Elizabeth Montgomery

On this date in 1933, actress Elizabeth Victoria Montgomery was born in Los Angeles. As an L.A. baby with parents in the entertainment business, Montgomery was heavily influenced by the Hollywood lifestyle. Her father, Robert Montgomery, was a screen actor and her mother, Elizabeth Allen, was a Broadway actress. She attended the Spence School and the Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City and made her television debut on “Robert Montgomery Presents” (1950), her father’s playhouse series, but only after earning her role through years of intensive training.

Throughout the next decade, she appeared in over 200 live programs. Montgomery is best known for her role on “Bewitched” (1964) as the lovable witch Samantha Stephens. She also played the role of her mischievous cousin Serena under a pseudonym. The show was a sensation and helped popularize the name Samantha in 1965 and for years after the show began. She also starred in several films and TV shows, including “The Court Martial of Billy Mitchell” (1955), “Who’s Been Sleeping in My Bed” (1963), “A Case of Rape”(1974), “The Legend of Lizzie Borden” (1975) and “Black Widow Murders: The Blanche Taylor Moore Story” (1993).

Montgomery was a fervent feminist, liberal Democrat and activist for LGBTQ rights. She advocated for many causes, including Amnesty International and the fight against AIDS. She attended the 1992 West Hollywood Gay and Lesbian Pride Parade with her “Bewitched” co-star Dick Sargent, who publicly came out as gay the prior year.

Her first husband was businessman Frederick Cammann (1954-55). Her second husband was actor Gig Young (1956-63), 25 years her senior. In 1963 she married William Asher, the producer-director of “Bewitched.” They divorced amicably in 1973. They had three children, Willy, Robert and Rebecca Elizabeth. She then had a 20-year relationship with actor Robert Foxworth before marrying him in 1993, 18 months before her death in 1995 at age 62 of colon cancer eight weeks after being diagnosed.

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