Legend
by Steve

Elizabeth Montgomery, as Samantha Stephens in Bewitched, has captivated me for over 35 years. Elizabeth is the most talented and beautiful woman I have ever seen on TV or any film. Her smile, charm, grace, intelligence, sophistication, and humor are unequaled by any actress. Elizabeth, with surreal hazel green eyes and such presence, projects at the center of every Bewitched scene. Even though her later movie performances were quite impressive on their own, it seems to me that Elizabeth, and no one else, was meant to play Samantha. I truly believe Samantha was Elizabeth. To many including myself, Elizabeth remains the classiest actress of all time, a true legend.

The careers of many were enhanced by Bewitched. Reoccurring cast, all classically trained or stage actors, gave such incredible performances over and again, across all 254 episodes and 8 seasons. When has there been a gathering of so many great performers in the history of television, on a single series? There hasn’t. Bewitched writing, production, and directing was incredibly sharp and original. Samantha’s magic entertained, but also inspired so many growing up in the 1970’s. As a kid, I performed magic shows with sleight of hand, for neighbors in living room gatherings.

It’s not surprising that today’s bland programming offers nothing remotely close to Bewitched. As Herbie Pilato reinforces in his great ‘Bewitched Forever’ book, the show was created at a time before television “lost its innocence.” Sure there were a few racy themes, especially when Serena was around (which was great)! But all orchestrated by Elizabeth (and Bill Asher) with such sophistication and humor, because that’s who Elizabeth was, the classiest woman on television, and she wouldn’t have done it any other way. Elizabeth moved effortlessly between Samantha and Serena, revealing both sides of her charming personality. Elizabeth was a master of expressions and emotion – her smile radiant, always glowing, in so many close-ups. Watch her brilliance as guitar-strumming Serena, in fourth season episode “Hippie, Hippie, Hooray”…such wonderful expressions, dance, even singing.

The House at 1164 – if only I could visit it. Unfortunately, The Warner Ranch back lot is closed to the public. Who didn’t want to grow up in that cute neighbored and house, or swim in that nice pool often used for “Club” scenes in the show? Who hasn’t dreamed of building an exact replica of 1164, outfitted with precise 60’s appliances and furnishings, including wood-frame Zenith TV? Fortunately, the House facade still exists in near original form, at the Ranch. I am hopeful it remains, and one day, open to the public.

My one regret was never meeting Elizabeth. From what I have read, those fortunate to work with or meet her relate similar impressions: she was open, unpretentious, caring, genuine, graceful, creative, charming, and of course, stunning. I would give anything to travel back in time to Salem, MA June 22 1970, spending a week around the ‘Salem Saga’ production, from sets at The House of the Seven Gables, Gloucester Fisherman Statue, and Hammond Castle in Magnolia. Who hasn’t had that daydream?

I’ve spent recent years watching all 8 seasons on DVD. I continue to find new episodes, story lines, and many nuances of Samantha, only fully understanding and appreciating them as an adult. With each episode, I gain an ever growing admiration for the “Good Witch” Samantha, our beautiful Elizabeth, whom we love and remember forever, in hearts and minds. I, too, proudly remain, “Bewitched Forever.”

 

NEAR & DEAR
by Ann Marie

Bewitched will always be near & dear to my heart. My parents were married in June of 1964 and my father passed away in April 1972, almost the exact same run that the show had on television. My mother wasn't a witch, of course, but the lives of Darrin & Samantha parallel my parents lives during that time. The styles, the lifestyle of my mom being a housewife & my father working his job. The fact that I was born right around the same time Tabatha was, and my sister was born the same year as Adam, just adds to the similarities. My mom loved the show partly for this reason, and just the fact that it was a good show. I grew up watching it so it feels like going back in time to my childhood every time I see it. Imagining what my parents were doing during those times and how life really was back then. The show reflected the times accurately, it's like a time capsule for me. It represents the innocent time in my life when everything was ideal. I wanted to be Tabatha and wished my mom could twitch her nose and do magic. The year the show ended my father died and our lives changed forever, so for me it takes me back to that place where everything was still safe & wonderful in my world. The whole idea of magic in the lives of people who seemed so real & normal to me captivated me and I used to imagine people like Samantha really did exist in our world and I wanted to find them and make friends with them. Watching the reruns is such a treat for me, it makes me feel warm and happy and I vividly remember being a little girl. If I had to choose only one sitcom to watch forever, or one sitcom I could step into and actually live, it would be Bewitched.

 

I HAD TO SEE THAT HOUSE
by Cathy

I know from taking the basic, but good tour of Warners some 12 years ago that the ranch was not to be. My third trip to California I was going to try again, since my second try failed also. I had a real need to see the homes. Real or not, I just wanted to be there. To see with my own eyes the home of Dennis, the Partridge Family, Hazel, and most of all Samantha's would be a lasting joy to myself.

I still to this day can remember everything. First, I explained to the gate attendant all the above and the failed times that I was turned away. We were told to circle once, not get out of the car, and then exit back to him. When he opened the gate bar, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. Pictures were taken as my husband drove ever so slowly. I was in my own world, knowing each and every home.

And there it was.

We did pause for a good 3 minutes. I wanted to get out soooo badly and run around on the lawn and knock at the door, but knowing the gift the attendant had given myself the promise had to be kept. Hazel was next; I guess it was her day off.

Driving slowly we finished out the circle, passing the gas station and looking at the beautiful park and koi fish fountain to our left. We thanked our host and drove off.

Good memories never die. I thought I was odd for even wanting to make it a reality some day, but as I found out many of us want to see "where we grew up."

 

Hats Off
by Terri T 

I have graced the walls of our home with photos of wonderful people from the most beloved sitcom of all times called "Bewitched". As a child from 1969, one of the first things noticed on T.V. besides cartoons, was Bewitched. The most wonderful 8 seasons anyone could watch. I am so proud of the star posthumously on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Maybe Elizabeth was popping in to admire her accomplishments, and the surroundings of people who love her so. I really don't have a fancy way to say I love Elizabeth Montgomery, and the whole entire cast of Bewitched. My hopes are that the show will be carried on for many generations more, to be enjoyed and embraced. Hats off to the most magical sitcom hands down!

 

Anyway...
by Bailey 

"Anyway, all anyone can do is to take a little and make it go a long, long way."

How true those words came to be as espoused by Elizabeth Montgomery as lovable Samantha Stephens. And Elizabeth Montgomery took the character of Samantha, indeed, a long, long way. More than forty years have passed since Samantha rode her first broom across the pantheon of American television. She was, and is, as ever a good-hearted soul who made us feel better just for being in her presence. Bewitched never purported to be Shakespeare, nor was it, but what it was, was a well written comedy that made us feel good. In its first two seasons Bewitched was well written, and with warmth and humanity.
It remained a perennial hit and a good show.

 

Hechizada
by Laura M 

I think the first time I watch Bewitched was when I was around 9 years old. Then the channel where it reruns cancelled the series, and I remember in the morning I woke up and sadly my mum told me that "Hechizada" (Bewitched is named like this in Argentina, my country) wasn't on anymore. A few months ago, I turn 18 and the day of my birthday I was watching TV in the morning and I realized a new channel had Bewitched on its program schedule. I felt so happy! It was a wonderful gift for my birthday. Since then, I watch it everyday. I enjoy watching the reruns as much as the first time I saw the episodes when I was only nine years old. The series is definitely my favorite of all time. It's a shame that many actors of the cast aren't here to see the successful show they were on it, the laughs that they bring everyday to homes all around the world after 40 years of the appearance of this marvelous show on TV. Here in my country, they are making a remake of what Bewitched was in 1964. It hasn't get on aired yet, but they are making it with famous actors on TV here. I don't know how it will go, but I certainly do know that nobody could play Samantha like Elizabeth did, but I have to wait and see it. Don't I?

 

It Lives On In Our Hearts
by Elizabeth B 

Where does anyone begin when talking about the show Bewitched? Do you start off by talking about the magic? The characters? The humor? It's ability to "bewitch" you for the thirty-minutes your watching an episode? It's such a fabulous show that truly has had us under a spell for so many years. Everybody wanted to be Samantha and Darrin's neighbor, we all wanted to be able to go to Paris for lunch just for a day with our moms. To transform anything ordinary into something extrordinary, let's not even mention how many times we have tried "twitching" our noses! At age 21 Bewitched remains my favorite television show of all time. It was a suprise to me when it came out in theatres that my younger cousin asked if we could go see the movie. I asked her if she knew about "Bewitched" so that she could enjoy the movie, she told me of course she did! It was on re-runs on TV Land. She loved it! I remember feeling that excitement for her, that I had when I first came across a re-run of the show. The announcer saying "Elizabeth Montgomery in...Bewitched" and the familar tune and Samantha flying across the screen on her broom.

I love Elizabeth Montgomery she was so enchanting and beautiful and still is even today, I'm just saddened that she and so many other cast members are not here to know of the show's continued success. I'm grateful for the opportunity to re-live the memories and the show through re-runs and dvd's and I thank everyone who was involved with this heartwarming classic. It lives on in our hearts, and at any moment we can twitch our noses, snap our fingers and be there!
Always a Bewitched Fan!

 

It Is Truly Magic
by Ginny 

Bewitched has been a favourite program of mine ever since I was five years old. For about thirteen years, I have dreamt about being able to twitch my nose, but amongst other things, I have enjoyed the day-to-day lives of Sam, Darrin, Tabitha and many more. I have always wanted to hug Samantha and hex Darrin whenever I see episodes such as; "Help! Help! Don't Save Me," because the way Dick and Elizabeth said those lines made me as a viewer feel like I am in their house watching them like Endora.

There always has been and there will forever be people who say that Bewitched is associated with the devil and other evil things. To them, I say, "Watch an episode or two." I may not have watched every single episode but I have watched enough to know that Bewitched is bewitching in the sense that real issues are explored. The witches, warlocks and mortals in Bewitched faced love, family, racism and many other issues mortals face in everyday life.

I am pleased to own the first season on DVD. This means I can watch over and over how much Sam and Darrin mean to each other.

And that is truly magic, isn't it folks?

 

What Bewitched Means to Me
by CosmosCotillion 

I've been a fan of both Bewitched and Elizabeth Montgomery for as long as I can remember, and in many ways Bewitched has had a hand in shaping my life. My earliest memories are of watching Bewitched re-runs on a black and white TV at some point during the early 1970s. Although I was too young to really understand what was going on, I could tell that Samantha was a nice lady and very, very pretty. After I watched the show I used to run around the backyard on a broom, pretending I could fly like Samantha did in the show's cartoon opening. The photos my parents took of me doing this always make me smile.

My family was sort of dysfunctional, and my father {as Serena would say} was "a tosspot." Growing up in such an insecure and sometimes volatile environment, Bewitched became my refuge and Samantha became my friend. She was so kind and warm and gentle, and I wished like mad that she'd pop in one day and save my dad like she saved Zeno the Great when she gave him the DT's. Alas, this never happened and my father eventually drank himself into an early grave. But the magic of Bewitched got me through some pretty tough times...so perhaps Samantha {and Elizabeth} helped, after all. :)

At some point around the age of seven I caught Elizabeth's TV movie The Legend of Lizzie Borden. I had no idea who Lizzie Borden was at this point, and as far as I could tell an evil witch had put a very bad spell on Samantha and she was hack-hack-hacking some poor people to death with an axe! Needless to say, I was absolutely horrified and kept thinking "Calling Dr. Bombay! Emergency! Come right away!" as the movie unfolded. Not long afterwards I watched her with Dean Martin and Carol Burnett in "Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed?", which I liked a lot better. She didn't kill anyone in that! ;)

As I grew older and started to understand what the show was about and who the characters were, I loved Bewitched even more. I can remember running home after school to catch the show, and after multiple viewings I developed favorite episodes and characters. I adored Aunt Clara, laughed out loud at Gladys Kravitz {Alice Pearce is my fave}, and when the Serena episodes aired I thought I'd died and gone to heaven! I liked both Darrin's equally {still do!}, loved it when Mrs. Stephens got a "sick headache", and gaped in awe at Endora and Maurice, who were magnificent and grand and always commanded my respect. Esmeralda was also a fave, as was Paul Lynde as Uncle Arthur...the chocolate covered bananas episode with Serena still makes me fall down laughing today {the double-entendres they got away with in that one take it to a whole different level!}. A favorite activity of mine during this period was to run outside during a windstorm, open my jacket and spread my arms. If I leaned into the wind just right it almost felt like I was flying, which is the closest I ever got to emulating Samantha and Endora's flights through the sky. I'm still tempted sometimes to do this today.

In junior high, I can recall listening to Agnes Moorehead perform Sorry, Wrong Number for a class assignment. Everyone knew she was Endora, and we were all riveted by her performance. We also watched The Magnificent Ambersons for another class project, and I recall being blown away by Agnes' breakdown scene. It was at this point that I really started appreciating what a tremendously talented actress she was, and I started viewing Bewitched through new eyes. In high school we watched Inherit the Wind about the Scopes Monkey Trial, and it was pretty nifty to learn the theory of evolution from Darrin Stephens!

In the early '90s, I can remember how impressed I was when Dick Sargent came out of the closet. I was even more impressed when Elizabeth publicly supported him. If Liz thought he was okay, then that meant she'd think I was okay, too. Pretty profound stuff for a confused 18 year old, and I'll always be grateful to both Elizabeth and Dick for the way they addressed this issue. Their bravery and honesty was admirable in the extreme.

When Elizabeth passed away in 1995, I was deeply saddened. It still doesn't seem possible that she's gone..."Samantha" was immortal, so it was really hard to accept that Elizabeth was not. Thank goodness for re-runs, where everyone from the Bewitched cast will live forever.

 

The Best Show Ever
by Tennessee BW Fan  

Bewitched is my favorite of ALL TV shows ever created and the beautiful Bewitched is the best show ever created and Elizabeth Montgomery is my favorite actress.

I remember when Bewitched first came on. I was a young black girl growing up in the 60's, in the south. It was a disturbing decade, with the assassinations, Vietnam War, and integration. But great TV shows like Bewitched and the others that came on ABC TV (That Girl, Mod Squad, The Partridge Family, Brady Bunch, Dark Shadows) made growing up in the 60's, so much fun as a child. It was one the shows we kids talked about in school the next day. I even had a Samantha Halloween mask.

Today, even as an adult, I try not to ever miss an episode and look forward to the show being released on DVD. My husband and I sometimes have a Bewitched night where we pop in one of my "taped" Bewitched shows and just enjoy the night. I absolutely loved Samantha, what a caring funny character she was. She and Darrin, though white, reminded me of my parents. My mother has the same turned up nose, hairstyle and sweet humble personality that Samantha had back then. When Elizabeth died, I remember crying, even though I was an adult and never met her. I wanted so much to meet the woman who helped me laugh my cares away, and who seemed to care for everyone. Not only do I love her in Bewitched, but I love all of her movies, especially The Awakening Land and Lizzie Borden.

God Bless Her. She was one sweet, beautiful lady. She really put a spell on me and my family for life. We love her and all the actors/actresses on Bewitched.

 

This One's for Lizzie
by John S 

I grew up as a kid watching Elizabeth Montgomery, Dick York (and later Dick Sargent), Agnes Moorhead, and pals "bewitch" America with the 1964-1972 favorite Bewitched. I was enchanted from the very beginning. Bewitched wasn't about anything, it didn't hurt anybody, and it made us all a little bit happier 30 minutes later. Good-hearted Samantha Stephens who championed the underdog, sophisticated Endora with her trenchant wit, wacky Serena, and straight man Darrin were all one of the greatest ensemble casts of all time.

Bewitched was my very favorite TV show. It was truly entertaining, comical, and loads of fun. I still tune in on TV Land from time to time, it's like stopping in to see old friends. Sadly, Elizabeth Montgomery left us in 1995 to cancer. Wherever you are Lizzie, this one's for you! Bewitched is the best TV show of all time!

 

The Magic Lives On
by chibimars 

I guess you don't have to be born in the 60's to experience the magic of Bewitched, and I found that out about a year ago.

Being your average preteen in the world of the 2000 millennium, TVLAND was a simple channel I'd pass by as I flipped the channels for a good program to watch. Never did it occur to me that maybe I should stop and see what was on that channel for once! But then...one day my dad (who very much enjoys to look back on the shows of his childhood) happened to see Bewitched on TVLAND. "Hey, Jen," he said. "I think you'll like this...it's about a witch who twitches her nose..."

And that was it. I was hooked. Elizabeth Montgomery, Dick York, Agnes Moorehead and the rest of the cast---well---bewitched me. Literally. I couldn't stop watching Samantha twitch her nose and Endora wave her arms and my favorite character Serena sing "Iffin." I'd laugh hysterically as Mrs. Kravitz stared into the window of 1164 Morning Glory Circle, screaming at the top of her lungs as she saw little Tabitha making her toys float across the room to her. Bewitched took me away from reality and flew me on a magic broom to a fantasy world unlike my own. I got my VCR to tape Bewitched and it's great to come home from school to see Samantha and Darrin on the TV screen.

After watching about 5 episodes (yeah, that's how long it took me to get hooked), I frantically searched on the Internet for more information and learned all that I could about this newly-found "cool" TV show. Then came Jeannie...Lucy...Lost in Space...Little House...I loved them all. Why? At first I didn't know. People in my class at school definitely noticed the change in me...saying "Oh My Stars" instead of "Oh My God" and such. "Why do you like all of the 'old' shows like that stupid Bewitched?", a classmate repeatedly would ask me. For a while, I simply shrugged and walked off. Yeah, I know, that's a really stupid thing to do.

I realized, after some thought and...err...MORE Bewitched episodes to watch, that it didn't matter how "old" a TV show was. It could be a great one just the same. Most people today can't take their eyes off of "Survivor" and "Fear Factor" and such, and leave the oldies behind them in their childhood memories. I wonder why. That's something I'll never know.

Now, when someone walks up to me and asks, "Why do you like that old show Bewitched?", I simply give a really cheesy fake smile trying to hide the fact that I want to chop that person's head off (LOL joking) and reply, "Bewitched isn't just OLD, it's a classic. Ask your parents about it; I'm sure they can tell you a lot."

So, in conclusion, I am happy that the magic of Bewitched still lives on even today, so my family and I can be whisked off on Samantha's broom as we watch and laugh at the silly situations over and over again...I'm bewitched. And no one, not even a pesky classmate, can change that.

In fact, I'm glad I wasn't born in the 60's...

Then I would have to wait a whole week for Bewitched's next episode!   :)

 

The Best Show in History
by Greg K 

I love Bewitched and I don't think there has been, or ever will be, a show as great. The story was so perfect. As Liz once said herself, it couldn't have failed. The cast was amazing. Liz with her piercing and hypnotizing green eyes and beautiful smile--you couldn't go wrong. Then there was Dick York. He was so cute and crazy, you just have to love him. Agnes Moorehead was so perfect for her role and Erin Murphy as Tabitha was as cute as could be. I am and will forever be BEWITCHED!!!!!!!!!!!

 

The World in "Witch" I Wished I Lived
by punkprncss112587 

For years now I have been watching classic television. Since I was a child, these shows have always taken me to a better place. A place where life is simple and problems are always solved with a moral involved. I was intrigued and always wanted to live in them. The one I wished was my life always seemed to be Bewitched. I remember thinking how beautiful Mrs. Montgomery was. I wanted her to be my mother. I wanted Dick York as my father. I always saw their world was better. What kid wouldn't want to live in a world where witches where real, and at the twitch of a nose you could have anything you wanted? I used to sit in the corner of my room and pretend I was Tabitha, or a sister, and that Sam was my mother. I would make episodes in my mind that never ended, but somehow I was brought back to reality. As I got older I realized that I wanted what Samantha wanted: a normal human life and to fit in. I may have not been a witch, but I hardly felt normal. So I began imagining me and Samantha living on Bewitched and making the best of our not so normal lives, so no one would notice. Now, being 16, I see that Sam was the mother I always wanted. My own mother hardly talking to me. I see that I thought that if I had problems like Sam did, my mother would notice me. So I saw Sam as a perfect candidate. Even now, I see that Sam is still the mother I always wanted, but I have moved on to a new character--Serena. Serena is the person I want to be. Beautiful, loving, and full of energy. She seems to know how to have fun and keep it. The world of love, peace, sex, and rock 'n roll keeps her spirit alive. This is now the world I wish I lived in.

I believe I will never stop wishing for new worlds in which to live. Everyone does. Everyone wants a different life then what they have. But I think I have picked the best world of all. The show Bewitched has everything I wanted and more.

 

She Was My Star
by Paul M

Elizabeth Montgomery was the best female actor in my opinion. She ruled in every way. She was early in starting in her field of acting, thanks to her father Robert, in New York 40's-50's with his weekly show and she got a good start to her career. I am a huge fan of Lizzie's and I love her reasons for her love for the things she believed in, like animals in Africa, zoos, etc. Her last husband, Robert Foxworth, and she really went wild after Born Free movie came out after her role as Sam in Bewitched. She longed for care and preservation of wild animals, she made it her quest to make sure that she could help all animals in some way, researching and finding ways to help for the lions. When she was a little girl her grandmother took her to the race track, to watch the horses race. She grew to love animals from that point of her life on. In her own life she had dogs and cats in her house that she loved, a golden lab called, Boo! She was my favorite ever since Bewitched. I watched in black and white in the 60's until today. Watching Sam in color is so great. I have the cookbook from Bewitched and love making the dishes and reading the trivia about the show. I love to find out things that went on and off the show. And thanks to Kasey Rogers for her input of all that book. My father saw Maurice in New York on Broadway doing Shakespeare, said his voice was so loud and that he did a great job. He played Sam's father on Bewitched. I have several of her movies from The Untouchables, Twilight Zone, Johnny Cool, A Case of Rape, The Legend of Lizzie Borden, The Rules of Marriage, etc. I really enjoy them all-- seeing her do other than her role in Bewitched. She did a lot for AIDS and women's lib! She was true to her own soul. She loved everything and stood up for anyone who had a cause--she fought to the bitter end. Darrin on Bewitched, Dick York, hated seeing homeless children. He donated money before his death to help those in need. We need more people like them, and Elizabeth did not get the credit she deserves. She did so many things for people and animals. She made me smile and made me think in a different way, and I love her for that. God bless her! Thank you, Lizzie, you make us proud. And you're so sadly missed by all. My favorite saying she did was, "Oh, my stars!" and she was my star and is one in the Cosmos forever.

 

In My Heart and My Living Room
by Kathy 

Where do I begin? Ever since I was 7yrs old Elizabeth has been in my heart and my living room. She has given me so much over the years--I feel as though she's just as much a part of my life as she was to her own family. I admire her and am so grateful for what she and Bewitched did for me. I'm 46 yrs old now and I will watch and admire her until my last days. Thank you so much Lizzie for being my friend and making my life so happy. Even tho' you are gone you will always be loved by me.

 

Endora Was Right!
by Adam B

Has anyone ever noticed what a very female world "Bewitched" is? Unlike its rip-off/counterpart "I Dream of Jeannie", which is dominated by male bonding and is framed by an ultra-masculine portion of the already hierarchically male military, the space program, "Bewitched" is teeming with feminine interactions and a distinctly female sensibility. If you don't believe me, check it out yourself on the "TV Land" cable channel: they've brought my favorite show back at 9:30 weeknights, and not a moment too soon. The strongest, most complex relationship on the show is between mother and daughter. Samantha's position - caught between two worlds - is played out in her relationship with Endora. It's a genuine conflict: she accepts mortal life and marriage but she most definitely does not give up her magical heritage. She's a witch, and says so, if not always proudly then matter-of-factly. The downside to giving Samantha this conflict, essentially a dramatic rather than a comic one, is that Elizabeth Montgomery, ostensibly the show's star, often seems like she's on the sidelines. True, she's the focal point of the Endora-Darrin conflict, defending her mother to Darrin as much as she defends Darrin to her mother, but there's often a feeling that she doesn't get the juicy comedy material to play. She runs the risk, especially in some of the later episodes, of being the straight woman rather than the comedienne, of seeming like something of a guest at her own party rather than the center of attention. Mary Tyler Moore encountered the same problem as her show progressed, although in her case it was more a matter of the gaggle of supporting players stealing the spotlight rather than something so central to the show's premise. Of course, both Montgomery and Moore were savvy enough to play to the considerable strengths of their ensembles. The calculated outrageousness of Paul Lynde's Uncle Arthur or Bernard Fox's Dr. Bombay make an interesting counterpoint to the appealing thick-headedness of Ted Knight's Ted Baxter and Betty White's horny yet sugary-sweet Sue Ann Nivens. In addition, Samantha's mediator role - one that many females take on in family relationships - played off a significant strength of Montgomery's as an actress. She's a great listener and an excellent re-actor. This skill, as well as her concentration, make even her most unbelievable conversations believable, whether she's talking to a leprechaun, a horse, a husband-changed-into-a-goat, her child or a dopey client. She certainly listens to her mother (though she may not like what Endora has to say). Of course, with Agnes Moorehead, who could find the acid in a bowl of syrup, that's not difficult. In fact, it looks like a pleasure for an actress. It's significant that Montgomery and Moorehead are two of only three principal actors who played the same role for all eight seasons. David White's Larry Tate, a caricature of a stereotype, was the third, keeping the same face with the same character for the show's entire duration. There were not only two Gladys Kravitzes - the dementedly funny Alice Pearce and the serviceable Sandra Gould - but also two Louise Tates, the sharply snotty Irene Vernon and the warmer but less secure Kasey Rogers. The dual-ing Darrins have, of course, become famed in song and story, although what has gotten lost in the comparisons of Dick York with Dick Sargent is how little the switch affected the show's innate structure. What, after all, is "Bewitched" about? On one level it's simply light fantasy like its cinematic forebear, René Clair's I Married A Witch. On another, it's a reworking of classic sitcom themes, à la "I Love Lucy": straight-laced husband endeavors, in vain, to keep wacky wife from perpetrating mischief. (Sitcom creators have continued to mine this vein as recently as "Dharma & Greg".) On a sociological level, "Bewitched" is clearly a parable for feminism. A strong, confident, capable woman with enormous powers is literally roped into domestication. Her husband, under the guise of protecting their marriage and maintaining his own status, forbids her from using those powers. How many women still feel straightjacketed by their mates' narrow view of their proper roles? Friedan's Feminine Mystique was published three years before "Bewitched" premiered in 1964, and women's liberation blossomed into a potent force during its run - with nary an on-screen mention. It wasn't necessary, and indeed would have made the tensions on the show unbearable: the battle was being played out already, week after week. On another level, the mother-in-law's constant disapproval of her mortal son-in-law can be seen as an allegory of snobbery. Substitute "blue-collar" for "mortal" and "old money" for "witchcraft" in the 80% of scripts with Endora disparaging Darrin and the shows would play almost exactly the same. Endora often refers to a high-flying high life that Samantha has given up for marriage, including rubbing elbows with European nobility, landed gentry and the literati. For the rootless, classless American, these still hold nearly as much magic as the incantations uttered by the various witches and warlocks. But the spell still isn't quite complete. What explains the show's continuing popularity? I believe one reason is that it expresses a number of female fantasies. In contrast, "Jeannie" not only took place in a masculine world, it also expressed a potent male fantasy: capturing and subjugating a beautiful woman, one who could be reduced to the size of a Barbie doll and bottled up when she was naughty or inconvenient. The fact that Jeannie's owner/master refused to take advantage of the sexual possibilities inherent in the situation, and that Jeannie herself seemed more sexually aware than Tony (her frequent jealousy of the few fly-by-night dates he went on with other women) served only to titillate viewers, especially male viewers. ("If I had a beautiful blonde genie who called me 'master,' I can think of a few things I'd be wishing for," must have been a refrain in, oh, tens of thousands of horny male teenagers' heads during the late 1960s). More overt acting out of the sexual situation, however, besides putting Jeannie outside the bounds of 1960s TV "morals," would also have destroyed the premise of the show. As with "Bewitched" and feminism, it would have made too obvious what was more powerful on an unspoken level. The show declined even further in comic quality when Tony and Jeannie got married, since much of the illicit thrill of having a female genie, i.e. a sexual relationship outside the prescribed bounds of marriage, was the requirement that her very existence remain a secret. This is, again, the masculine fantasy of "owning" a desirable, available woman that no one else - except the ineffectual best friend - can know about, much less get access to. Of course, this fantasy has its price. Tony's frequent hysteria that Col. Bellows, the Air Force and NASA will discover Jeannie's existence and true identity is an expression not only of his concerns about his career but of his losing "ownership" of this woman. Marriage, which made public this private relationship, made his hysteria even more hollow than it was before. "Bewitched," in contrast, detailed the price that women paid (suburban slavery for a husband, home and family) but also a fantasy that made that price bearable. "Bewitched" allowed a housewife to have the faults she knows are present in her husband to be magnified for her inspection - all without her conscious action. Endora's malevolent spells - making Darrin's ears grow when he lied, giving him total recall that turned him into a self-absorbed boor/bore, emphasizing his narcissism, stinginess, snobbery, laziness - ironically served as the secret wish fulfillment of countless wives. Superego Samantha was then given the privilege of correcting those faults - another wish-fulfillment situation for the average woman, who would have liked curing her husband's ills, from which she often suffered more than he, to be as simple as twitching her nose. If Samantha's rather unconscious support of Darrin through all these expressions of his mortalness starts to wear on viewers - she often comes off as a Goody Two-Shoes, albeit with an increasingly sardonic wit as the series progressed - remember that she only represents the light side of her personality. Her cousin Serena - pouty, sexually aggressive, whiny, flighty and vain - is literally Samantha's darker, brattier side, an expression of the selfish side of Samantha's ego. What Serena wants, she goes after. Actually, she's a rather ballsy woman, while Samantha is what you might call aggressively feminine. Her psycho-sexual implications aside, Serena is really the best of the evil twins on TV, and the most believable (funny that a fantasy witch should be a believable character, but there it is). The black wig, the beauty mark, the pale makeup and the hilariously mod clothing all help, but it's really Montgomery's acting skill that creates the illusion of two separate characters. Even with the clumsy split-screen technology of 1960s TV, Montgomery as Serena sounds, moves and behaves so differently than Samantha, some people actually forget that it's one actress playing both parts. Patty Duke, who also played "identical cousins" in her early 60s sitcom, did what she could to separate the two characters, with what she called, in her autobiography Call Me Anna, a vaguely European accent for Cathy, the refined (non-American) cousin. She apparently wanted to take the separation even further, she wrote, but was held back by the time demands of appearing in a weekly series and the producers' fear that an actual Scottish accent would be difficult for the audience to understand. By the way, William Asher, the main director/producer of "Bewitched" and Montgomery's husband in real life during "Bewitched"'s run, also worked on "The Patty Duke Show" in its early years. I guess he had a thing for identical cousins. Maybe Sidney Sheldon, who actually created Duke's show as well as "I Dream of Jeannie" did as well, but Barbara Eden never made anyone with an I.Q. higher than Roger Healey's believe that Jeannie's dark-haired sister was anything but, well, Barbara Eden in a dark wig speaking in a baritone voice. It didn't help that the evil sister was also named Jeannie - parents in old Persia apparently didn't have too much imagination. With Endora a vengeful, clever id, Serena a sexually precocious ego and Samantha a smart, sane but subdued superego, we have represented the elements of a distinctly feminine personality. We even have Aunt Clara representing Samantha's dream state - in some ways the true heritage of her subconscious. In Marion Lorne's inspired playing, Aunt Clara's jumbled phrases, missed connections and half-remembered incantations are the clearest expression that Darrin will remain forever frustrated in his attempts to turn Samantha into a "normal" wife and mother. In fact, the real reason the show declined somewhat in quality in its later years had little to do with Dick Sargent's replacement of Dick York - he brought some sardonic wit of his own and played down the hysteria, which helped as the show progressed (after all, how surprised could he be the 50th time Endora popped in unannounced at breakfast? Both Darrins may have been boobs, but they weren't idiots.) What really hurt was that Marion Lorne's passing eliminated Aunt Clara as a character. Alice Ghostley, wonderful as she was as Esmeralda, lacked both a blood connection to Samantha and a sort of goofy pride in her own wackiness, and her own witchiness, that Lorne brought to Clara.

Faced with this powerful coven of females, it's no wonder Derwood, er, Darrin often feels at a loss. The force of femalehood, its mystery, power and terror, is too strong for this frustrated Madison Avenue man to master. But it's precisely the tensions inherent in his attempts to do so that makes "Bewitched" so strong and so compelling.

 

Family
by SamTabby 

To me, Darrin and Samantha Stephens will always be my second parents. They were always there, no matter what was going on. I don't remember much about life before I found Bewitched, and I'd like to keep it that way. I'm always finding new reasons to love the show and its cast. But the only reason that will remain in my mind is this: Darrin and Samantha, Larry and Louise, Mr. and Mrs. Kravitz, Tabitha, Adam, Endora, Serena, Maurice, Aunt Clara, and all the others we've come to love will always be my family. The family I got to pick.

 

The Supreme Chef
by Peter F 

Of all the many shows that I have seen on television, there is none to compare with Bewitched.It is still a classic and will stand the test of time. One cannot fault any of the actors performances. They all blended together, like the ingredients that go into making a superb meal.And the supreme chef, Elizabeth, made the series loved throughout this troubled planet.The likes of Elizabeth come along only once in a lifetime.Elizabeth is still with us. She lives on in our heart and soul.I believe that she is so happy knowing that so many people love her.Thank you Elizabeth for being you. We miss you but you will always be a very important part of us.We will keep your name alive.

With every best wish to all Sam's friends.

 

Television: A Mirror Image of the Modern Woman
by Vince N 

If art reflects life, certain television situation comedies stand as mirror images of the progress of the American women's movement. A close look reveals many parallels between the image of women on television and their changing roles in society. Take Lucille Ball. Her show, I Love Lucy, which originally aired on CBS from October 15, 1951 through June 24, 1957, is an example of how television reflected the position of women in post-WWII America. While June Cleaver (Leave It to Beaver) and Alice Mitchell (Dennis the Menace) seemed resigned to their roles in their home, and reflected only one side of a multi-sided coin, Lucy Ricardo reflected a decidedly different one: the I'll-stay-at-home-but-I-won't-like-it side. The second world war gave American women a hint at life in the workforce: American men were in the trenches while back home women did their share on the assembly lines. When the war ended, former soldiers returned to the workplace, and women were forced back into the confines of the home. This short-lived work experience left many women dissatisfied. Who on television best represented this frustration and dissatisfaction, and in an amusing way? Lucy. On one hand, she is a typical 50s housewife and mother who depends on her husband, Ricky, for the necessities of life. She dutifully keeps home spotless, baby diapered, and husband in clean shirts. However, both Lucy's dissatisfaction with her domestic role, and her need to rise above it, constantly manifest themselves in amusing ways. Convinced that Ricky's desire for a typical American housewife is holding back her own budding career, Lucy tries her best to become the toast of New York, Hollywood, and Europe. However, she rebels against her position in the home in such a comedic way viewers rarely think of Lucy as a pre-feminist feminist but as a clown and one of the funniest clowns television has ever seen. As the 1950s ended and I Love Lucy took its permanent place in syndication, other television women, even more fantastic and unbelievable, took center stage in the 1960s. There were genies in the form of Jeannie (I Dream of Jeannie), vampires such as Lily Munster (The Munsters) and witches like Samantha Stephens (Bewitched). At a time when real women re-evaluated their worth and positions in the home, their television counterparts personified this identity search in a most offbeat, supernatural way. Samantha Stephens is television's most memorable immortal in Bewitched, which originally aired on ABC from September 17, 1964 through July 1, 1972. Like many middle class housewives, Samantha tries to follow her husband Darrin's wishes and live up to her marital vows to with a twist, "love, honor, and obey" changed into "love, honor, and no witchcraft." But when her witchy relatives make trouble, Samantha is forced to use her powers to rectify the situation. The housewife of the 50s was no more. The 60s woman gained power in the home, and Samantha's witchcraft reinforces this point. This pretty witch is an appealing character for women who can appreciate the drudgery of her chosen daily mortal toil. However, her role as homemaker is exaggerated and complicated by witchcraft and unlike Lucy, Samantha is not jealous of her husband's success. She leaves the rat race to Darrin, content with her role as housewife and mother and secure in the knowledge that, as a witch, she has unlimited power in her home and outside in her "real world." Samantha seems an obvious metaphor for the rising collective American women's consciousness of the 60s. Yet she is subtle in the use of her powers, possibly sending a message to women that they, too, can have it all. They can be themselves and still remain partnered with husbands who love them enough to accept them. As Samantha herself says, "What's a wife for if she can't inspire her husband with occasional witchly wifecraft?" As the turbulent, unpredictable 60s-when women redefined their identities-became the 70s, the modern American woman emerged. She was competent, intelligent, self-reliant and secure. She was Mary Richards of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, originally on CBS from September 19, 1970 through September 8, 1977. Mary was the girl next door, yet liberated and independent of the spouses most 50s and 60s television women needed. It is also important to note that this 1970s character, unlike the 50s Lucy or 60s Samantha, is based in reality. She is fictional, but believable. Mary proves that women can make it on their own, surrounded by friends, family, and co-workers, but not necessarily husband and children. Mary doesn't need a ring on her finger to give her an identity. She creates her own identity, and it's one of the most soft-spoken and charming portrayals of the 70s woman the sit-com world has to offer. This trend continued with the situation comedies of the 1980s. The real world finally acknowledged that there are many vibrant, active women over 50 making a difference and television reflected this with The Golden Girls, a phenomenally successful show. Working mothers with a realistic, and somewhat caustic, view of the world gained prominence on television in the form of Roseanne. Other shows, such as Designing Women and Murphy Brown, also remind viewers that women are as independent and empowered as the men for which their mothers used to cook and clean. This trend continues, but takes an interesting turn in the 1990s. Shows like Sabrina, the Teenage Witch and Buffy, the Vampire Slayer point out that not only are women more empowered than ever before, but so are girls. Teenage girls have not been given so much obvious power since a young Debra Winger donned a Junior Miss version of the Wonder Woman costume and helped her sister fight crime as Wonder Girl. The idea of women, even young women, solving their own problems and helping their friends and families along the way is a 1990s' message. To a degree it is also a case of young people growing up faster and being forced to deal with tougher issues earlier in life, such as drug addiction, alcoholism, sex, peer pressure, etc….Never before have viewers been so aware of the progress of the women's movement. Proof of this is that, as in previous decades, the roles of women on television have changed to mirror the real world. There are no more zany housewives, but there are plenty of executives, reporters, doctors, lawyers, judges and every other position representative of contemporary working women. Like Lucy, Samantha, and Mary, newer characters, like Sabrina and Buffy, have already achieved a place in America's consciousness, and are assisting in their own ways to blaze a trail for the next generation of American women.

All of the above mentioned characters, in their respective decades, define the various stages of progress real women have made in society. Try switching their decades around. Would Mary Richards survive in the 50s? Would Lucy Ricardo succeed in the 60s? Can Samantha Stephens be considered representative of the 70s female? Could Sabrina Spellman exist as effectively in the 80s? Is Jeannie sending 90s women a message? No. Their characters reflect specific periods in American history and the attitudes formed in the real world during those times.

 

A Perfect American Couple
by Rob P

What can you say about Bewitched and Elizabeth Montgomery that hasn't already been said. I'm so glad Channel 4 here in the UK has decided to run the series from the first episode (I'd never actually got to see these first episodes). I remember rushing home from school in the sixties to watch each episode! Something about this beautiful lady just captivates you. If ever there was a "perfect American couple" made for TV, then here they were! After watching countless episodes over the years, I think that their "love" came across really strong (and isn't that what life/marriage should be about folks?) I bet there isn't one Bewitched fan who after watching any episode does not have a great sense of "warmth" from Samantha and Darrin! For each half hour you're suddenly captivated with good fun, clean humour, and a bit of magic for good measure. And we all like magic, don't we?

What Elizabeth Montgomery had I don't know, but she certainly worked her magic over me! Her acting and portrayal of Samantha certainly was "one of a kind." But let's not forget her husband Darrin (Dick York has my preference, I'm afraid) because without him, maybe the show would not have proved so good, who knows? I'm 45 now and for around three quarters of my life, have been watching this "magic" little TV show. Yes, we know it was only a programme, but what the heck, I can relate to all the characters and for half an hour, simply forget about the rest of life's problems and come out of it feeling great....and that's not a bad thing, is it?

 

1972 - The End
by Tom M

I wanted to share my thoughts about the last year of Bewitched. I was 10 years old, and at that time, I thought the 1971-72 episodes were "the coolest," mainly because they were so new! As a kid then, black and white reruns were "old and icky," and anything color with new clothes and cars, etc. was preferred. Of course, as an adult, I see that there were too many lame remake episodes that year, and obviously Liz Montgomery was bored. Then, there were 26 shows a season, all filmed in a row, so quality suffered. These days, every other week there is a rerun!

But, I think the #1 cause of "The Decline of Bewitched" is time itself. By 1972, all the 1960s style sitcoms were either dead or dying. CBS killed all the "Hillbilly" shows in 1971, and All in the Family was up against Bewitched most of 1972. A case of "old vs. new," and it was time to go. A vivid memory is my parents ordering me to change the channel to All in the Family and I couldn't watch a "new" Bewitched.

 

Bewitched by Elizabeth
by Becky J

In all of my life there never has, and probably never will be, someone who has captured me quite like Elizabeth. She had everything, charm, grace, intelligence, beauty. However, not having met her, she is the kind of person you long to meet, but if you didn't, it still seems as if you did. Many people who have met her say that she made you feel special, whether or not she really did like you anyhow. She had a flare that only she and her personality could bring, and even in the worst of times that flare would shine through.Bewitched was a great success, and I can't really imagine anyone else in the role of Samantha. Being as obsessed as I am, I have learned how to make getting up at 2:30 in the morning just to watch Bewitched a natural part of my lifestyle, and even though I might be tired out of my mind in the morning, I say to myself, "It was worth it." Like many Bewitched people, I often fantasized about having met Miss Montgomery, and as far as I'm concerned I don't care if it sounds childish, or foolish, it's just one of those daydreams you always get, but can't control. Once you really think about it, it sounds more and more, well, cool.Bewitched wasn't one of those two-season crap shows, it was a masterpiece. Eight wonderfully composed, directed, acted, and thought out seasons ever. Two hundred fifty-four touching episodes that bring out the meaning in true love. But there is only one Elizabeth. I think many people feel the same way. It was one of those shows that can't be recreated, redone, or made into a spin-off movie. Nobody can ever replace Liz. She was all any man ever wanted, and although she had four husbands, only two really ever had a chance. I won't ever believe she has died, for she is still here, in everyone's heart, and always will be.

Many say I look like her, I think I act like her too, but that's just because I admire her. She's my role model, and again, always will be. Although she was one of the most beautiful people in the world, she was still the "funny girl" inside. I don't really think she knew how talented she was. I also don't think she realized how much she was loved until Herbie J Pilato talked to her for his book. He did justice to her, and Bewitched, and we all are thankful for his efforts. Elizabeth and Bill brought together some of the most talented people, and mashed them all up into something we love to call, Bewitched.

 

Elizabeth Montgomery Is...
by Docshu

...where to start. You can begin with the obvious.She is by far one of the most beautiful people to grace the screen with her presence. But there are so many people that also retain an aesthetically pleasing appearance, yet lack any further substance. We may enjoy looking at them and even admire their work but beyond that we don't give it a second thought. Elizabeth Montgomery is one of those rare individuals that despite her breath taking beauty, that's not even her defining characteristic. Her beauty is transcended by the person she was, the charisma she exuded from the screen, and the personality that was hers. Her legions of fans that spread across generations are a testament to this. I'm sure the women, who most likely outnumber their male counterparts, can appreciate her beauty, but I would doubt that this is what inspires them to follow the life of Elizabeth Montgomery. Instead, I believe it's what was aforementioned above. The special quality that only Elizabeth had that kept people awestruck whenever they were in her presence, and not in the literal sense, of course, but as simple as seeing her on the screen. The same goes for the males, at least this one.I am taken aback by her remarkable looks, but that doesn't make me tape every episode of Bewitched that has aired in the past months. Instead, it is her captivating ability to literally take the breath out of me and slap a childish grin on my face that keeps me tuning in. Now, of course, I've never met her and never will. I will only know her by her "roles" in a world that doesn't exist, and this is often a criticism of people I know who inquire as to why I have become so involved in a woman's life that I do not know. It is often frivolous to explain it to them because they haven't seen what I have. Despite knowing Elizabeth only through her acting, I believe that I have seen past the performance and actually seen a real side of her. It often lies in just a look that was perfect for the scene that she was in, but somehow you know that it was genuine, just as she was. Despite her being a great a actress, and even in roles where she has had to play somewhat of a bitch, she still exudes that aura that lets you know that she was a unique and special individual. She has a charm and a presence like no other. I cannot explain this element that she possesses, I can only describe what it does to a cynical pessimist such as myself.

A show such as Bewitched would probably never appeal to me but I know, that regardless of what kind of a day I've had, or what has transpired in my life, if I turn on that half hour of television, I will end up having a smile on my face and a chill down my spine. That is what she brings to my life. One of her friends, I believe it was her agent, said that if you knew her, the world was just a safer place and that really resonated with me. Like I said I don't know her, at least in a personal sense, but I know she will always have the ability to take me away from whatever it is that has me down, and at least for that short time, I can know that the world is maybe not a safer place, but it is by far a better place for her having been in it...

 

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