Even though “Bewitched” star, Alison Pearce’s career ended at its peak because of a cancer diagnosis, it did not keep her from having “a beautiful life.”
Known to fans of the 1964 sitcom, “Bewitched” as the nagging, nosy neighbor Gladys Kravitz, Alison had also become one of the best character comediennes Hollywood and Broadway had to offer.
Sadly, during an operation in 1964, doctors discovered ovarian cancer, but it's also during this time that the then-46-year-old met the director, Paul Davis.
What followed, came to be Alison’s last and happiest two years of her life. With Paul, Alison shared a love, “which comes to a few,” and she had a choice to make.
Alison could focus on the negative aspect of her diagnosis, or she could move forward with Paul and the approach of “for what little time is left, we will walk in great happiness.”
The couple got married in 1964 and opened a small art shop and picture framing studio called Pesha’s. For their honeymoon, Alison and Paul went to a small Island in Honolulu and Alison loved it so much they went back a second time.
But when they returned, Alison got into bed and never got out. Paul tended to the shop during the day and watched television shows with Alison during the evenings. Then on March 3, 1966, she lost her battle with cancer.
After she first got diagnosed, Alison kept a journal, and in one of the entries, she explained how she felt about her life.
“I do not associate myself with my condition. I do not attempt to think happy, I am happy, blessed with a love which comes to few, not to many. I am humbly grateful for my beautiful life,” she wrote.
A few months after, Alison deservingly got awarded an Emmy. Her parrot faced appearance with the fadeaway chin ensured that she could have one in stitches by just pulling a face.
Her fadeaway chin became her stock trade, but she wasn’t born that way. As the daughter of a foreign banking specialist, their family lived in Brussels, Belgium during her childhood, and also where she got her trademark chin.
“One afternoon, when I was 9, I was playing in a park in Brussels. I was showing off on the swing; I think I was trying to impress some boys. I went way up, lost my grip, and slipped out of the swing,” she recalled to the Eagle in 1964. She landed on her chin with such force that its growth stopped permanently.
Alison’s marriage to Paul was her second. In 1948 she married the composer John Barber, their marriage was a happy one, but John died in 1957 of a heart attack, seven years before she met Paul.
Relatedly, fans of “Bewitched” will remember the youngest of the bunch, Tabitha. Only two years old when she joined the show, she had grown up since.
Over the years, Erin Murphy had quite a bewitched life of her own and looks unrecognizable!
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