Elizabeth Montgomery

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Elizabeth Montgomery
BornElizabeth Victoria Montgomery
(1933-04-15)April 15, 1933
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
DiedMay 18, 1995(1995-05-18) (aged 62)
Beverly Hills, California, U.S.
Cause of deathColorectal cancer
OccupationActress
Years active1951–1995
Spouse(s)

Frederick Gallatin Cammann (m. 1954–1955) «start: (1954)–end+1: (1956)»"Marriage: Frederick Gallatin Cammann to Elizabeth Montgomery" Location: (linkback://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Montgomery) (divorced)
Gig Young (m. 1956–1963) «start: (1956)–end+1: (1964)»"Marriage: Gig Young to Elizabeth Montgomery" Location: (linkback://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Montgomery) (divorced)
William Asher (m. 1963–1973) «start: (1963)–end+1: (1974)»"Marriage: William Asher to Elizabeth Montgomery" Location: (linkback://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Montgomery) (divorced)

Robert Foxworth (m. 1993–1995) «start: (1993)–end+1: (1996)»"Marriage: Robert Foxworth to Elizabeth Montgomery" Location: (linkback://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Montgomery) (her death)
 
Jump to: navigation, search
Elizabeth Montgomery
BornElizabeth Victoria Montgomery
(1933-04-15)April 15, 1933
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
DiedMay 18, 1995(1995-05-18) (aged 62)
Beverly Hills, California, U.S.
Cause of deathColorectal cancer
OccupationActress
Years active1951–1995
Spouse(s)

Frederick Gallatin Cammann (m. 1954–1955) «start: (1954)–end+1: (1956)»"Marriage: Frederick Gallatin Cammann to Elizabeth Montgomery" Location: (linkback://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Montgomery) (divorced)
Gig Young (m. 1956–1963) «start: (1956)–end+1: (1964)»"Marriage: Gig Young to Elizabeth Montgomery" Location: (linkback://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Montgomery) (divorced)
William Asher (m. 1963–1973) «start: (1963)–end+1: (1974)»"Marriage: William Asher to Elizabeth Montgomery" Location: (linkback://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Montgomery) (divorced)

Robert Foxworth (m. 1993–1995) «start: (1993)–end+1: (1996)»"Marriage: Robert Foxworth to Elizabeth Montgomery" Location: (linkback://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Montgomery) (her death)

Elizabeth Victoria Montgomery (April 15, 1933 – May 18, 1995)[1] was an American film and television actress whose career spanned five decades, best known as Samantha Stephens in Bewitched. She also notably portrayed Ellen Harrod in A Case of Rape and Lizzie Borden in The Legend of Lizzie Borden.

Contents

Early life

Born in Los Angeles, California, Elizabeth Montgomery was the child of actor Robert Montgomery and his wife, Broadway actress Elizabeth Bryan (Allen).[2] She had an older sister, Martha Bryan Montgomery, who died as an infant (named after her aunt Martha-Bryan Allen) and a brother, Robert Montgomery, Jr. (1936 - 2000).[3] She attended Westlake School For Girls (now Harvard-Westlake School in Holmby Hills).[4] After graduating from The Spence School, she attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts for three years.[5]

Career

Early years

Montgomery made her television debut in her father's series Robert Montgomery Presents (later appearing on occasion as a member of his "summer stock" company of performers), and her film debut in 1955 in The Court Martial of Billy Mitchell.

Her early career consisted of starring vehicles and appearances in live television dramas and series, such as Studio One, Kraft Television Theater, Johnny Staccato, The Twilight Zone, The Eleventh Hour, Boris Karloff's Thriller and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. In 1960 Montgomery was nominated for an Emmy Award for her portrayal of southern prostitute Rusty Heller in an episode of The Untouchables, playing opposite David White who later portrayed Darrin's boss Larry Tate in Bewitched.[6]

She was featured in a role as a socialite who falls for a gangster (Henry Silva) in Johnny Cool. The same year, with Dean Martin and Carol Burnett, she appeared in the film comedy Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed?, directed by Daniel Mann. Alfred Hitchcock had her in mind to play the sister-in-law of Sean Connery, who sees herself as a rival to the troubled heroine in the movie Marnie, but Montgomery was unavailable.

Montgomery with Bewitched co-stars, Dick York and Agnes Moorehead.

Bewitched

Montgomery played the central role of lovable witch Samantha Stephens with Dick York (and later with Dick Sargent) as her husband in the ABC situation comedy Bewitched. Starting in the second season of the series, she also played the role of Samantha's increasingly mischievous, sexy cousin, Serena, under the pseudonym of Pandora Spocks.

The show became a rating success (it was, at the time, the highest rated series ever for the network[7]). It enjoyed an eight-year run from 1964 to 1972 and remains popular through syndication and DVD releases. The show had been renewed for a ninth season to run from 1972 to 1973. Montgomery, however, wished to move on and backed out.

In a parody of her Samantha Stephens role, she did a cameo appearance as a witch at the end of the beach party film How to Stuff a Wild Bikini (1965). This was directed by William Asher, her husband at the time. That same year she also provided the voice of Samantha for an episode of the animated series The Flintstones.

Montgomery received five Emmy[8] and four Golden Globe nominations for her role on Bewitched.[9]

After Bewitched

Montgomery returned to Samantha-like twitching of her nose and on-screen magic in a series of Japanese television commercials (1980–83) for "Mother" chocolate biscuits and cookies by confectionery conglomerate Lotte Corp. These Japanese commercials provided a substantial salary for Montgomery while she remained out of sight of non-Japanese fans and Hollywood industry.

In the United States, Montgomery spent much of her later career pursuing dramatic roles that took her as far away from the good-natured Samantha as possible. Among her later roles were performances that brought her Emmy Award nominations: a rape victim in A Case of Rape (1974); the accused (but later acquitted) murderess Lizzie Borden in William Bast's The Legend of Lizzie Borden (1975); and a pioneer woman facing hardship in 1820s Ohio in the mini-series The Awakening Land (1978).

In 1977, Montgomery played a police detective having an interracial affair with her partner, played by O.J. Simpson, in A Killing Affair. She played a rare villainous role in the 1985 television movie Amos, as a vicious nurse in a home for senior citizens who abuses her wards, played by, among others, Kirk Douglas and Dorothy McGuire. One of her last roles was in an episode for Batman: The Animated Series entitled "Showdown," in which she played a barmaid; this was also her final work to be screened, as the episode aired posthumously. Her last television movies were the highly-rated Edna Buchanan detective series - the second and final film of the series received its first airing on May 9, 1995,[10] only days before her death.

Personal life

Montgomery was first married to New York socialite Frederick Gallatin Cammann in 1954; the marriage lasted for barely a year. She was married to actor Gig Young from 1956 to 1963, and then to director-producer William Asher from 1963 until their 1973 divorce. They had three children: William Asher, Jr. (July 24, 1964), Robert Asher (October 5, 1965) and Rebecca Asher (June 17, 1969). The last two pregnancies were incorporated into Bewitched as Samantha's pregnancies with Tabitha (primarily Erin Murphy, with twin Diane) and Adam Stephens. [11]

She entered her fourth and final marriage to actor Robert Foxworth (they appeared as guests on Password Plus in 1979), on January 28, 1993, after living with him for nearly twenty years. She remained married to Foxworth until her death.[12]

Political activism

During Bewitched's run, she was a vocal critic of the Vietnam War. In the late 1980s and early 1990s she narrated a series of political documentaries, including Coverup: Behind the Iran Contra Affair (1988) and the Academy Award winning The Panama Deception (1992).

In June 1992, Montgomery and her former Bewitched co-star Dick Sargent, who had remained good friends, were Grand Marshals at the Los Angeles Gay Pride Parade.[8] Montgomery had liberal political views, being an outspoken champion of women's rights and gay rights throughout her life.

Charity work

Throughout the last year of her life, Montgomery was a volunteer for the Los Angeles Unit of Learning Ally, a non-profit organization which records educational books on specially formatted CDs and in downloadable formats for disabled people. In 1994, Montgomery produced several radio and television public service announcements for the organization's Los Angeles Unit. In January 1995, she recorded the 1952 edition of When We Were Very Young for Learning Ally.

Montgomery's enthusiastic support for Learning Ally sparked nationwide interest in the organization's work. Her strong support for Learning Ally ultimately led her to enthusiastically agree to be the honorary chairman for its Los Angeles Unit's third annual Record-A-Thon, slated for June 3, 1995. She lent her name to all letters of appeal for the event and was planning to be one of its celebrity readers for the day.

After her death, the Los Angeles Unit of Learning Ally dedicated the 1995 Record-A-Thon to Montgomery and secured 21 celebrities to assist in the reading of the book Chicken Soup for the Soul, which was also dedicated to her memory.

Illness and death

Montgomery was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in the spring of 1995. She had ignored the flu-like symptoms during the filming of Deadline for Murder: From the Files of Edna Buchanan which was filmed only days before she died. By the time the cancer was diagnosed, it was too late for medical intervention. With no hope of recovery, and unwilling to die in a hospital, she chose to return to the Beverly Hills home that she shared with Foxworth. She died there, in the company of her children and husband, on May 18, 1995, eight weeks after her diagnosis, at the age of 62.[8]

A memorial service was held on June 18, 1995, at the Canon Theatre in Beverly Hills. Herbie Hancock provided the music, and Dominick Dunne spoke about their early days as friends in New York. Other speakers included her husband, Robert Foxworth, who read out sympathy cards from fans; her nurse; her brother, daughter and stepson. She was cremated at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery.

Posthumous

An event auction/sale of Montgomery's clothing was held by her family to benefit the AIDS Healthcare Foundation of Los Angeles. Erin Murphy, who played Tabitha on the series, modeled the clothing that was auctioned.[13]

In June 2005, a statue of Montgomery as Samantha Stephens was erected in Salem, Massachusetts.[14]

A star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame was presented in honor of Montgomery's work in television on January 4, 2008.[15] The location of the star is 6533 Hollywood Blvd.

Selected filmography

YearTitleRoleNotes
1951–56Robert Montgomery PresentsVarious roles27 episodes
1953–54Armstrong Circle TheatreEllen Craig2 episodes
1954–57Kraft Television TheatreVarious roles7 episodes
1955The Court-Martial of Billy MitchellMargaret Lansdowne
1955–58Studio OneVarious roles3 episodes
1956Warner Bros. PresentsLaura WoodruffEpisode: "Siege"
1956Climax!BetsyEpisode: "The Shadow of Evil"
1958Playhouse 90Mary BreckerEpisode: "Bitter Heritage"
1958DuPont Show of the MonthMiss KellyEpisode: "Harvey"
1958Cimmarron CityEllen WilsonEpisode: "Hired Hand"
1958Alfred Hitchcock PresentsKarenEpisode: "Man with a Problem"
1960One Step BeyondLillie ClarkeEpisode: "The Death Waltz"
1960The UntouchablesRusty HellerEpisode: "The Rusty Heller Story"
1961The Twilight ZoneThe WomanEpisode: "Two"
1963Johnny CoolDarien "Dare" Guinness
1963Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed?Mellisa Morris
1963–64Burke's LawStacy Evans
Smitty
2 episodes
1964–72BewitchedSamantha Stephens254 episodes
1965How to Stuff a Wild BikiniBwana's Daughter, The Witches WitchUncredited
1965The FlintstonesSamantha Stephens (Voice)Episode: "Samantha"
1972The VictimKate WainwrightTelevision movie
1973Mrs. SundanceEtta PlaceTelevision movie
1974A Case of RapeEllen HarrodTelevision movie
1975The Legend of Lizzie BordenLizzie BordenTelevision movie
1976Dark VictoryKatherine MerrillTelevision movie
1977A Killing AffairVikki EatonTelevision movie
1978The Awakening LandSayward Luckett WheelerMiniseries
1979Jennifer: A Woman's StoryJennifer PrinceTelevision movie
1979Act of ViolenceCatherine McSweeneyTelevision movie
1980Belle StarrBelle StarrTelevision movie
1981When the Circus Came to TownMary FlynnTelevision movie
1982The Rules of MarriageJoan HagenTelevision movie
1983Missing PiecesSara ScottTelevision movie
1984Second Sight: A Love StoryAlaxandra McKayTelevision movie
1985AmosDaisy DawsTelevision movie
1986Between the Darkness and the DawnAbigail FosterTelevision movie
1988Coverup: Behind the Iran Contra AffairNarratorDocumentary film
1990Face to FaceDr. Diana FirestoneTelevision movie
1991Sins of the MotherRuth CoeTelevision movie
1992With Murder in MindGayle WolferTelevision movie
1992The Panama DeceptionNarratorDocumentary film
1993The Black Widow Murders: The Blanche Taylor Moore StoryBlanche Taylor MooreTelevision movie
1994The Corpse Had a Familiar FaceEdna BuchananTelevision movie
1995Deadline for Murder: From the Files of Edna BuchananEdna BuchananTelevision movie
1995Batman: The Animated SeriesBarmaid (Voice)Episode: "Showdown"

Award nominations

YearAwardCategoryTitle of workResult
1961Emmy AwardOutstanding Single Performance by an Actress in a Leading RoleThe UntouchablesNominated
1966Emmy AwardOutstanding Lead Actress - Comedy SeriesBewitchedNominated
1967Emmy AwardOutstanding Lead Actress - Comedy SeriesBewitchedNominated
1968Emmy AwardOutstanding Lead Actress - Comedy SeriesBewitchedNominated
1969Emmy AwardOutstanding Lead Actress - Comedy SeriesBewitchedNominated
1970Emmy AwardOutstanding Lead Actress - Comedy SeriesBewitchedNominated
1974Emmy AwardOutstanding Lead Actress - Drama SeriesA Case of RapeNominated
1975Emmy AwardOutstanding Lead Actress in a Special Program - Drama or ComedyThe Legend of Lizzie BordenNominated
1978Emmy AwardOutstanding Lead Actress in a Limited SeriesThe Awakening LandNominated
1965Golden Globe AwardBest TV Star (Female)BewitchedNominated
1967Golden Globe AwardBest TV Star (Female)BewitchedNominated
1969Golden Globe AwardBest TV Star (Female)BewitchedNominated
1995Women in Film Crystal + Lucy AwardLucy AwardIn recognition of her excellence and innovation in her creative works that have enhanced the perception of women through the medium of television.[16]Recipient posthumously

Audio

References

  1. ^ "NY Times Obituary – May 18, 1995". http://www.nytimes.com/1995/05/19/obituaries/elizabeth-montgomery-57-star-of-the-tv-comedy-bewitched.html. 
  2. ^ "Elizabeth Montgomery Biography (1933-1995)". filmreference.com. http://www.filmreference.com/film/53/Elizabeth-Montgomery.html. Retrieved November 27, 2009. 
  3. ^ Pylant, James. "The Bewitching Family Tree of Elizabeth Montgomery". genealogymagazine.com. http://www.genealogymagazine.com/elmo.html. Retrieved November 27, 2009. 
  4. ^ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvard-Westlake_School#Notable_alumni
  5. ^ "Elizabeth Montgomery Biography". thebiographychannel.co.uk. http://www.thebiographychannel.co.uk/biographies/elizabeth-montgomery.html?. Retrieved November 27, 2009. 
  6. ^ R.E. Lee. "The Rusty Heller Story". Bob's Bewitching Daughter. http://www.bobsbewitchingdaughter.com/EMrustyhellerstory.html. Retrieved 2010-07-29. 
  7. ^ Mansour, David (2005). From Abba to Zoom: A Pop Culture Encyclopedia of the Late 20th Century. Andrews McMeel Publishing. p. 38. ISBN 0-7407-5118-2. 
  8. ^ a b c Gliatto, Tom (1995-06-05). "That Magic Feeling". People. http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20100784,00.html. Retrieved 2008-05-13. 
  9. ^ Larkin, Mike (December 15, 2011). "A Bewitching property: Elizabeth Montgomery's spellbinding California house is put on the market for $1.2million". London: dailymail.co.uk. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2073878/Bewitched-star-Elizabeth-Montgomerys-spellbinding-California-home-market-1-2million.html#ixzz1iBVQLbBQ. Retrieved 2011-12-15. 
  10. ^ Cotter, Bill (1997). The Wonderful Words of Disney Television: A Complete History. Hyperion. p. 18. ISBN 0-7868-6359-5. 
  11. ^ Rochman Sue, "A Touch of Magic", Cancer Today magazine, Summer 2012
  12. ^ R. E. Lee. There were many references to Patterson, New York made on "Bewitched" throughout the run of the series. The Putnam County, New York town was the site of the Montgomery homestead and it was also where Elizabeth spent her childhood summers. In later years, her mother lived in the family farmhouse on Cushman Road where Elizabeth visited her on frequent trips East. "Elizabeth Montgomery Biography". http://www.bobsbewitchingdaughter.com/EMbio.html There were many references to Patterson, New York made on "Bewitched" throughout the run of the series. The Putnam County, New York town was the site of the Montgomery homestead and it was also where Elizabeth spent her childhood summers. In later years, her mother lived in the family farmhouse on Cushman Road where Elizabeth visited her on frequent trips East.. Retrieved 2007-07-18. 
  13. ^ Dulin, Dann. "Witchful Thinking". aumag.org. http://www.aumag.org/features/ErinJuly07.html. 
  14. ^ "A Pictorial Tale of the 'Bewitched' statue of Salem, Massachusetts". palachi.com. 2005. http://palachi.com. 
  15. ^ "Hollywood star is unveiled posthumously for TV's 'Bewitched' star Elizabeth Montgomery". Associated Press. 2008-01-05. http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/01/05/arts/NA-A-E-MOV-US-Elizabeth-Montgomery.php. Retrieved 2008-03-21. 
  16. ^ http://wif.org/past-recipients

External links