When Bewitched first aired back in 1964, we bet no one involved in the popular TV show thought it would still have fans today. I mean, who doesn’t recognize Samantha’s signature twitchy nose? Due to the fact that the show is still popular today, NBC is planning to make a remake and we definitely want to see it happen. Today, we wanted to take a trip down memory lane and tell you about some pretty interesting facts you probably didn’t know about the cast of Bewitched and the show itself.
Elizabeth Montgomery, the actress who played Samantha never really wiggled her nose. It was actually a camera trick, according to the actress Erin Murphy, who played her on-screen daughter Tabitha.
Samantha’s husband Darrin was played by more than one person. Something like this happened on TV shows before, but never without an explanation. However, producers decided to replace Dick York with Dick Sargent without any warning or explanation, because of York’s chronic back pain. The act of replacing actors without an explanation became known as “The Darrin Syndrome.”
Elizabeth Montgomery was pregnant three times, and two pregnancies happened during the filming of the show! Thankfully, producers managed to write these pregnancies into the script, adding Adam and Tabitha to the family.
In case you forgot, Alice Pearce was a part of the world of Bewitched until her passing in March of 1966. She never told any of her coworkers that she had ovarian cancer that was terminal.
Believe it or not, supporting actors provided their own wardrobes back in the day, according to Kasey Rogers, who played Louise. Apparently, they would bring their own clothes a week before filming, and then the wardrobe department would clean and press the costumes.
Remember that special brooch Agnes Moorehead always wore on the show? Apparently, it was set with 8.5 carat diamonds and she decided to give it to her on-screen daughter when she passed away in 1974.
Remember Aunt Clara’s obsession with doorknobs? Well, apparently the actress who played Clara, Marion Lorne, collected them in real life as well, which is what inspired writers to write this detail into the show. Marion had a collection of over 1,000 antique doorknobs.
When Larry and Louise got a son on Bewitched, the actor who played Larry, David White, asked the actors if he could be named Jonathan. Apparently, White had a son named Jonathan who he raised as a singer father.
Remember the Sisters at Heart Chrismas episode? Apparently, the basic script for it was created by 22 African-American 10th-grade students from Jefferson High School located in South Central Los Angeles. The episode was well received back then, but it is considered politically incorrect these days because multiple actors appear in blackface at one point.
Since CGI didn’t really exist back when they were filming this show, stagehands had to do a lot of work to produce Samantha’s “magic.” For example, when she wanted to quickly clean up the living room, Elizabeth Montgomery would stand and put her arms up while the director yelled, “Cut!” She would then had to keep her arms raised while stagehands removed the clutter and clean the room. She was allowed to lower her arms and continue the scene when the actor yelled, “Action!”
The popular theme song for Bewitched actually has lyrics, although they are never sung during the opening credits.
Cast members were often drinking real alcohol on set, and some scenes were actually filmed while they were drunk. Even the show’s producer, William Asher, often drank with the actors.
The house they used for the Bewitched set wasn’t really original. The same house was used for the 1959 film Gidget, while the facade of the home also appeared in different series like I Dream of Jeannine and Dennis the Menace.
The role of Stephen’s daughter Tabitha wasn’t played by one actress. That’s right, twins named Erin and Diane Murphy were cast to share the role of Tabitha. Erin was often used for close-up shots and speaking scenes, while her sister was primarily used in longer shots.
Almost the entire cast of Bewitched cast smoked heavily. Apparently, both Elizabeth Montgomery and Paul Lynde were chain smokers, while Dick York smoked three packs a day!
Some Bewitched fans believe there’s a real-life curse on the series, mainly because 85% of its cast died of cancer or complications caused by cancer. Maybe it had something to do with witchcraft, but it’s much more likely that it’s related to the unhealthy lifestyle the entire cast was leading.
If you noticed that Elizabeth Montgomery’s performance was a bit lackluster in the last three seasons, it probably has to do with the fact that she grew tired of Bewitched and wanted to leave the show. However, producers offered her a lot more money, so she decided to stay.
A few different women played Darrin’s secretary on the show, including Marcia Wallace, who later became famous for voicing teacher Edna Crabapple on The Simpsons.
Here’s a fun fact – Elizabeth’s real life daughter shares the same birthday with the twins who played her on-screen daughter Tabitha (June 17).
Sol Saks was inspired to create Bewitched after watching the films I Married A Witch, and Bell, Book and Candle. He said that he wasn’t really worried about any litigation, since both movies were produced by Columbia Pictures, which owned Screen Gems – the company that was behind Bewitched.
Remember how we mentioned that Dick York was replaced with Dick Sargent as Samantha’s husband Darrin? What we didn’t tell you is that the viewers weren’t really happy about the switch and ratings pretty much plummeted for the show’s final three years.