Bewitched – Cast, Pictures, and Trivia!
This series is about a couple, Darrin and Samantha Stephens, who appear to be perfectly average.
He goes to the office every day, she stays home and takes care of the house, and they are happy and normal in every way. Well, every way except for one, Samantha is a witch! They live in a very nice middle-class neighborhood and have a completely normal-looking home. It is unclear exactly where they reside, as conflicting information is given, but it seems to be Patterson, New York or Westport, Connecticut. At any rate, a lot of scenes take place at their home; however, there are many scenes that take place at Darrin’s place of business as well, “McMann and Tate”. But no matter where they are, the story stays the same, and that is to keep the rest of the mortal world with the exception of Darrin, from finding out Samantha’s secret.
Samantha Stephens (Elizabeth Montgomery)-Samantha is a witch. Though she appears very young, it is suggested throughout the series that she is actually several hundred years old, although no knows for sure. After falling in love, Samantha and Darrin (Dick York & Dick Sargent) decide to marry and on their honeymoon, Samantha tells her new husband a big secret. After finding out, Darrin makes her promise to stop using her powers and become a normal, typical, suburban housewife. Of course this is easier said than done. Despite trying to quit using her powers, certain situations and problems arise that just make it seem easier to use witchcraft. Her family strongly disapproves of the mixed marriage, (magic to mortal) especially her mother, Endora (Agnes Moorehead). But even with all her family problems, Darrin is still the man for her.
Darrin Stephens (Dick York & Dick Sargent)-Darrin is your average working mortal. He goes to his job at the McMann and Tate advertising agency each day, and comes home at the end of the day to his beautiful, loving wife, Samantha. Due to her family and their constant disapproval, Darrin is often the victim of some sort of spell, most often put upon him so that he will leave his wife. However, despite Darrin’s nervousness and annoyance due to both spells and the worry that someone will find out their secret, the two are very happy together.
Endora (Agnes Moorehead)-Endora is Samantha’s mother and the main antagonist. She despises mortals in general, and is highly disapproving of Darrin. And except for the rarest of occasions, she never calls him by name, (only 8 times during the entire series) but instead uses terms like “Durwood”, “Dum-Dum” or even “What’s his name”. Like any witch, she never reveals her last name, and basically lets Darrin know that even if she told him, he wouldn’t be able to pronounce it anyway. And although she casts countless absurd or amusing spells upon him, she never tries to do him any real harm. In fact, when the “High Priestess Hephzibah” (Jane Connell) shows her surprise about Darrin withstanding so many years of provocation, Endora shrugs and says, “He loves my daughter”.
Larry and Louise Tate (David White and Irene Vernon & Kasey Rogers)-Larry is Darrin’s boss at McMann and Tate, and is constantly changing his opinion to fit in with what a client wants. He is somewhat obsessive about money and profits, but does show a more moral side every now and then. He is married to Louise Tate, who in the end, becomes Samantha’s best friend in the mortal world.
Gladys and Abner Kravitz (Alice Pearce & Sandra Gould and George Tobias)-Gladys is married to Abner and they live across the street from the Stephens. Due to her extreme nosiness, Gladys is constantly seeing spells and different aspects of witchcraft. The only problem is that whenever she tries to tell her husband what she saw, he never believes her and thinks that she is crazy.
Maurice (Maurice Evans)-Maurice is Samantha’s father and a suave actor who likes to exaggerate his entrances and exits with strained Shakespearean verse. He and Endora have what he has called, “an informal marriage”, wherein they do not live together or for that matter, seem to like each other very much.
He also does not refer to Darrin by his name, but instead uses a bunch of nicknames for him as well.
Phyllis and Frank Stephens (Mabel Albertson and Robert F. Simon & Roy Roberts)-Phyllis and Frank are Darrin’s parents. Phyllis is very conventional, while her husband is much more the laid back sort. They don’t visit too often, but Phyllis is known to make the occasional “surprise” visit now and then. They never find out that Samantha is a witch, although on more than one occasion, Phyliis has witnessed a spell and then immediately complains of a headache afterward.
Serena (also played by Elizabeth Montgomery)-Serena is the look-alike cousin of Samantha but the exact opposite of her in every other way. She has short black hair, wears mini-skirts and has a beauty mark (most of the time) on her cheek. She, unlike the rest of the family, usually supports Darrin and Samantha, though she does find them to be somewhat square. And as she is more progressive than most witches, she has even been known to date a mortal now and then.
Uncle Arthur (Paul Lynde)-Samantha’s Uncle Arthur is the jokester brother of Endora. Although he does tend to pull quite a few pranks on Darrin, he doesn’t seem to dislike him nearly as much as his sister. And in his own way, he is supportive of their marriage.
Aunt Clara (Marion Lorne)-Aunt Clara is the one member of Samantha’s family that Darrin is somewhat willing to tolerate. The absent-minded and aging but very lovable Aunt Clara, is sweet, kind and well-intentioned, however, her witchcraft skills leave something to be desired.
Esmeralda (Alice Ghostley)-Esmeralda is the housekeeper/nanny, who took the place in some ways after Marion Lorne who played Aunt Clara had passed away. She also was kind and well-intentioned, but much like Aunt Clara, had many problems where her magic was concerned.
Dr. Bombay (Bernard Fox)-Dr. Bombay is the womanizing warlock who is brought in whenever a supernatural illness occurs. He is known for making bad jokes and having a more than amply figured assistant with him a good deal of the time. He can be reached by someone calling out, “Dr. Bombay, calling Dr. Bombay. Emergency, come right away!”
Tabitha and Adam Stephens (Erin & Diane Murphy and David & Greg Lawrence)-Tabitha and Adam are the son and daughter of Darrin and Samantha. Both eventually end up with supernatural powers. Tabitha’s were evident when she would put her finger on her nose and move it back and forth in an imitation of her mother, who would twitch her nose when casting a spell. And Adam, much to Darren’s dismay, was taught how to be a warlock by his grandmother, Endora.
This show is one that I grew up with and really loved. Through all the actor/actress changes, it still kept the same basic story as when it started. It’s simple and classic. I give this series 7 out of 10.
Samantha Stephens-Elizabeth Montgomery
Darrin Stephens-Dick York and Dick Sargent
Larry Tate-David White
Tabitha Stephens-Erin & Diane Murphy (Cynthia Black, Heidi & Laura Gentry and Julie & Tamar Young)
Adam Stephens-David & Greg Lawrence
Gladys Kravitz-Sandra Gould and Alice Pearce
Abner Kravitz-George Tobias
Louise Tate-Kasey Rogers and Irene Vernon
Aunt Clara-Marion Lorne
Phyllis Stephens-Mabel Albertson
Dr. Bombay-Bernard Fox
Uncle Arthur-Paul Lynde
Serena-Elizabeth Montgomery (although it was not credited to Montgomery but an imaginary person named “Pandora Spocks”)
Mrs. Grange-Sara Seegar
Mr. Benson-J. Edward McKinley
1st Policeman-Richard X. Slattery
Desk Sergeant-Parley Baer
Ed Hotchkiss-Charles Lane
Mr. Robbins-Jack Collins
Frank Stephens-Robert F. Simon & Roy Roberts
Doctor Koblin-C. Lindsay Workman
George Barkley-Steve Franken
Secretary-Jean Blake Fleming
High Priestess Hepzibah-Jane Connell
Elizabeth Montgomery (Samantha Stephens) was married four times. Her last husband was Robert Foxworth, (he played Chase Gioberti on “Falcon Crest“) with whom she lived for nineteen years before finally marrying him in 1993.
Agnes Moorehead was believed to be a lesbian, despite two marriages. In fact in one interview, Moorehead confirmed her same-sex orientation while at the same time naming several other actresses who “enjoyed lesbian or bi relationships”.
One of the biggest controversies on the show, was of course the switching of actors in the role of Darrin Stephens. Although Dick York had been playing the role since the show began in 1964, by 1969, it had become clear to everyone that York was going to be unable to continue, due to a serious back injury that had gotten much worse over the years, along with an addiction to pain killers, leaving the question of what to do. William Asher, a producer/director on the show (as well as Montgomery’s husband) thought that it should simply be cancelled, not just because of the issue with York, but also because he and Elizabeth Montgomery wanted to move on. The network, however, still felt that the ratings were high enough to keep the show going, so Dick Sargent was hired to take the place of York and be the new Darrin.
Dick Sargent (Darrin Stephens) “came out” to the world on “National Coming Out Day” in 1991, just a few short years before his death to prostate cancer in 1994.
Erin Murphy (Tabitha Stephens) has six children, all boys, and has been married three times.
The Bewitched series inspired a movie of the same name in 2005 that starred Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell. This was not a re-make of the show, but rather a re-imagining of it. According to “The New York Times”, it was “an unmitigated disaster”.
Agnes Moorehead (Endora) was a cast member of the movie, “The Conqueror”, which is considered by some to be the cause of several actors’ deaths. The reason being that the movie was filmed in 1954 in the Nevada desert near the place where the government was doing nuclear testing. Many years later it was thought to have caused the deaths of John Wayne, Susan Hayward, Dick Powell and Pedro Armendariz, just to name a few, all from cancer. Moorehead herself died of uterine cancer in 1974. In total, more than 90 of the 220 cast and crew members developed cancer, there were at least 46 people who died from it.
Elizabeth Montgomery died of colorectal cancer in 1995, at age 62. She died only eight weeks after being diagnosed.
David White’s (Larry Tate) son, Jonathan, was killed in the terrorist bombing on December 21, 1988, of Pan Am Flight 103, over Lockerbie (Scotland, UK).
Dick York, (Darrin Stephens) in addition to his severe back pain and addiction to prescription painkillers, was also having blackouts while on the set. After one show, York collapsed and was rushed to the hospital, never returning to the series. After leaving the show, he was flat on his back for a year. Also due to bad investments, York suffered tremendous financial losses, leaving him and his wife in dire financial straits, even cleaning houses at one point for a living. He remained in pain for the rest of his life, but managed to found “Acting For Life”, a fund-raising effort for the homeless. Dick York died in 1992, at the age of 63, from emphysema.
Although many weren’t fond of the Darrin switch, (as most are not during a favorite show) it was certainly not the fault of Dick Sargent. In fact, Sargent had actually auditioned for the role of Darrin Stephens when the show was first set to go on the air in 1964, and gotten it, even before Elizabeth Montgomery was chosen as Samantha. Sargent, however, had to turn down the role as he was under contract at the time to Universal Studios, and they wanted him to be in another series called, “Broadside”.
Elizabeth Montgomery turned down the role of Krystle Carrington on the television series, “Dynasty”.
Agnes Moorehead was the first woman to ever co-host the Academy Awards. She did this with Dick Powell in 1948.
On “TV Guide’s 50 Greatest TV Shows of All TIme”, Bewitched was ranked at #50.
Actually, because of the switching of Darrin’s, a new phrase was born from Bewitched, called either the “Darrin Syndrome” or the “The Other Darrin”. A perfect example of this was when the character of Becky, was switched on the popular show, “Roseanne“. Lecy Goranson was switched for Sarah Chalke, but the difference here was that many jokes about the switch were made, including one episode where the family is actually watching Bewitched, and Sarah Chalke (the second Becky) says she liked the second Darrin better.
Dick Sargent, although never married, had a long-time companion for twenty years before losing the man to a cerebral hemorrhage in 1979. In earlier years, he had made up a wife for himself in order to protect his career.
David White was a United States Marine and served in World War II.
As is so often the case, the characters of Tabitha and Adam were not written into the show as ratings gimmicks, but were instead to cover two pregnancies of Elizabeth Montgomery. She had a son during her “Tabitha” pregnancy and a daughter during the “Adam” one. Her first pregnancy wasn’t written into the show and was just covered up.
Erin Murphy retired from acting after Bewitched ended. She has been in a large number of television commercials, including one with former actor and President of the United States, Ronald Reagan.
Agnes Moorehead was in films with many well-known actors and actresses. Her film debut was as Orson Welles’ mother in the movie, “Citizen Kane”.
Dick York first injured his back while filming “They Came to Cordura” in 1959. He and fellow actor Gary Cooper, along with several other men, were propelling a hand car down a railroad track when he lifted the device accidentally without anyone else’s help, tearing the muscles on the right side of his back.
After Elizabeth Montgomery’s original five-year contract was up, she made the decision to move on to other projects. The network, however, was so desperate to keep her on the show, that they gave her part ownership as a part of her new contract.
In one episode you see Larry and Louise Tate in their kitchen, which is the same set used for the kitchen of Tony Nelson, in “I Dream of Jeannie”. Actually, the Bewitched house can be seen just down the street from Tony Nelson’s house in many of the outdoor shots, and the Bewitched house (interior and exterior) also doubled as the house of Nelson’s fellow NASA co-worker, Doctor Bellows.
Dick Sargent’s grandfather, John McNaughton, was the founder of Los Angeles’s Union Stockyards.
Agnes Moorehead was not only an actress on television, but also in films as well as radio.
Elizabeth Montgomery came in at #52 on FHM’s “100 Sexiest Women”.
The house used for Bewitched, is still standing today on the Warner Bros. Ranch lot in Burbank, California at Hollywood Way. The house actually still looks much like it did when the series ended production, and can often be seen in commercials, various television series and even movies.
The exterior of what was known in Bewitched as the Kravitz house, was also used for both “The Partridge Family” and “The Donna Reed Show”.
Dick York’s autobiography is called, “The Seesaw Girl and Me”.
Agnes Moorehead was picked for the role of Endora, after a completely chance meeting in a Bloomingdale’s department store with Elizabeth Montgomery and William Asher. She had previously turned the role down, but after seeing Montgomery and Asher, changed her mind.
Elizabeth Montgomery and Lizzie Borden were actually sixth cousins once removed. Montgomery played the role of Borden in the TV movie, “The Legend of Lizzie Borden” in 1975. The genealogist who documented the connection between the two, made this comment: “I wonder how Elizabeth would have felt if she knew she was playing her own cousin”.
The series actually revived the popularity of the name Samantha. In Puratanical times it had fallen into disuse, due to the fact that the name had associations with witchcraft, making people afraid to use it. Since soon after the show first began, the name Samantha has remained consistently popular. In 2009, it was the 15th most popular girls’ name.
David White was in the film, “Brewster’s Millions” with Richard Pryor.
Nearly all of the females witches on the show had names that ended with an ‘a’, except for a few exceptions.
Dick Sargent and Elizabeth Montgomery were co-Grand Marshall’s of the Los Angeles Gay Pride Parade in 1992. It was their final appearance together.
The rehearsals for the pilot show of Bewitched was set to begin on November 22, 1963, but were postponed because of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, who was a good friend of William Asher.
Dick York and Agnes Moorehead grew quite close while filming Bewitched, despite the characters they played.
Erin Murphy often speaks about Autism as one of her children has the disease.
Once considered for the role of Tabitha was famed actresses Helen Hunt and Jodie Foster.
Bewitched had actually been renewed for a ninth season, but in addition to the increasingly bad ratings, Elizabeth Montgomery had fallen in love with director Richard Michaels during the filming of the eighth season. After the season was over, they moved in together and effectively ended both of their marriages, which also made any possibility of a ninth season impossible.
Bewitched was the #2 show in America during its very first season.
Elizabeth Montgomery was a strong supporter of gay’s and women’s rights. She was also a vocal critic of the Vietnam War as well as a narrator for a series of political documentaries.
David White died from a heart attack in 1990.
When Agnes Moorehead died she left her family’s Ohio estate, “Moorehead Manor” to Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. According to her will, she wanted the university to use Moorehead Manor for retreats and such. However, due to the distance from South Carolina, it was virtually useless to them and in 1976 they traded the manor to an Ohio college for a collection of her library books and $25,000.