but let’s look back at her career in movies and TV before she passed away in 1995.Elizabeth Montgomery was born in Los Angeles on April 15, 1933, to a Broadway actress and film star. Acting was in her blood right from the start.

“When I was a kid, I used to sit on my dad’s lap after dinner and say, ‘I want to be an actress when I grow up.’ I don’t know if he encouraged me, but he said he would wait and see what happened when I grew up,” Elizabeth mentioned in a 1954 interview with the Los Angeles Times.Her dad, Robert Montgomery, was a very famous actor.“To be honest, my dad did help me get a chance on TV, and I’m really thankful for his support and advice. He’s my toughest critic, but he’s also a true friend and a loving father.”Elizabeth went to school in California and later moved to New York City, where she attended the Spence School. After finishing school, she spent three years at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.Even when she was still a teenager, she appeared on TV for the first time on her dad’s show, Robert Montgomery Presents. She continued to make many appearances on his show.

By 1953, Elizabeth had her first Broadway show, Late Love. Two years later, in 1955, she acted in her first movie, The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell. After another two years, she went back to Broadway.As her career got better, Elizabeth found love, but it didn’t stay for long. In 1954, she married Frederick Gallatin Cammann, but they divorced a year later. Then, she married Gig Young, who was an award-winning actor, in 1956, but they divorced in 1963.While working on Johnny Cool, Elizabeth met William Asher, a director and TV producer. He not only helped her career but also became her romantic partner. They got married in 1963 and had three children.You might have seen Elizabeth in shows like Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Loretta Young Show, The Untouchables, and The Twilight Zone, but her most famous role was as Samantha Stephens, the witch who twitched her nose on Bewitched.Bewitched was a supernatural comedy that aired from 1964 to 1972. It made Elizabeth very famous, and everyone wanted to copy Samantha’s famous nose twitch.

“I never really considered doing a series because I enjoyed choosing scripts for characters that I felt I could play for an hour. In a series, you’re stuck with one character all the time, and you just hope it’s someone who won’t make you go crazy,” Elizabeth shared with the Associated Press in 1965.After Bewitched finished, and her marriage with William Asher ended, Elizabeth went on to act in many TV movies. These roles were often quite different from the character she played on Bewitched.

She acted in several TV movies, including Mrs. Sundance (1973), A Case of Rape (1974), The Legend of Lizzie Borden (1975), Black Widow Murders (1993), The Corpse Had a Familiar Face (1994), and Deadline for Murder: From the Files of Edna Buchanan (1995).While filming Mrs. Sundance, she met Robert Foxworth. They stayed together until Elizabeth passed away in 1995, but they didn’t get married until 1993.“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,” said Herbie J Pilato, who wrote two books about Elizabeth Montgomery.

Sadly, Elizabeth’s career ended on May 18, 1995, due to a long battle with colon cancer.Her family mentioned to the Los Angeles Times that she was 57 when she passed away, but some places thought she was born in 1933, which would make her 62 at the time of her death.Elizabeth had been fighting cancer for a while and thought she was free of it. However, while working on Deadline for Murder: From the Files of Edna Buchanan, she got sick. When she finally went for a checkup in March 1995, it was too late. The cancer had already spread to her liver.She passed away peacefully in her sleep at her home in Beverly Hills, with her husband and three children beside her. A month after she left us, a memorial was held at the Canon Theatre in Beverly Hills. Herbie Hancock, a famous jazz musician, played music, and Dominick Dunne, Elizabeth’s lifelong friend, spoke about their early years of friendship in New York City.

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