Elizabeth Montgomery Biography

photo: Elizabeth Montgomery

Elizabeth Montgomery was born into show business. Her parents were screen actor Robert Montgomery and Broadway actress Elizabeth Bryan Allen.

Elizabeth graduated from the Spence School in New York City and attended the Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. After three years intensive training, she made her TV debut at the age of 19 in her father's 1950s playhouse series 'Robert Montgomery Presents'.

She also tried her hand at Broadway, and 'Late Love' was her debut. She married at the age of 21, to TV director Frederic Cammann, but the marriage did not last.

Her big screen break came with 'The Court Martial of Billy Mitchell' in 1955. In 1960, Elizabeth portrayed Rusty Heller, in an episode of 'The Untouchables', and was nominated for her first Emmy.

In 1956, she met her second husband, actor Gig Young, fourteen years her senior and an abusive alcoholic. They were divorced in time for her to marry producer William Asher in 1963. Their union produced three children.

Her most famous role was Samantha Stephens, the nose twitching sorceress married to a mortal. 'Bewitched' lasted eight seasons on ABC, and garnered the cast and crew many Emmy nominations and awards, five alone for Elizabeth.

After 'Bewitched', Liz went on to make a number of TV movies. She portrayed Lizzie Borden in 'The Legend of Lizzie Borden', for which she received another Emmy nomination.

Elizabeth Montgomery was not only a versatile television actress but also an AIDS and Gay Rights activist. She had very liberal political views and narrated a series of documentaries in the late 1980s and early 1990s, including 'Coverup: Behind the Iran Contra Affair' (1988) and the Academy Award winning 'The Panama Deception' (1992).

She died of cancer in May 1995. She passed away just eight weeks after her cancer diagnosis.

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