Three Times The Charm: Three Books Commemorate “Bewitched” Star Montgomery

By Herbie J Pilato

This year marks the 20th Anniversary of the passing of Bewitched star Elizabeth Montgomery, the 50th Anniversary of Bewitched’s debut, and the 40th Anniversary of Montgomery's ground-breaking TV-movie, The Legend of Lizzie Borden.

This year marks the 20th Anniversary of the passing of Bewitched star Essential Elizabeth Montgomery, the 50th Anniversary of Bewitched’s debut, and the 40th Anniversary of Montgomery’s ground-breaking TV-movie, The Legend of Lizzie Borden.

I befriended Elizabeth a few years before she died (of colon cancer in 1995). She granted to me exclusive interviews, and I went on to write two books about the beloved actress: Twitch Upon A Star: The Bewitched Life and Career of Elizabeth Montgomery and The Essential Elizabeth Montgomery: A Guide To Her Magical Performances. I also profile Elizabeth in my new book, Glamour, Gidgets and the Girl Next Door: Television’s Iconic Women from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s (which also profiles 45 other legendary TV females such as Goldie Hawn, Lynda Carter and Mary Tyler Moore).

Elizabeth was the daughter of famed film star Robert Montgomery and Broadway actress Elizabeth Allen. Due to her prestigious background, she could have easily adopted an arrogant persona. But instead was down-the-earth, and she transferred that kind demeanor to Bewitched, on which she played Samantha Stephens, the ‘witch-with-a-twitch’…one of the most adored TV characters of all time. Off-screen, she was renowned for her generous and kind demeanor, and donated her name, time, effort and money to many charitable causes, including the Peace Movement and the disabled community; while she was one of the first celebrities to help those suffering from AIDS.

Elizabeth had a love/unlike relationship with her father, was married four times (to New York high-roller Fred Cammann, troubled actor Gig Young, the iconic director/producer William Asher – her partner on Bewitched, and prestigious actor Robert Foxworth). Her personal life was at times a struggle, but she was a champion of the human spirit until her unfortunate demise at only 62-years-old.

Although she is now gone from this world, the incomparable Elizabeth Montgomery remains an immortal inspiration to her millions of fans – and she is lovingly paid tribute in all three books, each of which have received stellar reviews, such as these listed below:

For Twitch Upon A Star:

“Life’s journey is never simple. Twitch Upon a Star: The Bewitched Life and Career of Elizabeth Montgomery is a biography from Herbie J Pilato [in which] he tells the Bewitched star’s story . . . forming friendships, romances, enemies, and everything in between. An advocate with her own problems, [Montgomery’s] story is one of [an individual] who tried to make a difference with her stardom. Twitch Upon a Star is a strongly recommended addition to Hollywood and television history biography collections; highly recommended.” – Midwest Book Review

“For anyone who only recalls Elizabeth Montgomery from her most memorable role, on the 1960’s sitcom Bewitched, this thoroughly researched, extensively detailed, and wholly fascinating biography will load you up with everything you’ve been missing. It’s a delicious, detailed look at her life and remarkable career before, during and after that magical, life-changing show; her crusading and often controversial activism for the causes close to her heart; her often turbulent relationship with her father, actor Robert Montgomery; her rocky marital history; and the many other facets of the woman who played Samantha Stephens, TV’s `witch-with-the-twitch’ at the end of her nose.” – American Profile

For The Essential Elizabeth Montgomery:

“Herbie J Pilato has spent a lifetime researching and writing on media, as his backlist readily attests. Now, on the heels of his brilliant Twitch Upon A Star, comes the ultimate resource for Montgomery fans. The Essential Elizabeth Montgomery is a must-have for lovers of classic TV.” – Matthew Worley, journalist, syndicated broadcaster, host, By the Book radio show

“Herbie J Pilato has created a loving, extensive, and incisive portrait of an actress who deserves the attention…An important addition to any pop culture collection.” – Lou Aronica, New York Times bestselling author

For Glamour, Gidgets and the Girl Next Door:

“Pilato pays tribute to the women who lit up the small screen in such now-classic shows as I Dream of Jeannie, Charlie’s Angels and The Mary Tyler Moore Show. He devotes 5 to 10 pages to each actress, recounting her rise to fame, her experience on the show (or shows) she starred in, and some basic facts about her life. Among the profiled are Sally Field, who rose to fame in two very disparate roles in Gidget and The Flying Nun before going on to movie stardom; Cher, whose variety show launched her singing career; Patty Duke, who charmed viewers as Patty and her look-alike cousin Cathy on The Patty Duke Show but was forbidden to watch the show by her tyrannical managers; and Nichelle Nichols, who made history on the bridge of the Enterprise in Star Trek. With photographs of the leading ladies and plenty of quotes culled from magazines and interviews, Pilato’s guide will be a welcome trip down memory lane for many readers and a terrific resource for all film and television buffs.” – Booklist

“Had a crush on a favorite star of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s? This is your new guide to the lovely ladies of the era whether it was Diana Rigg in The Avengers, Goldie Hawn in Laugh-In or Suzanne Pleshette in The Bob Newhart Show. These memorable actresses all appear in Glamour Gidgets, and the Girl Next Door Television’s Iconic Women from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.” – Cinema Books


All three books, Twitch Upon A Star, The Essential Elizabeth Montgomery, and Glamour, Gidgets and the Girl Next Door, are published by Taylor Trade Publishing/Rowman & Littlefield.

To request a book for review, or to interview Herbie J Pilato, call (310) 480-0067 or email:

Writers Biline:

The essential Elizabeth Montgomery

Writer Name : Herbie J Pilato

Writer Bio : Herbie J Pilato is a writer, producer, director, and actor. He's worked for A&E, TLC, E!, Bravo, Syfy, NBCUniversal, Warner Bros., Sony, and other TV networks and film studios, as well as several production companies. Herbie J's top-selling books including The Bionic Book, The Kung Fu Book of Caine, Life Story - The Book of Life Goes On, and NBC & ME: My Life As A Page in A Book, among others. He is the founder and executive director of The Classic TV Preservation Society, a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to the positive influence of classic TV programming, and he presides over Television, Ink., a television, film and literary production company.

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