Bewitched

“Oh My Stars”          1964-1972

I binged watched Bewitched during the lockdown and some afterward. The first five seasons were probably the best. Having the lovely Samantha (Elizabeth Montgomery) as a wife who could twitch her nose and whip up anything you desired…doesn’t sound half bad…therefore… I never understood Darrin…either Darrin.

Bewitched was full of funny characters. Mr and Mrs Kravitz next door. Uncle Arthur (the great Paul Lynne), Aunt Clara, Maurice, Endora, and a cast of witches and warlocks. The show stuck the characters with the same actors/actresses for the most part. The continuity was pretty good in this show with one big exception…the two Darrins. More on that in a few.

The show was about a mortal (Darrin Stevens) that married a witch (Samantha Stevens) and Darrin does not like Samantha to use her powers. Endora the mother-in-law was a witch that played the stereotypical mother-in-law but one that could Darrin into a horse if she so pleased.

One of my favorites was Aunt Clara played perfectly by Marion Lorne. The character Aunt Clara collected doorknobs. The writers did that because Marion Lorne actually collected doorknobs from everywhere… The producers of the show would ask to borrow one if they wanted one for a different look for the show. 

Aunt Clara | Of Mice and Men Wiki | Fandom

A funny story about Marion Lorne is that she once called Elizabeth Montgomery and said, with her trademark stammer, to come to her hotel residence right away as she seemed to have actual magical powers like her character. Every time she clapped her hands, her TV set would change the channel. What Marion didn’t know was that the bracelets on each of her arms made contact when she clapped her hands, and the sound was the same as a remote control, which operated as tuning forks in those days. Montgomery never told her this.

The two Darrins. The first Darrin was Dick York. The second Darrin was Dick Sargent.

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Dick York had severe back problems and a pain pill addiction. He was on for almost 5 full seasons. He came down with a fever during the last part of the 5th season and collapsed on an episode. He entered the hospital and never came back to the show. His career essentially ended then.

The next season Dick Sargent took over with no explanation to the audience. Sargent was never as popular with the audience and the ratings soon dropped. The show lasted 8 total seasons before ending in 1972.

On December 6 Agnes Moorehead was born… | Today In PopAgnes Moorehead | American actress | Britannica

It’s a fun show to watch and it had some great actors and actress that would show up. Agnes Moorehead who played Endora was part of the Mercury Theatre with Orson Welles.

Bewitched had some really good effects for the time. I grew up on this show in syndication.

 

 

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Those Who Could Not Escape Their Character.

I’m not saying that these actors and actresses never acted in anything else but they ended up trapped in the role that ended up defining them good or bad. This list could have been much longer.

Bob Denver – Gilligan – I just picked Bob because he was the star of the show but a point could be argued that the entire cast of this show was eternally typecast. Bob Denver also played Maynard Krebs (which I loved) on The Many Lives of Dobie Gillis but Gilligan wins out.

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Mark Hamill – Luke Skywalker – After he auditioned for the title role in 1983 movie Amadeus the director dismissed the idea saying “I don’t want Luke Skywalker in this film.” He has broken a little out of the image by doing voiceovers like the Joker in Batman animated cartoons.

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Carrie Fischer – Princess Leia – Harrison Ford was able to break out more successfully than his other two co-stars in Star Wars. Carrie Fischer acted in a lot of movies but could never shake Princess Leia…she is forever frozen in time in the minds of teenage nerds at the time and now.

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Christopher Reeve – Superman – He is said to have stated that he spent his career trying to “escape the cape.”… When I think of Superman…I do think of Christopher Reeve’s version

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George Reeves – Superman – See Above

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Barbara Eden – Jeannie – She appeared in many TV  movies but nothing topped beautiful Jeannie. Larry Hagman did manage to escape his character in I Dream of Jeannie into another…J.R. Ewing.

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Elizabeth Montgomery – Samantha – Everyone’s favorite witch. Like Eden she did many TV movies…a lot of them really good but is known for Samantha.

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Don Adams – Maxwell Smart -Adams also provided the voices for the animated series Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales  and Inspector Gadget but was

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Anthony Perkins – Is Norman Bates and there is no arguing that.

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Robert Englund – Freddie Kruger – and I don’t believe he minds at all.

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