When you think of Elizabeth Montgomery, you can’t help but have her iconic nose twitch in Bewitched play in your mind. This stunning actress became a household name and global phenomenon in the 1960s, captivating audiences everywhere. However, her sudden and unexpected death in 1995 left us all shocked and saddened. Let’s take a moment to remember the incredible career of Elizabeth Montgomery, a woman who stole our hearts.

As a writer at Newsner, I have come across many beautiful and talented women, but Elizabeth Montgomery holds a special place in my heart. She had a natural beauty that didn’t require makeup or hairstylists to shine. I absolutely loved watching her in Bewitched and couldn’t get enough of her enchanting performances.

But what happened to Elizabeth Montgomery after her run as Samantha Stephens in the beloved sitcom? Although she would have celebrated her 90th birthday in 2023, let’s take a look back at her remarkable career in film and television before her untimely passing in 1995.

Early Beginnings and Acting Roots

Elizabeth Montgomery was born on April 15, 1933, in Los Angeles. Acting was in her blood, as her parents were both involved in the entertainment industry. Her father, Robert Montgomery, was a popular and acclaimed actor. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times in 1954, Elizabeth fondly recalled how her father encouraged her love for acting from a young age.

“I often climbed on his lap after dinner and remarked, ‘I’m going to be an actress when I grow up.’ I don’t know whether he encouraged me or not, but he told me he would humor me and would tell me to wait and see what happened when I grew up.”

A Journey to Stardom

After attending school in California and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City, Elizabeth began her career in the entertainment industry. As a teenager, she made her television debut on her father’s show, Robert Montgomery Presents, and continued to make appearances on his show. By 1953, she had made her Broadway debut in Late Love.

In 1955, Elizabeth appeared in her first film, The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell, and later returned to Broadway. Her career started to take off, but her personal life saw its fair share of ups and downs. She had two short-lived marriages before finding love with William Asher, a director and TV producer. They married in 1963 and had three children together.

Bewitched: A Role that Defined Her

While Elizabeth Montgomery had a successful career in various shows like Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Loretta Young Show, The Untouchables, and The Twilight Zone, it was her role as the nose-twitching witch Samantha Stephens in Bewitched that catapulted her to superstardom. The supernatural comedy aired for eight seasons from 1964 to 1972 and made Elizabeth a household name worldwide.

“I’d never thought much about a series because I liked the idea of picking a script I liked with a character I thought I could sustain for an hour. In a series, you live with one character day in and day out – and you only hope it will be one that will not drive you crazy,” Elizabeth shared in a 1965 interview.

After Bewitched ended and her marriage to Asher came to an end, Elizabeth went on to star in many made-for-television movies. These movies showcased her versatility as an actress, with roles that were a stark contrast to her beloved character on Bewitched.

A Life Cut Short

Despite her career flourishing, Elizabeth Montgomery’s life was tragically cut short. After a long battle with colon cancer, she passed away on May 18, 1995. Her family reported she was 57 at the time of her death, although many sources listed her birth year as 1933, making her 62.

Elizabeth had fought the disease for years and believed she was cancer-free. However, during the filming of Deadline for Murder: From the Files of Edna Buchanan, she became ill. By the time she sought medical attention in March 1995, it was too late, and the cancer had spread to her liver.

With her loved ones by her side, Elizabeth Montgomery peacefully passed away in her sleep at her home in Beverly Hills. One month later, a memorial was held in her honor at the Canon Theatre in Beverly Hills, where her lifelong friend Dominick Dunne spoke fondly of their early years of friendship in New York City.

Elizabeth’s legacy lives on, and she will always be remembered for her incredible talent, natural beauty, and unforgettable performances. She was laid to rest at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles, her body cremated.

She once said in a 1992 interview, “They all have different kinds of ‘feels’ to them, and that’s probably one of the reasons why I’ve done them. I get letters from people saying one of the things they like best about what I’ve done since ‘Bewitched’ is that they never know what I’m going to do next.”

Elizabeth Montgomery was truly a remarkable actress who left an indelible mark on the entertainment industry and in the hearts of her fans. Let’s share this post on Facebook to celebrate her life and career, and to honor one of our favorite actresses.