Film and TV Actress Elizabeth Montgomery had a very complicated love life which stemmed from her intricate relationship with her father, who controlled her.
Elizabeth Montgomery followed in her parents' footsteps pursuing an acting career. Her mother, Elizabeth Daniel Bryan, was a Broadway actress, and her father, Robert Montgomery, was a famed actor and producer.
Elizabeth's childhood experience, notably her relationship with Robert, was troublesome. It later impacted her adult life as a young woman looking for love.
Actress Elizabeth Montgomery on the TV sitcom "Bewitched" in Season 5, on the episode titled "Samantha's Shopping Spree," Samantha tried restoring a mannequin back to human form which aired on April 17 1969 | Photo: Getty Images
'HORRIFIED' FAMOUS FATHER
A friend of her third husband, Geoffrey Mark, shed light on how the father and daughter relationship heavily affected Elizabeth's life as an adult. The author shared:
"Elizabeth had a very complicated relationship with her father, which colored her relationships with men most of her life."
He explained that part of it was her being the child of a megastar and that her dad was not a very good husband to her mom. Mark noted that her first acting experience on her father's show may have contributed to their hostile relationship.
Actor Robert Montgomery on a film set with his daughter, actress Elizabeth Montgomery in 1960 | Photo: Getty Images
Another factor could have been because Robert previously lost a daughter when she was an infant. Mark explained that perhaps Robert never came to terms with the death of his first child and somehow resented Elizabeth from the onset, almost for being born.
The pop culture historian emphasized that the duo had a strange relationship, but she still adored him and respected his work.
Pictured: A portrait of "Bewitched" star Elizabeth Montgomery on March 1, 1965 | Photo: Getty Images
Furthermore, he revealed the singer resented her dad and that, as a married woman, she did not want Robert to visit because she did not like exposing her kids to him. He added:
“She was looking for a man who wouldn’t be the cold, withdrawn person that Robert had been with her.”
Even her third husband shared he could not comprehend why his former wife despised her father so much and that it bothered her having him around. Her fourth husband shared these sentiments about the pair.
Producer Robert Montgomery on a film set with his daughter, singer Elizabeth Montgomery in 1955 | Photo: Getty Images
Elizabeth herself admitted to the Elmira Advertiser in 1955, "My father hasn't always encouraged my acting. For years, I announced to him that I wanted to be an actress and eventually do pictures. She added:
“I’m not sure he was in favor of a screen career for me, but then I don’t believe I can develop in just one medium. He always just told me to go ahead if acting was what I wanted.”
Elizabeth Montgomery reclining on a white chaise longue, wearing a white dressing gown trimmed with white fur in 1965 | Photo: Getty Images
Notably, Herbie J Pilato, an author, stated: "Ultimately, I think her father was jealous that Elizabeth became a bigger star on TV or otherwise than he ever was."
He shared that Robert was his daughter's biggest critic as an actress, which fell over on to her personal life. Robert even affected the way she walked and her posture.
Elizabeth Montgomery on the set of "Bewitched" Season 8, while vacationing in England Samantha frees a trapped nobleman from a painting, aired on March 4, 1971 | Photo: Getty Images
Elizabeth was one of the biggest television stars of the sixties. Pilato said the 1964 sitcom "Bewitched" put ABC on the map and that her relationship with Robert started being resentful because he did not want her to be an actress. He added:
“Then a further wedge grew between them when he divorced her mother, who she loved dearly.”
When her parents divorced, she was a teenager, and her dysfunctional childhood family home haunted her for years. It even led to her desire for older men, which horrified her father because he thought Elizabeth was trying to replace him.
Elizabeth Montgomery on the set of "Bewitched" Season 8 on June 13 in 1971 | Photo: Getty Images
WHIRLWIND & ABUSIVE MARRIAGES
The starlet was married four times. Her first husband was New York Socialite Frederick Gallatin Cammann, whom she wed in March 1954. Pilato noted Robert was reportedly thrilled about the union because Cammann was the same age as his daughter.
However, things panned out differently because he wanted a stay-at-home wife, and Elizabeth wanted fame which ultimately led to their divorce a year later. Cammann commented on their split, saying:
“She thought her career demanded that she head back to Hollywood, and I didn’t see how I could fit in out there.”
Headshot of Elizabeth Montgomery in a publicity portrait issued for the US television series, "Bewitched," in 1968 | Photo: Getty Images
Soon after, Elizabeth tied the knot again with Actor Gig Young in 1956. As much as her dad gave her blessings in her first marriage, he was unhappy with her second.
Robert was more petrified by his child's union with Young because he was older than her and was almost his age, 25 years her senior. Elizabeth was only 22 years of age at the time.
While she was fell for Young, he was a bad fit for her because he was an alcoholic who abused her emotionally and was most probably physically abusive.
Elizabeth Montgomery in profile, looking toward the right of the image, in a studio portrait, against a light background, in 1960 | Photo: Getty Images
Even though she tried to save him from himself, their marriage went downward, leading to a divorce in 1963. Young married his fourth wife in 1978, and only three weeks after their wedding, he shot her to death and then killed himself.
Elizabeth met Bill Asher, another older man who was 12 years her senior. Asher was the "Bewitched" producer whom she wed in 1963.
He lived a complicated life at the time he met the star. Asher had separated from his first wife, who was the mother of his kids. While directing Elizabeth in "Johnny Cool" that year, he was having an affair with three women.
Elizabeth Montgomery and her husband producer and director Bill Asher pose for a portrait at home in 1966 in Beverly Hills, California | Photo: Getty Images
COMPLICATED LIFE OF BILL ASHER
Elizabeth also had an affair with one of the directors, Richard Michaels, which rocked their marriages in 1971. The couple divorced in 1973, and it left Asher devastated.
Toward the end of his life, he longed and cried his heart out for her, claiming that their split was his fault. Pilato revealed he could not get over her. The exes shared three children, Rebecca, Bill, and Robert.
Elizabeth was Asher's second wife; his first marriage was to Danny Sue Nolan. The two were married from 1951 to 1961 and shared two children, Liane and Brian.
Elizabeth Montgomery and William Asher pose for a portrait at home in 1966 in Beverly Hills, California | Photo: Getty Images
LOVE ON SET
His third marriage was to Actress Joyce Bulifant whom he wed in 1976 but divorced in 1993. They only had one son, John. Asher's fourth wife was Meredith Coffin McMachen, and they were married from 1996 to 2012.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth had numerous love affairs with Hollywood stars such as Elvis Presley, Gary Cooper, and Dean Martin. She worked with Cooper on a movie, where their affair began.
The pair were once caught alone in his dressing room, sparking a scandal. He was also older than Elizabeth. Additionally, Martin was also smitten by Elizabeth and was described as a romantic who loved women.
Actor Robert Foxworth (as Tobias Williams, miner) and Elizabeth Montgomery (as Dr. Diana Firestone, a paleontologist) on the set of the film "Face to Face" on December 1, 1988 | Photo: Getty Images
On the other hand, Presley was more or less her age when they co-starred in "Kid Galahad," and he wanted her. Elizabeth was also romantically linked with former Ballet Star Alexander Godunov.
She married her fourth husband, Robert Foxworth, who was nine years her junior, in 1993. The lovebirds dated for 20 years before they finally got married.
She was still having an affair with Godunov during that time but eventually broke up with him. Elizabeth was later diagnosed with cancer and died 18 months after she and Foxworth wed.
Pictured: A black and white portrait of Hollywood starlet Elizabeth Montgomery in 1960 | Photo: Getty Images
LIFE OF "BEWITCHED" STAR
The mom of three was born in Los Angeles in April 1933. She studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. Elizabeth made her television debut in her dad's series "Top Secret" at age seventeen.
After that, she appeared in another 26 episodes of the program in the next five years. She also acted in live dramas in series such as "Armstrong Circle Theater." Elizabeth's career spanned five decades.
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