25 Little-Known Facts About Bewitched

With any popular show, there are plenty of secrets that the producers would rather not have you know. Here are some Bewitched secrets that producers kept from fans for years.

Bewitched Babies


Two of Montgomery’s pregnancies were acknowledged during the show, as the babies were simply written into the script, leading to the addition of Tabitha and Adam.

Family from Bewitched

Keeping Secrets


Elizabeth Montgomery kept her personal life so secret that many of her obituaries didn’t mention her marriage to Robert Foxworth. They thought she was still single.

Elizabeth Montgomery young and older

Disapproving Mother


Agnes Moorehead was not a fan of Dick Sargent taking over for Dick York as Darrin. She was close personal friends with York.

Agnes Moorehead in Bewitched

Third Choice


In fact, Dick York wasn’t even the producers’ second choice for the role of Darrin. That was Richard Crenna, who became busy with another role while producers rushed to find someone to play Samantha.

Richard Crenna

Tragic Debut


Elizabeth Montgomery had a hard time filming the show’s pilot because that was the day JFK was assassinated. Montgomery was a friend of the president’s, as was producer Bill Asher.

Elizabeth Montgomery

Montgomery Wasn’t the First Choice


Elizabeth Montgomery was iconic in the role of Samantha, but she wasn’t the producers’ first choice. One of the best kept Bewitched secrets is that Tammy Grimes was the first choice!

Tammy Grimes and Elizabeth Montgomery

A Lot Changed Before Filming


Some major changes had taken place before the show debuted. Samantha was to be named Cassandra, for instance. Elizabeth Montgomery didn’t like the name, and it was changed.

Elizabeth Montgomery in Bewitched

Getting Sauced


Ever notice how often the show’s characters drink during episodes? Those aren’t fake drinks – the performers actually drank on set with regularity.

Performers drinking in a Bewitched scene

Dick York’s Poor Health


Most Bewitched fans know that Dick York was replaced as Darrin, but many didn’t know why. He sustained a back injury while filming a movie that never really healed.

Dick York

Seizure on Set


York’s health got so bad that he had a seizure during lunch break during filming once and had to be rushed to the hospital. He never appeared on set again.

Dick York and Elizabeth Montgomery

Cause of Death


Of all the mysterious health ailments surrounding the show, most misconceptions swirl around Dick Sargent’s eventual death. He was gay and rumored to have died due to AIDS, but died due to prostate cancer.

Dick Sargent speaking

The Original Plan


Dick Sargent’s assumption of the role of Darrin may have seemed like a hasty plan, but he was the producer’s first choice to play the role before settling for Dick York.

Dick Sargent with Elizabeth Montgomery

The Other Pregnancy


A show that lasts eight years is going to have some bumps, but Montgomery provided three very real bumps in the form of her real-life pregnancies. Two of the three were written into the show, but the third was hidden from audiences completely.

Elizabeth Montgomery in Bewitched

No Clothing Budget


Apparently, Bewitched didn’t have much of a wardrobe budget. Supporting actors had to supply their clothing for use on the show.

Bewitched supporting actors

Not a Family Affair


You probably know that voice over narrator was used in the first few episodes, but most don’t know that Elizabeth Montgomery’s father was the first person considered for the task. He declined.

Elizabeth Montgomery and her father

Repeating Yourself


If you got the sense of deja vu later in the show’s run, you weren’t alone. Some of the shows starring Dick Sargent repeated entire plotlines of episodes that originally starred Dick York, with some lines of dialogue repeated word-for-word.

Elizabeth Montgomery and Dick Sargent

Tired of the Show


Bewitched didn’t end due to low ratings. Show star Elizabeth Montgomery simply didn’t want to continue in the role of Samantha. It turns out she was the one performer they wouldn’t try to replace.

Elizabeth Montgomery in Bewitched

Personal Problems


Also making the show’s run difficult at the end were the marital problems between Montgomery and William Asher, who ran the show behind the scenes. Never mix business with pleasure!

Bill Asher and Elizabeth Montgomery

Not Meant to Be


Bewitched was already renewed for a ninth and tenth season before Montgomery and Asher ended the show and their marriage. Imagine, we could have had two more seasons of Bewitched!

Cast of Bewitched

 

Where Are the Words?


The Bewitched theme originally had lyrics. Ultimately, the show’s producers decided just to use the instrumental, though.

Bewitched theme song video

Darrin’s Song


The theme song’s original lyrics were written from the perspective of Samantha’s husband, Darrin.

bewitched theme 2

 

Get the Facts Right


Also, many obituaries reported Montgomery as 57 years old at her time of death, when she was 62. Who wouldn’t want people to think they were five years younger, though?

Bewitched's Samantha sips tea

Replacing Darrin


Most Bewitched fans know that Dick York, the first man to play Samantha’s husband Darrin, was replaced by Dick Sargent. You may not know that this led to similar acting replacements being referred to as “The Darrin Syndrome,” however.

Dick York young and older

The Painful Details


Dick York’s back troubles started when he was filming the movie Cordura. During filming, he tore many of the muscles in his back and never healed properly.

Dick York as Darrin in Bewitched

Brave Fight


Pearce bravely fought against her cancer without ever revealing to her castmates that she had been diagnosed with it.

Alice Pearce from Bewitched

Emmy Winner


A bittersweet moment took place when, two months after her death, Pearce won an Emmy Award for her performance as Gladys.

Bewitched performers at the Emmy Awards

Roll With It


Long-running TV shows like Bewitched often has to adjust to the changes their actors go through. This was the case when Elizabeth Montgomery got pregnant three times during the show’s run.

Samantha from Bewitched

 

Not the Real McCoy


Crenna passed up on the role because he was burned out on TV roles after spending several seasons on the successful show The Real McCoys. What a mistake!

Real McCoys stars

Special Gift


Agnes Moorehead, who played Endora, often wore a starburst brooch on the show, which Montgomery always remarked about. When she passed away in 1974, Moorehead left the brooch for Montgomery.

Agnes Moorehead and Elizabeth Montgomery

Stranger Than Fiction


Reality and fiction are often very different. Although Darrin and Endora didn’t get along, Dick York and Agnes Moorehead were great friends.

Agnes Moorehead and Dick York

Versatile Actor


There was always a little rivalry between Bewitched, and I Dream of Jeannie, which debuted a year after Bewitched. Paul Lynde played roles on both shows, appearing as Uncle Arthur on Bewitched and as an IRS agent, film director, and NASA commander in three separate I Dream of Jeannie appearances.

Paul Lyndie on I Dream of Jeannie

Just Like on TV


Sometimes, the characters were inspired by the real lives of the performers. For instance, Marion Lorne’s antique doorknob collection inspired her character, Aunt Clara’s similar obsession.

Aunt Clara in Bewitched

What’s in a Name


Larry and Louise Tate’s son on the show was named Jonathan at the request of actor David White, who had a real-life son with the same name.

Larry and Louise Tate from Bewitched

You’re Overthinking It


Grimes’ reason for turning down the role was a little silly. She thought if someone had the powers of the witch, she’d go around curing the world’s problems instead of tending to her house.

Tammy Grimes

Not Pleased At All


Bewitched star Elizabeth Montgomery was not happy when I Dream of Jeannie debuted years later with a very similar plot revolving around a homemaker with magical abilities.

I Dream of Jeannie

That’s Just Too Much


While the casts of Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie may have felt like rivals, the two shows used the same set very often!

Barbara Eden in I Dream of Jeannie

I’ve Seen This Before


The basic plot wasn’t the only thing Bewitched borrowed from other productions. The house’s often-seen living room and patio sets were duplicates from the film Gidget Goes to Rome.

Gidget Goes to Rome poster

Opening Pandora’s Box


The producers of Bewitched went to rather extreme lengths to hide the obvious fact that Elizabeth Montgomery played Samantha’s cousin, Serena. Whenever Serena was featured on the show, her role was credited to a fictional actress by the name of Pandora Spocks.

Samantha and Serena on Bewitched

No Twitch For You


Erin Murphy, who played Samantha’s daughter Tabitha on the show, was never asked to twitch her nose like her TV mother often did. Murphy says that the producers thought there was no need for a baby witch to wiggle her nose, and she’s never even tried to do it in real life.

Erin Murphy

Walk on the Wild Side


Although star Elizabeth Montgomery was known for her role on the rather wholesome sitcom, in real life she showed a preference for bad boys, according to Herbie Pilato, who wrote a biography of the Bewitched star.

Elizabeth Montgomery

Feud With Elvis


Elvis Presley was the subject of some flirtation from Montgomery, which would cause him to get some criticism from her then-husband, Bewitched producer Bill Asher. Elvis responded to Asher with some unkind words, calling him a name that we won’t repeat here.

Elvis Presley

Jilted Lover


Later in her life, Montgomery was involved with Alexander Godunov, a ballet star and actor. However, Montgomery would cast him aside later on, which led to Godunov falling into an alcoholic haze that would eventually lead to his tragic demise, according to insiders.

Alexander Godunov

Bewitched Almost Didn’t Happen


Bewitched as we know it could have never happened at all. That’s because Montgomery’s first husband, Fred Cammann, wanted her to quit acting altogether and focus on raising a family, especially since he was rich. Fortunately for us, she didn’t take his advice and they ultimately split.

Elizabeth Montgomery

Poor Behavior


The ending of Bewitched would ultimately coincide with the failure of Montgomery’s marriage to producer Bill Asher. Many don’t know, however, that Asher frequently had affairs throughout the filming of the show.

Elizabeth Montgomery and Bill Asher

No Perfect Angel


Of course, Elizabeth Montgomery was no angel herself, and had an affair with Richard Michaels, who had directed some episodes of the show. The affair was the last straw in a marriage that had been doomed for some time.

Elizabeth Montgomery

Daddy Issues


Elizabeth Montgomery had a lot of issues with her father, which manifested once again during the casting of Bewitched. Elizabeth wanted her father to play her on-screen dad in the show, but he refused, with those close to the family feeling that he was resenting her success.

Elizabeth Montgomery and her father

Positive Influence


While her first husband wanted her to quit acting and become a stay-at-home mother and housewife, later husband Bill Asher was a positive influence, encouraging her to keep acting as the show was getting ready to start filming. She had wanted to quit, but decided to stick with it and the rest is history.

Elizabeth Montgomery

The Darrin Role


There have been a lot of controversies about the role of Darrin. However, many did not really know that such role was actually offered to other two actors before it was being offered to Dick York. We all know that it was Dick Sargent who was the producer’s first choice for the role.

darin role

Montgomery Taking the Real Mother Role


Montgomery took the role of a real mother in the show. Many did not know that it was actually her idea to name the daughter of her character Tabitha. She even said in 1967 that she loved that name because it was really old-fashioned. She revealed that she got the name from one of the daughters of the actor Edward Andrews.

em floppy hat crop use

Multiple Actors


Many knew the role of Darrin played by two actors, but it wasn’t the only case in the show. Among others was Gladys Kravitz who, at first, was portrayed by Alice Pearce and then by Sandra Gould. It seemed that the show love having a couple of actors playing one role.

all cast

The Drinking Incidents Fan base


Many of the Bewitched characters drank alcohol so much that many of the episodes with drank characters were not faking it. But the fun fact is that they drank so much that a fan website even created a database of drinking incidents with episode numbers and locations.

drinking

Cursed with its Terrible Time Slots


In the series’ final year, Bewitched was cursed due to its terrible time slots. The ratings of the series fell more drastically then ever in 1971 to 1972 when it’s scheduled against the famous “Carol Burnett Show” and later moved opposite the remarkable series “All in the Family.”

Bewitched

It’s Tabatha, Not Tabitha


Samantha did not actually pronounce the name of her on-screen daughter correctly. In fact, it was just more a slip of the tongue than anything else but there is no one who actually knows about that.

Erin murphy - tabitah

On-set Awkwardness


It was quite difficult for many to have a different Darrin in the show but it wasn’t only the fans who were affected by the change. Agnes Moorehead, who played the role of Samantha’s mother just could not accept the new character, Dick Sargent playing Darrin. It actually led to some awkward moments on set.

on set

A more Creative Option will Do


Bewitched have some iconic animated intro sequences that made long-lasting influence and appeal to many. However, it was not that appealing to Elizabeth Montgomery. According to reports, she believed that the production team of the show could’ve come up with something more exciting and creative.

creative

Very Friendly Competition


The mix of comedy and fantasy of the show inspired a lot of imitators, especially the “I Dream of Jeannie” by the NBC. In addition to the obvious similarities in characterization and plot of the sitcoms, they were actually able to swap props and sets.

Very Friendly Competition

A Witch Should Make A Change


Like many television shows, casting is a long process. Initially, the name of the lead character in the show was Cassandra and Tammy Grimes was considered to take the role. However, she didn’t get the show and actually thought that she should be able to stop the traffic in LA and wars as a witch. The role was then taken by Elizabeth Montgomery with a screen name Samantha.

A Witch Should Make A Change

The Tragedies


In 1988, the son of actor David White died in a plane explosion. Such tragedy happened just before the actor died due to a heart attack two years later.

The Tragedies

The Real Closeness


Endora took it hard to have a different Darrin in the show. Although the character Endora barely tolerated the role Darrin on the show, Moorehead was, in fact, closer to York than any other members of the cast, admiring his acting talent and new age-type spirituality.

The Real Closeness

Episode Written by Some African-American High Schoolers


The “Sisters at Heart” Christmas episode’s basic script and story idea was written by twenty-two African American tenth graders in the English class of Marcella Saunders at Jefferson High School in South Center L.A.

Sisters at Heart

Stage Hands Magic


In the 1960s, there was no such thing as technology or computer-generated magic. All magic tricks in the show were created by a team of talented stagehands. Other significant effects included ‘invisible’ wires, backward-motion and fast-motion film.

Stage Hands Magic

The Awkward Positions


We’ve mentioned about the non-existence of innovative technologies at that time, so many actors often stood in some awkward poses until everything was ready for the scene. For instance, in a house-cleaning spell, the producer literally has to stop taping while the crew were cleaning the set and then began rolling again when everything was clear.

The Awkward Positions

Program Interruptions


There were a lot of significant events that happened during the 8-year run of the show. Its run even coincided with Martin Luther King’s murder which caused some episodes to be paused to run the news of his death.

Martin Luther King’s murder

A Tempting Offer


Although Elizabeth Montgomery earned great amounts of money from the show, she soon fell out of love with the role that made her want to leave Bewitched shortly after its 5th season. However, the studio heads offered a huge amount of money for her stay, which she did for 3 more seasons.

Elizabeth Montgomery

The Notable Changes


Elizabeth Montgomery did not only play the role of Samantha but many other characters that even belonged to her family. This include her cousin Serena. Even though the fans recognized this, they just chose to go with flow and enjoyed the show.

Elizabeth Montgomery

Not Only the Clothing but also Accessories


Not only did the characters wore their own clothing in the show but also their entire wardrobe, including their accessories. The main characters also had their own stylists and on-set wardrobes for them.

Accessories

The Parting Gift


Although Montgomery might not have great love for the show by the time Bewitched ended in 1972, she was still able to reap great benefits long after the show’s cancellation. As a matter of fact, she earned millions because she owned a twenty percent stake in the production.

eliza & bill asher

Cancer Strikes Bewitched


Alice Pearce, who played nosy neighbor Gladys, died while the show was still on the air. Like Dick York, she was replaced with a new performer and the show went on.

Alice Pearce in Bewitched

That’s a Relief


Saks said the resemblance to the films was so blatant that if the films hadn’t been owned by the same production company as the show, he would have feared a lawsuit.

Bewitched creator Sol Saks

Uncanny Resemblance


The Stephens’ house interior will be instantly recognized by Bewitched fans in the 1969 film Hook, Line & Sinker.

Movie still from Hook, Line & Sinker

Kind of a Ripoff


Although Bewitched was better than the movies that inspired it, the concept was taken by creator Sol Saks from I Married a Witch and Bell, Book and Candle.

Promotional image from Bell, Book and Candle