This supernatural-themed sitcom rose to popularity from its very first episode which aired in the year 1964. The reason for it being a top television show was a very interesting storyline with a witch vowing to lead a normal life of a suburban housewife. Characters of Samantha, Darrin, Endora, and other Bewitched tv show cast carved a special place in the hearts of the viewers. Let’s see some of the interesting and rare facts related to the cast and crew of the show.
Montgomery played multiple roles
It’s an amazing fact that the woman who got famous for playing the lead character in the show Bewitched, Elizabeth Montgomery apparently had also played another character in the show that of Serena who was Samantha’s cousin. She was so good at it that many of the staff members were not able to recognize her in Serena’s wig. It was because of this that the makers creatively credited the role of Serena to ” Pandora Spocks”, playing with “Pandora’s Box”.
Wiggles Part Camera Magic
One of the most popular parts of the show was the wiggling nose of Samantha. But, contrary to popular belief at that time the wiggle was just a trick of the camera, as Samantha would just move her upper lip and the cameramen would enhance the twitch which she had in real life. In fact, she was cast before the crew came up with the idea of the wiggling nose.
A Pretty Kooky Collection
The woman who played the role of Aunt Clara in Bewitched, amazing actress Marion Lorne had an obsession with doorknobs. A big proof of this fact is that she had a collection of more than 1000 unique door knobs. I hope she was not carrying a doorknob bag with her. She even used these doorknobs in the show as props while playing the role of an old lady who struggled to remember things. Unfortunately, it was in the year 1968 that this actress took her last breath.
Finale To Forget
The final episode of the show named, “The Truth, Nothing but the Truth, So Help Me Sam,” was not as exciting and thrilling as a conventional final episode is. People were not very happy just to see Endora casting a spell, leading everyone to tell the truth and eventually Darrin and Samantha confessing their love towards each other.
The Nosy Neighbor’s Secret
Even the cast and crew of the show were unaware of the fact that their very own nosy neighbor Gladys, a character played by Alice Pearce was suffering from ovarian cancer before she even appeared on the show in the year 1964. She worked on the show for a period of two years from 1964 to 1966 and her role as Alice saw her being awarded in the Emmy Award category of Best Supporting Actress.
Darren’s Back Injury
The back injury that Dick York sustained in the year 1959 while he was shooting for the film “They Came To Cordura,” proved to be very unfortunate for both Dick and the makers of the show. As due to Dick’s constant illness the show had to deal with many delays and had to witness a significant drop in TV ratings when they decided to cast Dick Sargent in place of York.
Repeating And “borrowing”
The makers of the show resorted to copying the previous episodes they had made in order to save their show from the steep decline in popularity after York’s departure. The producer of the show William Asher didn’t hold back in copying some of the episodes like “Samantha’s Power Failure” from the sitcom named “I Love Lucy” which he directed.
Three Sets Of Twins Played Tabitha!
It seemed that the producers were obsessed with casting twins. The fact that they used 3 sets of twins to play the role of the daughter of Samantha and Darrin named Tabitha is proof of it. Actually, they had made the changes consecutively from season 1 to season 3. Finally, they stuck with the twins that played the character in the third season of Bewitched.
“Long Live the Queen”
It was very surprising and equally inspiring when Samantha was made the Queen after the former one was abdicated. Though Samantha was someone who lived in an unconventional way, the fact that she had firm belief and confidence in herself saw her becoming the Queen. She managed to become a Queen against the odds of Darrin’s unwillingness and Sam’s doubt that she wouldn’t be able to manage her life as a Queen.
Older Than Sliced Bread
People still speculate about the true age of the character of witch Endora. If one believes in some of the instances in the show, which gives an idea about her age, then it leads to a seriously astonishing result. For eg- Endora once remarked in the show that she had dated “Otzie the ice man”, which states that she is 5,500 years old as the iceman prevailed around 3500 BC.
The Bewitched “Curse”
It is a very strange fact and believed by many as the “Bewitched curse” that 85% of the cast of her show died of cancer. Elizabeth Montgomery also met with a similar fate as she died on June 18, 1995, and aged 62 at that time. She decided to spend her last days alongside her husband at their home rather than dying in a hospital.
Case Of Two Darrins
As told earlier the show had to suffer from severe loss of popularity after they were forced to cast Dick Sargent for the role of Darrin in place of Dick York because of York’s illness. Many people named this switch as “The Darrin Syndrome”.
The Theme Song Has Lyrics!
Few people know that the widely popular theme song of the show written by Howard Greenfield and Jack Keller actually had lyrics. People are unaware of the fact because it was the instrumental version which was played at the starting of the show which was actually very famous among the fans.
Not The Only Switched-Out Character
The popular character of Gladys Kravitz portrayed as an extremely dramatic and nosy woman was also played by two actresses. Firstly, it was Alice Pearce who even won an Emmy for playing the role and then it was Sandra Gould who was handed over the opportunity to play the character of Gladys.
Set Was A Hand-Me-Down
It seems that the makers of the show were not very resourceful and creative when it came to selecting a location for shooting the show. The fact that the set of the movie “Gidget” released in the year 1959 was used for it proves it. People who had watched the show keenly would have also realized this fact after seeing the same house appear in both movie and the show.
Samantha’s original name was Cassandra!
Initially, the producers had approached British actress Tammy Grimes to play the role of Cassandra, don’t get confused as Cassandra was the original name of the character of Smanatha. But, it seemed that Tammy’s decision of refusing to play the part ended up as a big mistake as her show The Tammy Grimes Show, for which she had refused the offer turned out to be a flop.
Seizure On The Set
It was when Dick York, the man who played the character of Darrin had a seizure amidst the shooting of the show, that he decided to never appear on the show again. The actor died aged 63 in the year 1992 the reason being his complications with emphysema. It was when York left the show that the producers decided to cast Dick Sargent in place of him.
Sargent Made A Bold Move
Sadly, Dick Sargent, the man who landed up the role of Darrin after York died in the year 1994 aged 64. But, it was in the year 1991 that one could constantly see him on television and be making headlines in top newspapers when he declared publicly that he was a gay and went on to be a very vocal personality advocating gay rights. When Montgomery came to know about the sad demise of Sargent she said, “He was a great friend, and I will miss his love, his sense of humor and his remarkable courage.”
The Kravtiz’s Shared Their House
Not only, Stephen’s house was used in another tv shows but, it was their neighbors that is the Kravitz’s who also shared their house with other tv show. Actually, it was for the period of 1964 to 1966 that the house was used by both Kravitz’s and by the cast of The Donna Reed Show. It was surely a go-to house.
Had A Rival Show
Seeing the popularity of the show Bewitched the first episode of which aired in the year 1964, Sidney Sheldon created a show named I Dream in the year 1965 in order to compete with Bewitched. He even aired it on the rival network, NBC. But, the show was not able to reach the fame and popularity that the show Bewitched acclaimed. The major reason being that the basic storyline of the show I Dream was a copy of Bewitched.
Lovable Recurring Characters
Apart from the lead characters, people truly enjoyed the appearance of recurring characters in the show. These characters were played by some wonderful actors like Paul Lynde who played the role of Samantha’s uncle for 10 episodes, Bernard Fox as Dr. Bombaby and Mabel Albertson as Phyllis Stephens.
Richard Dreyfuss’ First Role
Not many are aware of the fact that actor Richard Dreyfuss who is famous for appearing in the films like Jaws, Stand By Me and The Goodbye Girl got his first break into the television industry from the show Bewitched in which he played the role of Rodney, who was a warlock babysitter by Samantha.
Tired Of Being A Witch
Elizabeth Montgomery was the only actor who appeared in all the episodes from season 1 to season 5. During the tenure of these seasons, she became a mother of 3 kids and naturally was fatigued and bored by playing the same character day in day out for a period of 5 seasons and wanted to leave the show. So the producers decided to offer a hefty amount of fees to Elizabeth in order to stop her from leaving the show.
Spinoff About Tabitha
The idea of making a spinoff of the show, named Tabitha which portrayed the grown-up character of Tabitha Stephens didn’t end up being very fruitful as it was not able to gather audiences. Moreover, the show which was aired on ABC also did not have the original Tabitha, Erin Murphy playing the character.
Secretary Played By Many
Apart from the major roles of Darrin and Gladys, there was the part of Darrin’s secretary which was also played by numerous actresses. Marcia Wallace and Jill Foster played the character of Betty. Since Betty was a minor the producers assumed that the viewers would not be able to tell the difference.
Not afraid to be different
The character of Samantha is the female lead of the show. Her character was portrayed as someone who was unique in the way it did things and was not afraid to bear the brunt of the hardships she had to face because of this. It was hilarious to witness Samantha’s mother Endora never pronouncing Darrin’s name correctly in the show.
Almost being Darrin
It’s an astonishing fact that Sargent was not the first person to be approached by the makers to play the character of Darrin in the show. Actually, it was actor Richard Crenna who was initially offered the role, but he declined it at that time.
The reason for Richard declining the offer was that he was coming after a appearing on the show “The Real McCoys” and was not in a mood to indulge in another tiring and long show. So eventually, it was our very own Dick Sargent who played the role of Darrin in the show as he was the runner-up.
The most amazing and commendable job of the producers of the show was to incorporate Elizabeth’s real pregnancies into the storyline of the show. So, the writers dealt with the three pregnancy news of Elizabeth during the tenure of the show in a very smooth and cool manner without letting the audience know about it.
York’s Big Role
Dick York was a very popular actor of his time. But, if you are thinking that it was because of him portraying the role of Darrin, then you are wrong as even before appearing the show he had made a name for himself in the industry after mesmerizing audiences with his performance in the film “Inherit the Wind“.