27 Things You Never Knew About "Bewitched"

By Editorial Staff in Entertainment On 27th August 2015

#1 Bewitched (1964–1972)

Samantha falls in love with New York ad exec Darrin Stephens and seems to be the luckiest gal alive when she marries him in the first episode of the sitcom. Then he finds out that Sam is one of a secret society of powerful witches and warlocks and that a twitch of her nose brings magic results. Thoroughly befuddled, Darrin makes her promise never to use her powers. She agrees and tries to settle into being the perfect suburban housewife. Her mother, Endora, however, has a different agenda. She hates that Sam has married a mortal and continually tries to break them up. Sam's other spellbinding friends pop in and out of the Stephens' household as Sam tries (and fails -- most of the time) to live without magic.

#2 CREATOR SOL SAKS WAS INSPIRED BY TWO MOVIES.

Sol Saks, credited onscreen as the creator of Bewitched, has admitted in several interviews that his script for the pilot episode was inspired by the films I Married a Witch and Bell, Book and Candle. Saks wasn't worried that some litigious types might find too many similarities between his TV show and those movies, though; both films were owned by Columbia Pictures, which in turn also owned Screen Gems, the company that produced Bewitched.

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#3 The Switcheroo

Samantha spent much of the show trying to hide her true, witchy identity from her husband Darrin. Producers, on the other hand, hoped that the audience wouldn't notice when they changed Darrin's identity. Without warning or explanation, Dick Sargent replaced Dick York as Sam's TV husband. The act of nonchalantly switching out actors has become playfully known as "The Darrin Syndrome" evidence that they didn't exactly get away with the switcheroo.

#4 Switching Gladys Kravitz

Darrin wasn't the only character who got replaces sans explanation. Nosey Gladys Kravitz was first played by Alice Pearce and then Sandra Gould.

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#5 Mrs Kravitz #2 (Sandra Gould)

Sandra Gould replaced Alice Pearce due to a cancer scare that was threatening the actress who later died with the disease. In the role of Gladys, Gould's over-the-top performance and shrill voice were popular with viewers, ultimately making the character her own. She remained with the series through its 7th season. The Kravitzes were referenced once in the final/8th season but the characters did not appear. After Bewitched was cancelled in 1972, Gould reprised the role of Gladys five years later in a spin-off of the series, Tabitha.

#6 Dick York as Darrin

Special furniture was used on the set for Dick York due to his back problems. Other cast and crew members also helped him get around on the set. He had to leave the show in 1969 when he suddenly collapsed to the floor on-set. In interviews years later York had always said he felt horrible because he never finished the show.

#8 Warner Brothers Used The Stevens House and Neighborhood for Many Shows

It turns out that Samantha and Darrin weren't the happy TV couple living in their house. The facade appeared in shows including Dennis the Menace and I Dream of Jeanie, The Donna Reed Show, and The Partridge Family.

#9 The Nose Twitch

Erin Murphy, the actress who played Samantha and Darrin's daughter Tabitha, told Parade that "I've never tried [twitching my nose]! The producer didn't think a baby witch should be able to." Murphy added that Montgomery's wiggle "was a camera trick." Look closely and you'll see that her nose isn't really moving at all it's her mouth.

#10 Trademark Twitch

Samantha's nose twitch was so popular that it became a fad in the late 60's to see who could actually do it.

#11 It's Marcia!!

Maureen McCormick played two versions of a young Endora in the series. First, in a fantasy sequence, she is Samantha and Darrin's witch daughter who they named after her maternal grandmother. And second, she is the real Endora transformed into a little girl through witchcraft.

#12 Endora Forever!

Agnes Moorehead was chosen to play Endora after a chance meeting with Elizabeth Montgomery and William Asher at a Bloomingdale's department store. The part was originally written for Eve Arden.

#13 Best Show Opening Sequence!

The show's now-famous animated opening credits were created by Hanna-Barbera Productions.

#14 The Magical Theme Song

The show's theme song was composed by Jack Keller, and had lyrics written by Howard Greenfield that were never used on the show. Several artists recorded versions of the song, including Steve Lawrence and Peggy Lee. The lyrics are: Bewitched, bewitched, you've got me in your spell. Bewitched, bewitched, you know your craft so well. Before I knew what you were doing, I looked in your eyes. That brand of woo that you've been brewin' Took me by surprise. You witch, you witch! One thing that's for sure, that stuff you pitch, just hasn't got a cure. My heart was under lock and key, but somehow it got unhitched. I never thought my heart could be had. But now I'm caught and I'm kind of glad To be bewitched. Bewitched.

#15 What's in a name?

Endora did, in fact, have a last name. In the first episode, when Darrin asks what it is, Endora replies, "You'd never be able to pronounce it."

#16 It's NOT Derwood!

The only members of Samantha's family to consistently call Darrin by his proper name were Aunt Clara and Uncle Arthur.

#17 Always Tabitha

Helen Hunt and Jodie Foster were once considered for the role of Tabitha.

#18 Serena

Elizabeth Montgomery played the roles of Samantha Stephens and her more free-spirited cousin Serena. However in the cast listing, the role of Serena was listed as being played by Pandora Spocks. Many viewers didn't realize this, and wrote "Pandora" fan mail. (Montgomery and William Asher - her husband at the time - once left the set together, with Montgomery still wearing her Serena costume and makeup, and checked into a motel instead of going home.)

#19 Paul Lynde as Uncle Arthur

Paul Lynde, who played Uncle Arthur, appeared in an earlier episode as a nervous driving instructor who teaches Samantha how to drive. One of the shows most loved characters, Lynde made only 10 appearances on Bewitched in it's series run.

#20 Emergency, emergency, calling doctor Bombay...

Bernard Fox appeared earlier on the show as a witch-hunting anthropologist before taking on the role of Dr. Bombay.

#21 Esmerelda

Alice Ghostley originally did not appear as Esmeralda but as maid Naomi who caused havoc at the Stephens'. In the same episode ("Maid To Order"), she is asked to help with a client dinner at the Tate's home because their own maid was ill that night. The name of the Tate's usual maid was Esmeralda!

#22 ABNER!!!

Jim Backus was the first choice to play Abner Kravitz, but turned it down, because he was already working on Gilligan's Island (1964).

#23 Air Dates

The show aired from 17 September 1964 to 1 July 1972 on ABC for 254 episodes: 74 in black and white (1964-1966) and 180 in color (1966-1972). ABC broadcast reruns of the series weekday afternoons from 1 January 1968 to September 1973. Simultaneously, Saturday morning repeats were transmitted over ABC starting in September 1971.

#24 Love It or List It

The Stephens home exterior was apparently built two years before the series, in the summer of 1962. It was next to the home from "Hazel" and can be seen beginning in season two of "Hazel."

#25 Auditions for Samantha

Tammy Grimes, who'd won a Best Actress Tony Award in 1961 for The Unsinkable Molly Brown, was under contract to Screen Gems in 1964 and was the studio's first choice for the role of "Cassandra" (as the lead character was named at the time). Grimes was not a fan of the premise, asking why she wouldn't use her powers to stop wars or deal with Los Angeles traffic. The producers didn't agree, so she accepted a role in High Spirits on Broadway and the witch character, now named "Samantha," had to be recast.

#26 Aunt Clara

Bumbling Aunt Clara (Marion Lorne) was originally supposed to played by Cloris Leachman. She usually arrived via the fireplace.

#27 Doorknobs?

Lorne turned bumbling into an art form with her portrayal of loveable Aunt Clara. The character's unusual fascination with door knobs was based on Lorne's real-life fetish; she had a collection of over 1000 antique door openers. Aunt Clara was so endearing that even Darrin (who despised most of Sam's relatives) loved her, even when her spells went wonky and turned him into a chimpanzee or a seal.