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Source: Wikimedia Commons
Source: Wikimedia Commons

What Happened to Erin Murphy Who Played Young Tabitha Stephens in 'Bewitched'?

Odette Odendaal
May 27, 2019
12:03 P.M.

While Erin Murphy “Bewitched” television watchers as the toddler-witch Tabitha in the 1960s and 1970s sitcom, her adult successes are very different but every bit as bewitching.

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Erin and her fraternal twin sister, Diane were two years old when they got cast in the popular sitcom. With extended hours spent on set, Erin called it “a great place to grow up,” as Elizabeth Montgomery and Dick York, who portrayed the roles of her parents on the sitcom felt like more like real parents to her.

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"I always called her 'Mantha Mommy, because I couldn’t say Samantha, and I called Dick Sargent, Darren Daddy," Erin said during an interview with ABC News. "That’s what I knew them as. They really were like parents to me."

The child star felt particularly close to Elizabeth, who died of colorectal cancer in May 1995 as she added, "And I think it’s because we spent 12 hours a day together growing up. I looked to her as a parent, and she would tell me what to do like a parent. In a lot of ways, I’m so much like her than I am my own mom, which is hilarious."

While Erin loved the industry, her twin sister didn’t like it at all. At the time of their casting, producers only auditioned twins for the role of Tabitha because child labor laws restricted the time a child could be on set.

"From the time I was a baby, I love it. I liked the lights and loved being on my set. My sister used to cry when they would bring her on set. Even now she hates it," Erin said.

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During an interview with Cam Clarke in October 2018, Erin joked that they came to an agreement which suited everyone involved. Erin got used for all the closeup scenes while Diane got used for the long shots and added, “They would kind of get around the child labor laws by bringing me off the set and then they would say, ‘Ok, bring on Diane’ and then they would bring me back on.”

Erin featured in six seasons of “Bewitched” which initially aired from 1964 until 1972 with syndications seen worldwide since.

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After the show ended, Erin featured in numerous commercials in spite of having turned down a lot of offers.

During her sixth grade year, Erin’s family moved from Los Angeles to Orange County, and she embraced her chance at being a regular teen. She became a cheerleader and eventually the homecoming queen. "I think I kind of had the best of both worlds," she said.

Married with her first child by the age of 21, Erin taught acting from her home on their ranch in Arizona and took up jobs behind the camera in makeup and production on the side. She even featured as a stunt double for Melissa Leo and Virginia Madsen.

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Her time turned more to full-time parenting as six boys from three marriages soon took up the majority of her time. While she temporarily gave up her work in the entertainment industry to better focus on being a parent, she became a motivational speaker in October 1999.

She became an outspoken advocate for autism awareness, as her one son has autism, while she also started two successful businesses. Slim Chillers are frozen vodka martini ice pops sold nationwide in China and Australia while her other company, Erin Murphy Knits, sells alpaca knitwear she makes personally.

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The former “Bewitched” star then moved back to Los Angeles around 2005, and with her sons older, she returned to the entertainment industry and got stuck in doing product endorsements, infomercials and hosting reality shows.

By 2017, Erin felt the need to scale down and sold her alpaca ranch in Santa Clarita, California for $1.35 million and bought a beautiful 1,934 square feet ocean-front condo in Malibu the following year.

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The 24-hour guard-gated Malibu Bay Club is situated in the western reaches of Malibu while the $2.3 million multi-story condo features a “Hamptons style” makeover done in 2013 with stunning ocean views.

While Erin spent the majority of her adult life outside of the Hollywood spotlight, she still made her mark behind the scenes.

The younger generation may remember the more recent and similar 1990s show “Charmed,” however, there are six bewitching facts about the show “Bewitched” that might jog your memory.

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