Celebrity Deathwatch – Bewitched

Recently, I became fascinated by old childhood favourite Bewitched, after reading the script for the episode ‘The Phrase is Familiar‘. It’s so much funnier than I expected.

Luckily, Living TV is showing reruns of Bewitched at 8am here in the UK. It makes for great breakfast viewing.

Sadly, most of the cast is now six feet under. Given my morbid fascination for such things, here’s how they got there:

Elizabeth Mongomery – Samantha Stephens. Died 18 May 1995, Beverley Hills aged 65. Apparently she began to feel ill during the filming of Edna Buchanan and acted too late. Colorectal cancer.

Dick York – Darrin Stephens. Died 20 February 1992, Grand Rapids, Michigan, aged 63. Had to give up Bewitched because of a back injury. Rumour has it he spent much of the next 20 years in bed addicted to pain killers. Emphysema.

Dick Sargent – Darrin Stephens Mark 2 – 8 July 1994, Los Angeles, California, aged 64. York’s replacement lasted only two more years in real life. Prostate cancer.

Agnes Moorehead – Endora – 30 April 1974, Rochester, Minnesota, aged 73. Not many people know this but Moorehead appeared in Orson Wells’ production of War of the Worlds, and starred as his mother in Citizen Kane. Uterine cancer.

David White – Larry Tate – 27 November 1990, North Hollywood, California, aged 74. Son died two years before on Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie. Heart attack.

Alice Pearce – original nosy neigbour Gladys Kravitz – 3 March 1966, Hollywood, California, aged 48. Already diagnosed with terminal cancer before cast. Made it through to second season. Ovarian cancer.

Sandra Gould – Gladys Kravitz mark two – 20 July 1999, Burbank, California, aged 82. Also wrote two books, ‘Always Say Maybe‘ and ‘Sexpots and Pans‘. Died following heart surgery.

George Tobias – Abner Kravitz – 27 February 1980, Los Angeles, California, aged 78. Hearse containing his body stolen on the way to the mortuary. Bladder cancer.

Maurice Evans – Samantha’s father, Maurice – 12 March 1989, Rottingdean, East Sussex, aged 87. Played Dr Zaius in Planet of the Apes and Beneath the Planet of the Apes. Also in Rosemary’s Baby. Heart failure as a result of bronchial infection.

Paul Lynde – Uncle Arthur, Endora’s brother – 10 January 1982, Beverley Hills, California, aged 55. Voice of Roger the Alien in American Dad! modeled after him. Heart attack.

Marion Lorne – Aunt Clara – 9 May 1968, New York City, New York, aged 84. What an actress! The best thing about Bewitched. Character has a doorknob obsession – as did Lorne in real life. Heart attack.

Alice Ghostley – Esmeralda – 21 September 2007, Studio City, California, aged 81. Appeared in The Graduate with Marion Lorne. Colon cancer and a series of strokes.

Reta Shaw – Bertha/Hagatha – 8 January 1982, Enricho, California, aged 69. Also appeared in Mary Poppins. Emphysema.

Dick Wilson – the Drunk – 19 November 2008, Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, aged 91. Born in Preston, UK. Natural causes.

Kasey Rogers – Louise Tate – 6 July 2006, Los Angeles, California, aged 80. Throat cancer/stroke.

Mabel Albertson – Phyllis Stephens – 28 September 1982, Santa Monica, California, aged 81. Alzheimers.

Robert F. Simon – Frank Stephens – 29 November 1992, Tarzana, California, aged 83. Heart attack.

Surviving members of the cast include Diane and Erin Murphy, twins who played Tabitha Stephens. Diane left Bewitched after the first season. Erin now works as a stunt double and make up artist.

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8 Responses to Celebrity Deathwatch – Bewitched

  1. Carl Egan says:

    A tad maudlin. Yet somehow compelling!

  2. celebrities says:

    only seen planet of the apes from all this movies

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  4. Beatricce says:

    ° Grabblumen kosten viel? – Warum erwünscht der Doc nicht mehr?

  5. Tim White says:

    Some heavy, unmentioned import of the Bewitched cast: Paul Lynde (Uncle Arthur) and Agnes Moorhead (Endora), both confirmed and canonized deities in LGBT circles. Dick Wilson (The Drunk) was also Mr. Whipple in a very popular toilet paper TV ad; and lest we forget Dr. Bombay (Bernard Fox), d. 2004. Thus have I heard.

    • Tim White says:

      Good gravel! I almost forgot — Dick York’s back difficulties, and the ensuing attachment to painkillers — and shall we say “demise” — were begun during the filming of the 1959 film They Came to Cordura.

  6. Beth says:

    I remember that Uncle Arthur was Endora’s brother. I cannot remember how Aunt Clara was related. Was she Maurice’s sister? What about Aunt Hagatha and Aunt Enchantra?

  7. mark Bridges says:

    Dick Wilson “the drunk” fared well it seems. Real method to his apparent affliction.
    Wore a wig, I’m just guessing.

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