Elizabeth Montgomery

Elizabeth Montgomery
Associated Press


Elizabeth Montgomery
TV: North side of the 6500 block of Hollywood Boulevard
Born April 15, 1933 in Hollywood, CA
Died May 18, 1995 of colorectal cancer in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Elizabeth Montgomery's natural nervous twitch became one of the most famous signature moves in television. The blond beauty had a habit of twitching her upper lip, which made it look as if she was also twitching her nose, so producers incorporated that into "Bewitched" as Samantha Stephens' "magical" trademark.

Montgomery starred in the ABC series for eight seasons, grabbing five Emmy nominations for playing a lovable witch whose otherworldly powers and zany family members were always causing trouble in her conservative suburban life. Her first and only TV song-and-dance number came during the show, when Montgomery was playing her bohemian cousin, Serena. She steadfastly refused to do "the twitch" publicly after the show went off the air.

In fact, she steered as far away from sitcoms as she could, taking mostly dramatic roles in made-for-TV movies and miniseries such as "A Case of Rape," "The Legend of Lizzie Borden" and "The Awakening Land." She was nominated for Emmys for each of those projects, and later played Miami crime reporter Edna Buchanan in a series of television movies.

Born into a show business family — her father was TV actor Robert Montgomery and her mother was Broadway actress Elizabeth Allen — Montgomery was immortalized in Salem, Mass., with a 9-foot bronze statue of her Samantha Stephens character riding sidesaddle on a broom.

Montgomery, politically liberal and outspoken, was a longtime activist for gay rights and AIDS education. She died just eight weeks after being diagnosed with cancer in 1995.

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