Both Stars Were Second Choices
Tammy Grimes was ABC's first choice to play Samantha Stephens (originally named "Cassandra"), but the Tony Award-winning actress clashed with the show's producers, so the role went to Elizabeth Montgomery instead. Richard Crenna, who'd had a long run on another classic sitcom, "The Real McCoys," was offered the part of Darrin. After he passed, the role went to Dick York.
The Nose Twitch Called for Special Effects
Erin Murphy, who played Samantha and Darrin's daughter Tabitha, later told Parade magazine that Elizabeth Montgomery's magic nose wiggle was "a camera trick."
They Made a Side Trip to Bedrock
To promote the new show, Darrin and Samantha Stephens made a guest appearance in a 1965 episode of Hanna-Barbera's "The Flintstones" in which Sam uses her nose-twitching magic powers to outdo Fred on a family camping trip. Titled "Samantha," the episode features the voices of Dick York and Elizabeth Montgomery.
The 'Flintstones' Connection Extended to the Credits
Hanna-Barbera also produced the animated opening credits on "Bewitched." Elizabeth Montgomery wasn't crazy about their work, but advertisers liked it. For a time, the opener changed each season to accommodate a different sponsor's logo while a voiceover announced that "Bewitched" was being presented by the sponsor.
Endora Actually Liked Darrin
Samantha's mom (Agnes Moorehead) disapproved of her daughter's mixed marriage and didn't have much use for her son-in-law, Darrin. But in real life, Moorehead and Dick York became quite close. She openly voiced her displeasure when Dick Sargent replaced York. On the first day of shooting with the new Darrin, Moorehead loudly proclaimed, "I don't like change."
One Pregnancy Was Kept Under Wraps
Elizabeth Montgomery's second and third pregnancies were written into the show's scripts, as daughter Tabitha and son Adam were introduced as additions to the Stephens family. But the costume department worked hard to keep Montgomery's first pregnancy—which coincided with filming of the Season 1—hidden from viewers.
Spelling Didn't Count
For two years after Tabitha made her debut, the character's name appeared in the credits as "Tabatha." The spelling wasn't corrected until Season 5.
The Theme Song Has Lyrics
There were lyrics to go with the theme music by Jack Keller (a producer of the Monkees' debut album), though you never heard them on the show. Here's a taste:
"Bewitched, bewitched, you've got me in your spell / Bewitched, bewitched, you know your craft so well / Before I knew what you were doing / I looked in your eyes / That brand of woo that you've been brewin' / Took me by surprise"
Serena and Sam: What a Wild Duet
Like Patty Duke, Elizabeth Montgomery played identical cousins—Samantha and the edgier Serena, a sort of precursor of Joan Jett who favored cropped black hair and miniskirts. But the end credits indicate that Serena is played by "Pandora Spocks." Montgomery herself made up that name.
They Borrowed From Lucy
In one episode, Serena and Uncle Arthur (Paul Lynde) go to work in a candy factory and can't keep up with a conveyor belt that dips bananas in chocolate and nuts—an obvious reference to Lucy and Ethel's famous chocolate assembly-line scene in "I Love Lucy." Several other episodes of "Bewitched" also mimicked the 1950s TV series, and Samantha's mother, like Lucy's, never pronounced her son-in-law's name correctly.
Darrin No. 1 Left Because of a Disability
Years before "Bewitched" first aired, Dick York suffered a severe spinal injury while filming the 1959 western "They Came to Cordura" with Gary Cooper. York required constant assistance on the sitcom set, and midway through Season 5 his condition had deteriorated to the point that he couldn't continue working. That's when Dick Sargent was hired to replace York, beginning with Season 6.
Mrs. Kravitz Was Also Played by Two Actors
Alice Pearce accepted the role of the Stephens' nosy neighbor soon after discovering that she had terminal cancer. Pearce kept this secret from the "Bewitched" cast and crew and managed to work through 30 episodes before her death in 1966. Sandra Gould took over the role for the remainder of the show's run. Both Pearce and Marion Lorne (who played Aunt Clara) received Emmy Awards posthumously.
The Stephens' Home Appeared on Many Sitcoms
You know it best as the home of Darrin and Samantha. But the facade of the Stephens' house, located on the Warner Bros. Ranch, also appeared on "Dennis the Menace" and "I Dream of Jeannie." The house where Gidget (Sally Field) lived was next door. And the home to neighbors Abner and Gladys Kravitz showed up on "The Donna Reed Show" and later "The Partridge Family."
The Show Fizzled With Darrin No. 2...
Switching Darrins midstream wasn't as easy as the network had hoped. Before the new Darrin was introduced, ABC aired more than a dozen reruns in which Dick York had not appeared, aiming to prepare viewers for the cast change. It didn't. Ratings sank and never recovered during the last three seasons of the show.
...But Elizabeth Montgomery Liked Him Better
Unlike Agnes Moorehead, Elizabeth Montgomery didn't get along with Dick York and felt warmly toward his replacement. Two decades after "Bewitched" went off the air, Dick Sargent came out as a gay man, and in 1992 he led the Los Angeles Gay Pride Parade as co-Grand Marshall—a titled he shared with his former co-star Elizabeth Montgomery. Both died of cancer in the mid-'90s.
12 timeless trends spotted 48 years ago today on Yasgur's farm
What happens when a movie set turns into a battleground
12 prime examples of the Material Girl's unique ability to push everybody's buttons
The artist formerly known as Rhoda reflects on life and death—but mostly life
The backstory on one of the greatest actors of all time
40 essential songs from the King of Rock and Roll