When I was growing up, "Bewitched" was one of the most popular shows on television. It lasted a then-unprecedented eight seasons. The show's characters and comedy were hilarious.
"Bewitched" stars Elizabeth Montgomery as Samantha (Sam), a real witch married to a mortal (Darrin). The weirdest thing the show did was, in the fifth season, SWITCH actors for her husband Darrin (from Dick York to Dick Sargent). That struck me as very odd at the time and most viewers agreed. No explanation was given on the show for the switch. It's real-life reason was that Dick York had injured his back making a movie, became addicted to painkillers during his recovery and later suffered a seizure on the "Bewitched" set. While in the hospital, the show's director asked him if he wanted to quit and he did.
If you ever saw the show, you know its wacky cast of characters: Endora, Aunt Clara, nosy neighbor Gladys Kravitz (whose actress won an Emmy for the role), Uncle Arthur and Esmeralda.
Viewers loved Sam's famous nose-twitch. Practically no one knows the twitch wasn't real; instead it was created by visual editing and a sound effect.
The success of the show was only partly due to its lead actress's exceptional beauty; equal attention came from the show's skillful writing with barely-disguised sub-texts. Plots touched on issues of gender, race and even sexual orientation. A common theme was not being allowed by society to reveal one's hidden qualities.
Five years after the show ended, there was a spinoff, "Tabitha", about an adult version of daughter Tabitha. It didn't do well. Nor did a 2005 movie starring Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell that was a critical and box office failure.
After the show ended, almost all of the cast died of cancer in what's called "the Bewitched curse." Elizabeth Montgomery died at age 62, Dick York died at age 63 and Dick Sargeant died at age 64. Sad facts.
"Bewitched" is universally recognized as one of TV's classic shows. Have you seen it?