from the June 1965 edition of Motion Picture Magazine
Submitted by Windjammer
Liz Montgomery sits at her dining room table gazing into the lighted candles, the witch with the innocent air, while wind teases her hair, tosses her silk skirt and plays macabre tricks with the flames. It is an eerie moment, but her round green eyes - the most beguiling eyes on television - gaze straight through the candlelight, promising excitement, promising anything. And why not? She's staring right past the candles into the face of the man who stands beside the camera, running the show; who answers her ever gesture with the demands of the severest taskmaster and the rapt adoration of her greatest fan. He's her husband, Bill Asher.
Liz and Husband Bill Asher
Easy, affable, this is the most relaxed director we have ever watched, but don't let the affability fool you. He offers this talented girl a challenge, he has a camaraderie with actors that gets results - beyond anything they dreamed.
You see it as the next scene goes into rehearsal: our actors are sitting around the table while Alice Pearce, in piercing voice, summons up departed spirits. Alice, flamboyantly gotten up as a medium…George Tobias as her apprehensive husband…Dick York, Samantha's good-looking and witty husband…and the witch herself who is about to teach Alice a lesson by reducing husband Tobias to ashes when Alice cries, "Oh dry up!" The idea is that, once scared, Alice will never again meddle with spirits.
Alice Pearce in Episode # 29
Bill Asher supervises props . . . looks through the camera eye . . . lets the actors talk. Now, what would they think of this? Everyone participates, discussing the scene, and Bill leans against a chair, listening. He is a kind man, they know it. He is a brilliant man, they know that, too. Alice, who's been as nervous as only a do-it-yourself medium could be, begins to relax. She reads her first lines and the grips and props, everyone on the set is laughing. It's absolutely hilarious.
"Pooh!" says Samantha at the crucial moment, and George Tobias "disappears." Later she waggles her fingers and brings him back. The "Pooh" and the gesture are not quite what the director had in mind. They try it twice, then he waggles his fingers at Samantha. He leads her off the set, talks to her for a minute, kisses her on the tip of her twitchy nose, and a moment later Samantha runs through the scene in her own inimitable way - timing perfect, "Pooh" perfect, finger waggle perfect.
She stares back through the candlelight to Bill, "Good, baby," he says with his lips and she smiles at him, a perfectly beautiful smile. They are lovely together, in total rapport, the two luckiest people in Hollywood. For this is their year, the year of Bill Jr., the year Bewitched debuted and hit the top of the ratings. All this and heaven, too. It couldn't have happened to two more deserving people, for they've each done a bit of living, set a high premium on personal happiness and found it in the circumstance least likely - working together on a series."