Thursday, May 23, 2024

Bewitched Actress Elizabeth Montgomery Leaves Show Amidst Claims of On-Set Bullying

HomeEntertainmentBewitched Actress Elizabeth Montgomery Leaves Show Amidst Claims of On-Set Bullying

For eight beloved seasons, Elizabeth Montgomery enchanted audiences as the charming witch Samantha on the classic sitcom “Bewitched.” However, the show’s magic came to an abrupt end when Ms. Montgomery made the shocking decision to depart the series at the height of its popularity. It’s a television mystery that has lingered for decades – until now.

In a revealing new memoir, Peter Ackerman, son of “Bewitched” executive producer Harry Ackerman, has finally shed light on what led the show’s beloved star to walk away. The explosive tell-all, “Mom, Dad, Me, and Classic TV,” divulges the sordid details behind-the-scenes that prompted Ms. Montgomery’s exit.

According to Ackerman, who witnessed the events firsthand as a child on set, a lewd comment from a guest director towards Ms. Montgomery created an intensely uncomfortable environment that proved to be the final straw. During filming of one episode, the director made a crude remark about ogling Ms. Montgomery’s body as she bent over in jeans.

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“The director said, ‘Oh Liz, honey, I could look at that all day,'” Ackerman recalls in an interview with Fox News Digital, still sounding dismayed decades later. “It was just an awkward, terrible situation.”

The offensive remark came at a time of larger tensions swirling around “Bewitched.” Ms. Montgomery was in the midst of divorcing Bill Asher, who had directed and produced many episodes of the sitcom. According to Ackerman, Montgomery had demanded Asher be fired from the show amidst their split, but producers refused as he was Harry Ackerman’s business partner.

With the director’s demeaning comment compounding the already fraught atmosphere, Ms. Montgomery had finally had enough. Ackerman reveals she issued an ultimatum – either Asher went, or she would leave “Bewitched” for good. When Harry opted to stand by his partner, the iconic actress shockingly walked away from the hit series.

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“She said, ‘Well then, Bewitched is done,'” recounts Ackerman. “It was really kind of a sudden thing.”

For viewers who had fallen under Samantha’s spell for nearly a decade, Ms. Montgomery’s departure after the 1972 season felt earth-shattering. The show’s plummeting ratings that year hinted at its increasing silliness and decline in quality – perhaps foreshadowing the star’s unhappiness behind the scenes.

While “Bewitched” limped on through a final ninth season without its leading lady, the magic had already evaporated. In retrospect, Ms. Montgomery’s exit marked not just the end of her most famous role, but the conclusion of an era of television.

Looking back, Ackerman expresses deep sadness at how such a beloved show met its demise. He fondly remembers “Aunt Liz” as a warm, gentle spirit who embodied the mischievous charm of Samantha, nicknaming her “the pixie.”

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“She was just an absolute doll,” he reminisces. “Just a very kind person, playful like you would think Samantha would be.”

After finally breaking free from her iconic witch character, Ms. Montgomery went on to pursue more dramatic roles in films and television movies. Her departure from “Bewitched” allowed her to transcend being typecast, paving the way for a fruitful later career.

While “Bewitched” may have overstayed its welcome on the air, Elizabeth Montgomery’s decision to exit will be remembered as the moment the beloved show lost its magic once and for all. Decades later, this first-hand account finally resolves the mystery of why a surefire hit saw its biggest star disappear.

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Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee is a prolific author who provides commentary and analysis on business, finance, politics, sports, and current events on his website Opportuneist. With over a decade of experience in journalism and blogging, Mezhar aims to deliver well-researched insights and thought-provoking perspectives on important local and global issues in society.

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