Hard Times of 'Bewitched' Cast: Problems America’s Beloved Actors Needed to Overcome
Through the popular television series, “Bewitched” many actors reached fame. All the while, fans were unaware of the personal struggles their beloved characters faced.
Agnes starred as Endora from 1964 until 1972 on the popular television show. While the actress starred in more than a hundred films since her 1942 debut in “Citizen Kane,” she felt like her success made her inaccessible to others.
“I have played so many authoritative and strong characters that some people are nervous at the prospect of meeting me for the first time. … There is a certain amount of aloofness on my part at times because an actor can so easily be hurt by unfair criticism,” Agnes told The New York Times in 1974.
With Joseph Cotten and Mr. Welles, Agnes founded the legendary Mercury Theater. She appeared in Mr. Welles’ production of “The Magnificent Ambersons,” for which she earned the title of the best female performer of the year by New York Film Critics.
The five times Academy Award nominee’s personal life painted a different picture. Married twice, first to Jack G. Lee and then to Robert Gist, both unions ended in divorce without children. However, Agnes adopted her son, Sean.
Two years after “Bewitched” ended, Agnes died from uterine cancer on April 30, 1974, in Rochester, Minnesota.
As the bumbling Aunt Clara from 1964 until 1968, Marion Lorne became a household name, even though she only starred in three films during her acting career. Before her role on “Bewitched,” Marion had a successful five-decade-long stage career.
But it became her character, Aunt Clara, that brought her the most acclaim. She won an Emmy for “Best Supporting Actress” in 1968, but sadly Marion died from a heart attack ten days before the ceremony on May 9, 1968.
Marion only got married once to the actor, playwright, and producer, Walter C. Hackett on September 18, 1911, and the couple stayed together until his death on January 20, 1944.
The nose-twitching witch, Samantha from 1964 until 1972, had a troubled personal life. Apart from Elizabeth’s corrupt relationship with her father, she seemed attracted to the type of men who didn’t offer the love and acceptance she desperately sought.
Elizabeth’s first marriage to Frederic Gallatin Cammann was also her shortest. They got hitched on March 27, 1854, and mere divorced months later on August 9, 1955.
Over a year passed before the actress got married to Gig Young on December 28, 1956. But then Elizabeth fell in love with director Richard Michaels in 1963. The actress divorced Gig and moved in with Richard shortly after when they finished filming of the eighth season of “Bewitched.”
When their relationship didn’t work out either, Elizabeth became involved with William Asher, whom she married on October 26, 1963. The couple had three children together, William Jr., Robert, and Rebecca, but Elizabeth and William’s marriage ended 11 years later.
On the heels of her divorce from William, Elizabeth moved in with Robert Foxworth. In no rush to get married again, the couple lived together for almost twenty years before wedding bells rang on January 28, 1993. Sadly Elizabeth passed away eight weeks after she got diagnosed with colon cancer on May 18, 1995.
Dick played the befuddled husband from 1964 until 1969, when he got replaced by Dick Sargent. The actor suffered from emphysema and had a degenerative spinal condition that forced him to quit the show.
With his emphysema worsening over the years he later became dependent on oxygen tanks before he died due to complications of the disease on February 20, 1992, at a Grand Rapids hospital in Michigan. He is survived by Joan, his wife, a sister, five children, and thirteen grandchildren.
Having been the original choice to star as Darrin Stephens in “Bewitched,” Dick’s average acting performances kept him from snagging roles in popular productions. After the show ended in 1972, Dick regularly appeared onscreen with bit roles in “Alice,” “Taxi,” “Fantasy Island,” and “Three’s Company.”
After Dick got diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1989, the actor revealed himself as gay when tabloids referred to his cancer diagnosis as AIDS-related. Having lived his last few years only, Dick passed away from the disease on July 8, 1994, in Los Angeles, California.
From 1964 until 1972, David played Larry Tate on the popular show. Although David had a successful stage, television, and an onscreen acting career, he faced substantial difficulties in his personal life.
David’s seven-year marriage to Lisa Figus ended in divorce in 1953. The couple had a daughter, Alexandra. Two years later the actor married Mary Welch on March 1955. Shortly after she gave birth to their son Jonathan in 1958, Mary sadly passed away.
But more tragedy followed in December 1988, when terrorists bombed Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie in Scotland. 33-years-old at the time, Jonathan was on board that flight.
The grief David experienced made him reclusive until he had a massive heart attack a few days before the second anniversary of Jonathan’s death on December 27, 1990.
Later called the Lockerbie bombing, the terrorist attack killed all 16 crew and 243 passengers, while sections from the plane that broke off during the explosion killed another 11 people on the ground. As the deadliest terror attack on British soil, a total of 270 people lost their lives that tragic day.
Another favorite character on “Bewitched,” Tabitha, played by Erin Murphy had a life very different from that of her childhood stardom.
Only a toddler when she started in the show, Erin’s adult successes turned out to be just as bewitching as her character.