By Wizzy

Featured in the Bewitched pilot, # 1, "I, Darrin, Take This Witch, Samantha," as the conniving "Sheila Sommers", and returning in the 4th season for a Sheila reprisal in #s 126 & 127, and later as client "Clio Vanita" in a 5th season two-parter #s 155 and 156, Nancy Kovack certainly left her "beauty mark" on the series with her delicious portrayals of naughty girls with voracious appetites for the finer things in life, as well as a certain witch's husband.


Nancy as Sheila - Samantha's Rival for Darrin's Affections

Born March 11, 1935 in Flint, Michigan, Nancy Kovack was a student at the University of Michigan at 15, a radio deejay at 16, a college grad at 19 and the holder of eight beauty titles by age 20.

Her professional acting career began after she traveled to New York City for a wedding and wound up on TV. Her first appearance was as one of Jackie Gleason's "Glea Girls" and then she was featured more prominently, on The Dave Garroway Show, The Today Show, and Beat the Clock.


As a Blonde or a Brunette, Nancy Is Stunning

A stage role on Broadway in The Disenchanted opened Hollywood doors for Kovack, who signed with Columbia, and became a contract player - often loaned out to other studios for film work.


Nancy Went from Pageant Queen to Silver Screen

Nancy Kovack appeared in a string of westerns, and fantasy films, including:
The Wild Westerners (1962), Jason and The Argonauts (1963), Great Sioux Massacre (1965), Tarzan and the Valley of Gold (1966), Frankie and Johnny (1966).

She later racked up an impressive list of episodic TV credits, including the memorable role of "Sheila Sommers," the jet-setting ex-girlfriend of Darrin Stephens in the smash hit Bewitched,  and was Emmy-nominated for a 1969 guest shot on Mannix.

Her final film role was as an astronaut's wife in 1969's Marooned, after which Nancy met her husband, and in July 1969, became the wife of world-renowned maestro Zubin Mehta, of New York Philharmonic fame.

She last appeared on TV in an episode of Ellery Queen (1975), credited as Nancy Mehta.



In the late 1990s, Nancy Kovack-Mehta and her husband made news when they accused Susan McDougal, a key figure in the Clinton Whitewater investigation, of stealing $150,000 through a joint credit card's unauthorized purchases while working as their bookkeeper and personal assistant between 1989 and 1992. Superior Court Judge Leslie Light threw out three of the 12 charges on November 12, 1998, and said the Mehta's prosecution team had failed to prove McDougal could have embezzled any more than $50,000. On November 23, 1998 a jury found Susan McDougal not guilty of nine counts of embezzlement and failure to file tax returns.

In 1998, the couple moved to Germany, where Zubin Mehta became the Music Director of the Bavarian State Opera.

Reminiscing to interviewer Tom Weaver about her 10 years as a Hollywood actress, Nancy said:

"I feel it was very shallow, and that I never was able to play a real person. I was perceived as a girl with combed hair and lipstick, and no matter what I would do they would not give me the role of a real woman. I wanted that and I could have done that -- easily and well. But I don't think there's one film that I can point to that really represents what I might have done. And consequently there's not one film or role that I look at of which I'm proud, not one which I would recommend to anyone to see. It's a very sad statement, isn't it?"

"I do sometimes miss the camaraderie of show business, but I'm so busy that there seems not to be any space. I love my marriage. I just try to be a good wife and do the best that I can in my marriage. That's all."



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