Bewitched, starring Elizabeth Montgomery, ran as a popular TV series from 1964-1972. In the show, Montgomery played a witch who married a mortal and chose to live as a mortal housewife. Academy Award-winning actress Agnes Moorehead played Endora, Samantha Stevens’ mother. Maurice Evans, along with Werner Klemperer (Col. Klink of Hogan’s Heroes), played her father.
George Tobias played Abner Kravitz, and acted in many other movies and TV shows including Mildred Pierce, The Waltons, Mannix, and Tora! Tora! Tora! He played Vaudeville, and met Sandra Gould there when she was a child actress. When Alice Pearce, the original Mrs. Kravitz died during the filming of Bewitched, Tobias recommended Sandra Gould as her replacement.
In 2005, Nora Ephron directed the film Bewitched, starring Nicole Kidman. The movie was loosely inspired by the TV series and showed film clips of the old show in black and white. Tonner created a doll inspired by this film of Kidman. The doll could be purchased with various outfits. From the beginning, dolls of Samantha were very popular. Ideal made a beautiful 12-inch doll in a red velveteen gown with a matching witch’s hat. There were also Bewitched coloring books and other items.
Madame Alexander created a Cissette doll dressed in Samantha witch attire. Alexander also created an Endora doll. Mattel introduced Bewitched Barbie (2001) as well as a Pink Label Bewitched Barbie Collector doll with the face similar to the Silkstone dolls. Hallmark made a Bewitched ornament as part of its 2001 collection.
Dolls often played a part on the TV show. In one episode, Darren is put under a spell by a funny looking little doll that drives mortals mad. They buy it in a frenzy, and make Darren wildly successful till the spell is broken. Long before the days of CPK, Furby, and Beanie Baby mania, the weird little doll was a sell out everywhere it appeared.
In another episode guest starring Charles Lane as a scrooge like client, Tabitha gets a very rare Susy Bruisy doll for Christmas. An antique rag doll given to Tabitha by Grandmother Stevens takes on magical properties, and plush toys constantly fly around Tabitha’s nursery. In more than one episode, toy soldiers come to life, and Aunt Clara, the loveable bumbling witch, involves dolls and toys in her faulty spells. In one episode, an entire collection of antique bisque and china head dolls is featured.
Today, Bewitched dolls and collectibles are highly prized, and a statue of Montgomery as Samantha is on display in Salem, Massachusetts. It’s enough to make your nose twitch!
“Hair of gold, eyes that twinkle,
A nose that neatly twitched,
Clever, charming and enchanting,
Samantha left us all Bewitched.”
Poem on a bronze star mounted near the base of the statue
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