The daughter of film star Robert Montgomery, Elizabeth Montgomery made her television bow on her father's popular 1950s anthology series. Her first film was 1955's The Court Martial of Billy Mitchell, for which she was generously reviewed as one of the most dynamic young actresses of her time. Often cast in hypertense roles, Montgomery won an Emmy for her portrayal of a conniving gun moll on a 1959 episode of TV's The Untouchables. She shifted to domestic comedy with ease in the role of Samantha Stephens, the attractive witch heroine of the long-running (1964-1973) TV sitcom Bewitched. After this project folded, Montgomery returned to dramatic roles with a vengeance, spending the next two decades starring as abused, beleaguered women in such TV movies as A Case of Rape (1974) and The Legend of Lizzie Borden (1975). In her last made-for-TV project, Montgomery portrayed real-life reporter Edna Buchanan. Among Elizabeth Montgomery's husbands were actors Gig Young, producer/director William Asher, and Robert Foxworth.
Biography by Hal Erickson
- Moved to New York after her parents divorced in 1950 and made her TV debut opposite her father in his series Robert Montgomery Presents, in a '51 episode titled "Top Secret."
- Made Broadway debut in 1953's Late Love and received the Daniel Blum Theater World Award for Most Promising Newcomer.
- Regarded the 1970 Bewitched episode "Sisters at Heart," which delved into issues of bigotry and racism, as one of her favorites. It received a Governor's Award for Excellence at the Emmys.
- Active in politics, she campaigned for Democratic candidates, championed liberal causes and narrated two documentaries that were critical of the Reagan administration: 1988's Coverup: Behind the Iran-Contra Affair, and 1992's Panama Deception.
- Discovered she had colon cancer after wrapping production on what was to be her final made-for-TV movie, 1995's Deadline for Murder, in which she reprised the role of real-life crime reporter Edna Buchanan.
- Received a posthumous star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2008.