Remembering Elizabeth Montgomery, born April 15, 1933 and passed away on May 18, 1995.
The daughter of Robert Montgomery, she began her career in the 1950’s with a role on her father’s television series Robert Montgomery Presents, and won a Theater World Award for her 1956 Broadway debut in the production Late Love.
Montgomery’s early career consisted of starring roles and appearances in live television dramas and series, such as Studio One, Kraft Television Theater, Johnny Staccato, Burke’s Law, The Twilight Zone, The Eleventh Hour, Wagon Train, Boris Karloff’s Thriller, and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. In 1960, Montgomery was nominated for an Emmy Award for her portrayal of southern nightclub performer Rusty Heller in an episode of The Untouchables, playing opposite David White, who later portrayed Darrin’s boss Larry Tate on Bewitched. She played the part of Rose Cornelius in the Rawhide episode “Incident at El Crucero” (1963).
In the 1960’s, she became known for her role as Samantha Stephens on the ABC sitcom Bewitched. Her work on the series earned her five Primetime Emmy Award nominations and four Golden Globe Award nominations.
After Bewitched ended its run in 1972, Montgomery continued her career with roles in numerous television films, including A Case of Rape (1974), as Ellen Harrod, and The Legend of Lizzie Borden (1975) in the title role. Both roles earned her additional Emmy Award nominations.
For many years, Montgomery had struggled with colon cancer, which she believed she had beaten. In the spring of 1995, however, she was told that the cancer had returned. She had ignored the influenza-like symptoms during the filming of Deadline for Murder: From the Files of Edna Buchanan, which she finished filming in late March 1995. By the time the cancer was diagnosed, it had spread to her liver and it was too late for medical intervention. With no hope of recovery and unwilling to die in a hospital, she chose to return to the Beverly Hills home. Early on the morning of May 18, 1995, Montgomery died at home, eight weeks after her diagnosis. She was 62 years old.
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