As a prominent part of Elizabeth Montgomery’s wardrobe, the sparkling heart necklace symbolized the central theme of love on Bewitched. On a personal level, the pavé diamond heart represented her marriage and on Bewitched it was a symbolic reminder to the viewers that the power of love between Darrin and Samantha was stronger than witchcraft, relatives, and any other obstacles that the couple would face.
Sometime around 1963, the necklace was given to Elizabeth Montgomery by her husband, Bill Asher. Prior to Bewitched, Asher had a successful run with the I Love Lucy show and several beach movies. However, it was while directing Johnny Cool that he met Montgomery, who was the female lead in the movie. She had just divorced actor Gig Young and Johnny Cool was her second motion picture in a year’s time. Her career was on the upswing and so was her love life, as the two quickly got married and launched into the Bewitched television project together. As director (and producer after the first year, when Danny Arnold left the series) of many episodes of the show, Asher worked closely with Montgomery to create the magic of Bewitched.
Unlike most actresses, who never wear their personal jewelry (even wedding rings) on the set, Elizabeth was rarely seen without this love token and it was incorporated into Samantha’s wardrobe from the start of the show. The simple, puffed heart pendant (approx. 7/8” in size and set in either white gold or platinum) became a trademark for Samantha. Only the chain is seen in the pilot episode due to the style of clothing that Samantha wears, but the necklace is seen in episode #2 through #101. In fact, Samantha’s wardrobe seemed to be designed to flatter this necklace. She frequently wore dresses that went straight across in the front, so the heart pendant would rest nicely on her chest. She also wore v-neck sweaters or evening gowns with a plunging neckline that really emphasized the necklace and were flattering on her.
It’s interesting to note how Samantha’s style changed throughout the years. In the beginning, she was very influenced by the 50s (despite the fact that it was the mid 60s at the time). She wore simple dresses and kept her hair in a sophisticated bob. Sometime during the third season, the original necklace was lost. In episodes # 102 through #105, the high-necked clothing prevents the necklace from showing (except for 2 episodes that were shown out of production order). It is possible that this is the time it took to have replacements made. Reportedly, Montgomery commissioned 2 rhinestone replacements to be made for use on the set of Bewitched. While the heart pendant appeared to be the same size as the original, the chain hung between 1 ½ to 2” longer on the copy.
The absence of this trademark piece of jewelry is one of the more common bloopers on the show. For example, in episode # 24, when Endora doubles as Samantha, she is seen wearing the necklace; but in another scene it is missing. In episode # 95, Samantha is wearing the necklace, but then she changes into her flying suit and the necklace is gone. Later in that same episode, the necklace appears with the flying suit.
It is also interesting to note that Endora (Agnes Moorehead) wore a smaller version of the heart necklace in episode #s 38, 58, 77, 82, 145, and 163 that was similar to Montgomery’s. Reportedly, Agnes Moorehead wore this heart in some of the productions she did prior to Bewitched, so it is believed to be from her own jewelry collection as well.
By the fourth season, Samantha’s style had changed to polyester shirt and pants ensembles and her hair got longer. This is in keeping with the style of the 60s and her role as an active mother on the show. By the seventh season, the second heart necklace had disappeared from the show completely. Samantha’s hair was even longer and straighter and the outfits were louder. Sometimes she wore a choker with an “S” charm, but usually she did not have any jewelry. It is speculated that the Asher’s marriage was breaking up and that prompted the disappearance of the necklace from the show, but only those closest to the couple know for sure.
However, fans of the show fondly remember Samantha as a good witch with a kind heart. The necklace was symbolic of the love and good will that encompassed the show. In fact, the necklace was such a defining trademark that when Samantha guest starred on The Flintstones Meet Samantha, a pebbled version of the heart necklace was incorporated into the cartoon (with a groovy cosmic version of the ragged-edged dress that is so typical of the prehistoric cartoon). Even today, the Madame Alexander Collection Samantha doll features a glittering heart necklace.
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