Behind The Scenes Secrets of Bewitc...

Behind The Scenes Secrets of Bewitched

When Bewitched first was televised on September 1964, no one imagined it would be as successful as it is today. While the show lasted a good eight seasons, Samantha’s signature twitchy nose is something that’s still recognizable today. Aside from that, the story was also made into a movie starring Nicole Kidman and Will Farrell.

Bewitched held great fame, finishing as the number two show in America during its debut season, and becoming the longest running supernatural themed sitcom of the 1960s–1970s. The show continues to be seen throughout the world in syndication and on recorded media.

While Samantha tried her best to keep her own secrets, the show’s producers weren’t able to keep everything out of the public’s watching eye. Here are some things you may not know about Bewitched.

12. Elizabeth Montgomery Was Never Replaced

We all know that the star of the show was Elizabeth Montgomery. She was known as Samantha Stephens the nose wiggling witch and everybody loved her character. That character launched her career and catapulted her to stardom. But as a Hollywood actress, you need to be versatile. So aside from playing Samantha, she also played Serena, Samantha’s cousin. Now you know why they look awfully alike.

11. The Show’s Inspiration

The TV show was created by Sol Saks after he watched the films I Married A Witch and Bell, Book and Candle. Sol Saks reproduced the script for the pilot episode after the film. He has said in interviews since the airing of the show, he wasn’t worried about any lawsuit. Considering that both films were owned by Columbia Pictures, which also owned Screen Gems the company that produced Bewitched. Good for him, as the show became a huge success. There’s no harm in trying, right?

10. Mr. York’s Story

Actor Richard Crenna was offered the role Darrin, but he had just spent several years on “The Real McCoys,” so he passed. Dick York ended up with the lead male role. Dick Sargent would later take the role, but we’ll never know if the show would have lasted 8 seasons with him in the first place.

Dick York’s departure was never explained on the show but he had a good reason for it. York tore most of the muscles on the right side of his back while filming Cordura, and never recovered completely. Doctors gave him pain medication, but it really didn’t help that much.

9. Stagehands

Since special effects weren’t as good back in the 1960s, stagehands worked hard to create Samantha’s “magic.” If she wanted to quickly tidy up the living room, Elizabeth Montgomery would stand in place with her arms up while the director yelled, “Cut!” and stagehands removed the clutter.

She was allowed to have crutch-like devices to help keep her arms up for long periods of time. She was only allowed to lower her arms and continue the scene when the director yelled, “Action!” Now, that was tiring.

8. Drunk On Set

Cast members often drank on set and were sometimes filmed while drunk, even the producer. The drinking was so prevalent that many fan sites were created to log the number of times in each episode that each character was seen drinking.

In fact, there’s a  couple of bars and nightclubs mentioned on the show. Supposedly the rules were stricter when children were on set. Actors were supposed to use iced tea to copy the look of alcohol. Dick Wilson often played a drunk on the show and he plays effortlessly. Or is it the real deal?

7. Samantha vs Cassandra

The show’s creator, Sol Saks, really wanted actress Tammy Grimes to play as the lead witch. And was supposed to be called Cassandra, not Samantha, originally. Saks liked the fact that Grimes had such a naturally elfin appearance.

In the end, Sol Saks and Bill Asher went with Elizabeth Montgomery for this series. She actually auditioned for the original role, but due to being under contract with Screen Gems, she wasn’t able to take the job. The character was renamed Samantha, and the rest is history. No regrets on that.

6. Bewitched vs I Dream of Jeannie

It’s been said that Elizabeth Montgomery was not happy when I Dream Of Jeannie debuted on NBC just one year after Bewitched was introduced on rival network ABC.  Both shows were about gorgeous blonde women with magical powers. Jeannie was a 2,000-year-old genie who falls in love with a NASA astronaut and they both shared similar plot lines at times.

But Elizabeth Montgomery never felt any personal hatred to I Dream Of Jeannie’s stars Barbara Eden or Larry Hagman. No bad blood, nothing personal just work.

5. No Nose Wiggling

Elizabeth Montgomery’s nose wiggle was actually a camera trick, according to Erin Murphy, the actress who played her daughter, Tabitha. If you look closely, you’ll notice that Samantha’s nose never wiggles.

It’s actually her upper lip. Some people even claim her mouth moving did move her nose. But whichever part wiggled, we all know that something mischievous is about to happen.

4. Heavy Smokers

Many of the stars and guest stars of Bewitched were real life heavy smokers. Elizabeth Montgomery was apparently a chain smoker, and Paul Lynde was too. Dick York also smoked three packs a day! Aside from heavy drinking, smoking was common on the set.

In a later interview, Tabitha actress Erin Murphy said, “I remember my parents were always saying ‘smoking is bad, smoking is bad,’ and I remember thinking ‘If smoking is bad, then why is everybody around here doing it?”

3. Real-Life Curse?

Some fans suspect that there’s a real-life curse on the show. Why? Because a large portion of its cast ended up dying of cancer-related conditions. Many also died young. Besides Elizabeth Montgomery, other major cast members to die at relatively young ages (under 65) include Alice Pearce (cancer), Paul Lynde (heart attack), Dick York (emphysema), and Dick Sargent (cancer).

It’s hard to say whether this sad statistic can be connected to witchcraft or to unhealthy lifestyle decisions. But we all know that heavy smoking and drinking was tolerated on set.

2. Weary Witch

Despite the huge success of the show, Elizabeth Montgomery grew tired of Bewitched and was ready to say goodbye after the fifth season. But of course, the producers didn’t allow her to leave.

So as an encouragement, the show producers offered her so much money that she couldn’t walk away. But her performances in the last three seasons were noticeably dull. Money isn’t everything.

1. Behind-The-Scenes Relationships

People are often curious about the behind-the-scenes relationship between Samantha and Tabitha. Child actress Erin Murphy recently gave an ABC interview about her time on Bewitched.

She shared that she was very close to her television parents, even calling them by the nicknames Darren Daddy and Mantha Mommy. In the interview, she said “I looked to her [Montgomery] as a parent, and she would tell me what to do like a parent. In a lot of ways I’m so much like her than I am my own mom, which is hilarious.” She was also close with Agnes Moorehead, who played her grandmother.

Those were some of the behind-the-scenes secrets of Bewitched. Who knew that it had some dark secrets behind the family oriented show. After all, it’s Hollywood and there will always be a few secrets here and there.

Advertisement

What Others Are Reading

25 Crazy Animal Hybrids Ideas

As a kid, did you think of animal hybrids, that is fusing various animals into a totally different animals and creatures? Not just us, the history also talks about Pegauses or in other words...

A-List Celebs Hiding A Dark Past Of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence has been a problem for generations. Many women that have faced the issue never expected their spouse or partner would ever become abusive. For most of these women, when they met their...

These Twins Had Different Faces Until A Groundbreaking Surgery

In 1997, expectant mother Ramona Cooper was faced with the most difficult decision. She already knew that she was expecting twins, but an ultrasound revealed an unexpected birth defect. One of her twin boys would...

You Won’t Believe What The Cast Of Willy Wonka Looks Like Now

Willy Wonka has got to be one of the greatest films of all times. Although it came out in the early 70s, it's clear that it has remained an important film that children of...

31 Of The Most Beautiful Women That Sports Have Blessed Us With

Welcome to our picture gallery featuring 31 of the most beautiful women that sports have blessed us with! In this day and age, the world of sports has become more than just simply entertainment. What...

Celebrities Who Committed Major Crimes (But Got Off Easy)

Celebrities are people just like us, and while there are many famous individuals who are fine upstanding citizens and would never dream of committing a crime, there are plenty of others who think they...

The Top 14 Richest Women in The World

Comparing women based on the money they own is not as easy as counting numbers from 1 to 10 because the basis of comparison varies from the different compilations taken across the world. Also...

32 Ads About Social Issues That Will Make You Think Twice!

Although most of us think that advertisements are a selfish way for companies to self-promote, ads about social issues have been able to change this kind of stereotypical thinking. It's amazing how the power...