I remember rushing home from school as a child and watching re-runs of Bewitched on the TV. I absolutely adored it, along with I Dream of Jeannie. Here are some facts about Bewitched that you might not know:
- We’ve all tried to twitch our noses like Samantha, right? The trick to doing it was that Elizabeth Montgomery didn’t actually try to wriggle her nose, she twitched her top lip which moved her nose.
- The original Darrin, Dick York (pictured above) was replaced by Dick Sargent (below) because of his recurring back problems. When the new actor joined the ratings dropped significantly. I only ever saw episodes with the original Darrin I think…
- There is a statue of Samantha in Lappin Park (Salem, Mass) which was erected June 15, 2005 You can see the statue and the unveiling here. What do you think? Does it do her justice?
- In the late 1970s there was a spin-off series called Tabitha, based around the grown-up life of Samantha and Darrin’s daughter. The series wasn’t a success. Many fans were disappointed that they didn’t use the original actress in the role, despite the fact that she would have been too young at the time.
- In 2002,Bewitched was ranked #50 on “TV Guide’s 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time“, it was also the longest-running supernatural-themed sitcom of the 1960s–1970s and was way more successful than rival shows ‘I Dream of Jeannie’ and ‘The Adams Family.
- A couple of the storylines from Bewitched were stolen directly from I Love Lucy*: one of which was the chocolate assembly line episode ‘Samantha’s Power Failure‘ which was copied from “Job Switching“.
*or would they argue that it was an homage to I Love Lucy…?
- Montgomery was pregnant three times during the filming of the series. The first time they covered up this fact by doing mostly close-ups and head-and-shoulder shots, but the second and third time the pregnancies were written into the script.
- When they were casting the role of Tabitha, both Helen Hunt and Jodie Foster were considered. I’m not sure though whether this was for the role of Tabitha in Bewitched or in the spin-off seriesTabitha…
- The set of the Stephen’s house was re-used in lots of different TV shows, including as Doctor Bellow’s house in I Dream of Jeannie, the 1969 Jerry Lewis movie Hook, Line & Sinker and in a Fruit of the Loom Christmas ad.
- On 4 April 1968 the transmission of Bewitched (the episode “I Confess”), was interrupted to announce the assassination of Martin Luther King
Above: Main cast photo from the premiere of the television progam Bewitched. At top is Agnes Moorehead as Endora, the mother of Samantha Stephens. Left is Dick York as Darrin Stephens, and right is Elizabeth Montgomery as his wife, Samantha.
This was fun. Agnes Moorehead was actually a real actress, so much more talented than this role allowed. Elizabeth Montgomery was also very good. She starred in a tv movie as Lizzie Border–the creepiest thing I’ve ever seen! In one scene, Lizzie murders her stepmother in an upstairs bedroom (yes, in this version she is the murderess). She descends to the first floor, pauses on the stairs, and looks into the room–under the twin beds, on the floor on the far side of the room, is the mutilated body of her stepmother. And Lizzie smiles and gives a little laugh.
Agnes Moorhead was such a magnificent actress. One of the few who could steal a scene from Humphrey Bogart.