Elizabeth Montgomery was a talented singer and actress best known for starring as Samantha Stephens in the classic American television sitcom, Bewitched, which aired from September 17, 1964, to March 25, 1972. The blonde beauty launched her career in the 1950s in Hollywood and later rose to become an icon in the industry through a dint of hard work. Although Montgomery is no more, the legacy and projects she completed in her lifetime still speak for themselves. While most of them earned her envious awards, others skyrocketed her to immense popularity within and beyond the showbiz circle.
Biography of Elizabeth Montgomery
The actress was born in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, on the 15th day of April 1933 to Robert Montgomery (father) and Elizabeth Daniel Bryan (mother). Her dad (1904 – 1981) is a film star/director/producer from New York while her mom (1904 – 1992) was a Broadway actress from Kentucky. Born Elizabeth Victoria Montgomery, the legendary singer was of Scottish and Irish ancestry. She had a younger brother called Robert Montgomery Jr. (born 1936) who died in the year 2000 as well as an elder sister who died as an infant. She was named Martha Bryan Montgomery.
Elizabeth’s parents divorced when she was a teenager and that really impacted her relationship with her father. But before then, she was already having issues with him because he didn’t want her to become an actress and he [Robert] was against her love for older men.
The actress had her high school education at Westlake School for Girls in Holmby Hills, California, after which she attended Spence School in New York City. Upon graduating from the institution, she was admitted into the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, where she spent three years honing her skills.
Spouse or Husband
Montgomery had a brief first marriage with a New York City socialite called Frederick Gallatin Cammann, whom she married in 1954. Their romance only lasted for one year, causing her to marry for the second time. Elizabeth Montgomery’s second husband was with Gig Young (he was 25 years her senior), an Academy Award-winning actor and their relationship lasted from 1956 to 1963. Young killed himself in a murder-suicide in 1978 after murdering his wife. Elizabeth’s third attempt at marriage was with Hollywood’s prolific screenwriter/director/producer William Asher. The pair tied the knot in the year 1963, welcomed three kids together and sadly separated in 1973.
The actress entered her fourth marriage in 1993 with stage/film/TV actor Robert Foxworth (nine years her junior), after living with him for almost two decades. The two remained married until the singer’s death in 1995.
Elizabeth Montgomery was also linked to movie director Richard Michaels, whom she dated for two and half years. The actress fell in love with Michaels during the eighth year of the TV sitcom fantasy series, Bewitched.
The blonde beauty was said to have also cast a spell on many Hollywood stars such as Gary Cooper (who worked with her on the movie The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell), Dean Martin (he featured alongside Montgomery in Who’s Been Sleeping In My Bed?), and Elvis Presley (they starred together in Kid Galahad), according to a tell-all book published in early 2000.
Montgomery was a mother of three before her death. She had these kids with her third husband, William Asher. Their names are Rebecca Elizabeth Asher (born June 17, 1969, in Los Angeles, California), Robert Asher (born October 5, 1965), and William Allen Asher Jr. (born July 24, 1964).
Rebecca is a film editor famed for working on hit projects such as Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004), Knocked Up (2007) and Donnie Darko (2001). Robert is a successful producer, director, and writer while William is a screenwriter/production manager who has completed many works in the industry including E! True Hollywood Story (1996), The Paul Lynde Halloween Special (1976), and The Young and the Restless (1973).
Life and Death
Elizabeth Montgomery was raised up in her family’s Beverly Hills mansion. She started out as an actress in the year 1951 when she debuted in her father’s weekly TV show, Robert Montgomery Presents and later made her Broadway debut in October 1956 in Late Love, which earned her a Theater World Award.
The Los Angeles-born star attained stardom in the 1960s for her role in Bewitched, which also won her four Golden Globe Award nominations and five Primetime Emmy Award nominations. The legendary actress also participated in the production of numerous movies, and television series, including The Legend of Lizzie Borden (as Lizzie Borden; 1975) and A Case of Rape (as Ellen Harrod; 1974). Her roles in both works fetched her additional Emmy Award nominations. Over the course of her career, Elizabeth Montgomery never won any Emmy Awards but she had an overwhelming number of fans who were deeply in love with her style of acting.
Montgomery was into charity and political activism as well. She was a die-hard Democrat even though her father was a staunch Republican. The screen star was also one of the earliest performers who campaigned for gay rights and supported Aids victims.
Elizabeth Montgomery died of cancer at the age of 62 on 18th May 1995 in Beverly Hills, California, in the U.S. Her death occurred just 18 months after she tied the knot with her fourth husband. She was cremated at Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park Memorial Park Cemetery, following a memorial service that was organized on June 18, 1995, at the Canon Theatre in Beverly Hills.
At the time of her, Elizabeth had a net worth of $20 million, which largely stemmed from the success of the top-rated sitcom, Bewitched. She also had Bentleys, a mansion in Beverly Hills, and a 794-acre (321 ha) summer home in Patterson, Putnam County, New York, which later was sold to New York State after her death.