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Ancestry of Elizabeth Montgomery

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Early life
Elizabeth Victoria Montgomery was born 15 Apr 1933 in Hollywood, Los Angeles County, California, the second child of actor Robert Montgomery and stage actress Elizabeth Allen (not the British film actress of that name). Note: I repeat here the claim that her middle name was "Victoria" with only this comment, I have not located any document yet which calls her by this name. Her younger brother Robert Jr born 1936, was also known as "Skip". In an interview with Dick Kleiner published 21 Feb 1968, she says that as a girl her first attempts at cooking were not successful:

She made a batch of fudge and it was so bad she threw it away. And the chickens got it, and three of them died.

familyalbum17.jpg Baby Elizabeth and her mother Elizabeth

In 1949/50 her father decided to move back to New York to work in the budding television industry and Elizabeth must have followed him as her Wikipedia article states that she went to the Spence School which is in New York. If she did, she could only have gone there for at most two years.

"After being graduated from high school she had applications in for various colleges. But she enrolled in the Academy of Dramatic Arts instead" (The Fresno Bee Republican, 14 Jul 1955).
[edit] Early Career
mfam1.jpg Elizabeth had made her own decision that she wanted to be an actress. Her father did not approve of it, but her parents allowed her to make her own choice. And so at the age of 18, she made her television debut in 1951, in her father's production of "Top Secret" for his program Robert Montgomery Presents. Contrary to reports that he "got" her her first job, are reports that he didn't know she'd been cast until she already was.

She married first on 27 Mar 1954 in St James' Protestant Episcopal Church, New York City to socialite and casting-director (or stage manager) Frederick Gallatin Cammann, a Harvard man of the Class of 1951. For the effrontery of his aligning his New York blue-blood with a common actress, Freddy was evicted from the Social Register.
The marriage ended in a 1955 Nevada divorce. While fulfilling her residency requirement for a "quickie" divorce in Nevada, Elizabeth was also commuting to Hollywood for the shooting of The Court Martial of Billy Mitchell starring Gary Cooper, which was her own film debut.

She next married on 28 Dec 1956 in the First Presbyterian Church in Las Vegas to actor "Gig Young" (real name Byron Barr). It has been reported that Gig was an alcoholic and they separated in 1961. They divorced either in, or by, 1963. Byron Barr had previously been married to Sophie Rosenstein his drama tutor, who died in 1952.
In a 1958 interview with columnist Bill Fiset, Elizabeth said:

"...having been brought up in an atmosphere heavily scented with the acting profession, I sort of fell into the mold. My parents felt it was up to me to choose my field of endeavor. I'm glad it worked out that way. I made my own decision and I'm very happy."

She was in the 1958 television presentation "live from New York" of Harvey starring Art Carney, which had already been a hit on Broadway. A special guest star in this show was Marion Lorne, who would later become Bewitched's "Aunt Clara".

The following year, 1959, she was back living in California again, but by 1961 they were again in New York where Gig had a role in the Broadway play Under the Yum-Yum Tree later made into a 1963 movie starring Jack Lemmon. That same year, 1961, Elizabeth was in the Twilight Zone episode "Two" opposite Charles Bronson.

In 1963 she met director William Asher (b. 1921). At first they did not like each other, but within a short while that had changed. He became her third husband, and she his second wife. An AP article quotes Elizabeth as saying that she married William Asher in Juarez, Mexico on 26 Oct 1963 and that they were expecting a child in the Summer.(Press-Telegram, Long Beach (CA) 18 Jan 1964) A modern website states that they married in El Paso, Texas.
[edit] Bewitched

The pilot for Bewitched first screened early in 1964 and the series started in the Fall of that year. Elizabeth had her baby and was scheduled to go to work Aug 15. On Episode 1 of Season 1 Darrin and Samantha are on their honeymoon. Sam has not told Darrin that she is a witch as she has decided to give up witchcraft for him, but her mother Endora drops in and convinces her that she must tell him. In the second half, Sheila a prior flame of Darrin's drops in. She invites him and Sam to her dinner party, where she is very catty toward Sam, who then gets revenge. You can watch this episode here Part 1, Part 2, Part 3. The TV-series Bewitched ran for eight seasons, broadcast weekly, and for four of those years, was the number one show for ABC. After the run ended, it was broadcast daily, for years, in syndication in many markets.

Read my write-up on "Every episode of Bewitched" on Knol, where you can buy or watch most of the 254 episodes.
[edit] Children

Elizabeth and William had three children: William Allen "Billy" Asher b 24 Jul 1964, Robert Deverell Asher born 5 Oct 1965 and Rebecca Elizabeth Asher born 17 Jun 1969. All three children were born in Los Angeles County, California. During this time William and Elizabeth lived in Beverly Hills. The latter two pregnancies were written into the Bewitched script, as Samantha's pregnancies with Tabitha and Adam. You can see a picture of Billy and Rebecca dated 1997 here.
[edit] Death

Elizabeth Montgomery died of cancer on 18 May 1995, age 62, although some obits called her age 57. She appears in the Social Security Death Index as "Elizabeth Asher" (the surname of her ex-husband).

Elizabeth received her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame posthumously on 4 Jan 2008
[edit] Trivia

When she was age 21, a newspaper article mentioned that she was 5 foot 4 1/2.
[edit] Primary sources for 1

California Birth Index, 1905-95 : "Elizabeth Montgomery, born 15 Apr 1933 Los Angeles County, mother's maiden name Allen"
Oakland Tribune, 24 Dec 1951, page 14D : "9:30 PM KRON — Robert Montgomery Presents. Robert Montgomery stars in his own production of "Top Secret" while his 18-year-old daughter Elizabeth Montgomery, makes her TV debut in the same program.
The Times (San Mateo, California), 1 Aug 1953, "TV Summer Stock Stars — The Robert Montgomery Players — with (left to right) Elizabeth Montgomery, Vaughn Taylor, Margaret Hayes and John Newland as stars — are TV's first permanent summer stock company. They are seen on NBC-TV each Monday evening when "Robert Montgomery Presents" a series of full-hour playss especially designed for warm weather."
Oakland Tribune, 28 Mar 1954, "Actress Weds" : "New York, March 27 (AP) — Elizabeth Montgomery, actress daughter of actor-producer Robert Montgomery, and Frederic Gallatin Cammann, a casting director, were married today."
San Mateo Times, 27 Nov 1954, "None of This Can Be Blamed On Printers — Editors Did It" : "New York (UP) — A new edition of the Social Register was published today and sources familiar with society's doings said there were as many upsets in it as in the recent national elections....Elizabeth Montgomery, daughter of actor-producer Robert Montgomery did the same thing to Frederic Gallatin Cammann as her father did in connection with Mrs. Grant Harkness, former wife of William Hale Harkness. Mrs. Harkness was taken out of the register in 1952 after marrying Montgomery. Cammann finds himself on the outside looking in after his March 27 marriage to the actor's daughter."
The Fresno Bee Republican, 14 Jul 1955, "Elizabeth Montgomery Has to Keep Up Shuttle Schedule", by Bob Thomas. Transcribed in full here
Star-News (Pasadena, California), 29 Dec 1956, "Robert Montgomery's Daughter Weds" : "Las Vegas, Nev (AP) Actress Elizabeth Montgomery, 24, only daughter of actor Robert Montgomery, and Byron Barr, known in films as Gig Young, 38, were honeymooning today after their marriage last night."
Oakland Tribune, 31 Dec 1959, "Hollywood Beauty : Be Food Wise to Get Pound Perfect". Transcribed in full here.
Daily Review (Hayward, California), 18 Apr 1961, page 24, "Movie Pair 'Commutes' to New York". Transcribed in full here.
Press-Telegram (Long Beach, California), 18 Jan 1964
The Modesto Bee, 24 Jan 1965, "Elizabeth Montgomery Comes Into Her Share Of Kissing"
Modesto Bee and News-Herald, 1 May 1966
Daily Review, 28 Jul 1969
Social Security Death Index : "Elizabeth Asher, born 15 Apr 1933, died 18 May 1995, SSN Issued by New York (1951-53)"

[edit] Secondary sources for 1

"The Bewitching Family Tree of Elizabeth Montgomery", by James Pylant copyright 2004
"Elizabeth Montgomery" on Wikipedia
"Elizabeth Montgomery" on BobsBewitchingDaughter.com

[edit] External links for 1

Bewitched.Net

[edit] Further reading for 1

Elizabeth Montgomery: A Bewitching Life, By Rita E. Piro. Published by Great Feats Pr, 2005 ISBN 0970626126, ISBN 9780970626127 208 pages
"William Asher" biography on BobsBewitchingDaughter.com

[edit] Robert Montgomery

Robert Montgomery was born as Henry Montgomery, Jr on 21 May 1904 in Fishkill Landing, Dutchess County, New York to Henry Montgomery and his wife Mary Weed Barney.

Robert married Elizabeth Allen on 14 Apr 1928 in New York, and the following year they moved to Hollywood. They had three children, all born in Los Angeles County. The eldest Martha died 13 Dec 1931, aged 14 months. Their daughter Elizabeth was born in 1933, and Robert was born in 1936.

At some point between 1944 and 1951 Robert Montgomery returned to live in New York City as did his daughter Elizabeth.

An article in the San Antonio Light, 24 Aug 1950 states "...Robert Montgomery the movie star—producer and his wife, the former Elizabeth Allen, will divorce shortly. And once he is a free man, the rumor-mongers say, Robert will marry Elizabeth "Buffy" Grant Harkness, ex-wife of William Hale Harkness of steel millions and Harkness pavilion fame."

That marriage evidently took place because in 1954 the San Mateo Times is reporting that Mrs. Harkness was removed from the Social Register because of it.
[edit] Primary sources for 2

The Fresno Bee, 15 Feb 1936, "Actor Names Son", "Hollywood, 15 Feb (AP) — A new member of the movie colony made his appearance to-day. The boy was born to Mrs. Elizabeth Montgomery, wife of actor Robert Montgomery. He will be named Junior, the actor said. The Montgomerys have a 2-year-old daughter."
Long Beach Independent, 16 Jul 1944, "Commanded Destroyer D Day, Actor Reveals" "Los Angeles 15 Jul (INS) — "Lt. Cmdr. Robert Montgomery arrived home from the European theater today for his first visit with his family since last Christmas. Met by his wife, Mrs. Elizabeth Montgomery, and their 11-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, as he stepped from an American Airlines plane at Lockheed air terminal, the former film star was reluctant to discuss the invasion. However, he did reveal that he commanded a destroyer in the English channel on D day, and that there was 'perfect coordination between land, sea and air forces.' "
Oakland Tribune, 24 Dec 1951, page 14D : "9:30 PM KRON — Robert Montgomery Presents. Robert Montgomery stars in his own production of "Top Secret" while his 18-year-old daughter Elizabeth Montgomery, makes her TV debut in the same program.
San Mateo Times, 27 Nov 1954, "None of This Can Be Blamed On Printers — Editors Did It" : "New York (UP) — A new edition of the Social Register was published today and sources familiar with society's doings said there were as many upsets in it as in the recent national elections....Elizabeth Montgomery, daughter of actor-producer Robert Montgomery did the same thing to Frederic Gallatin Cammann as her father did in connection with Mrs. Grant Harkness, former wife of William Hale Harkness. Mrs. Harkness was taken out of the register in 1952 after marrying Montgomery. Cammann finds himself on the outside looking in after his March 27 marriage to the actor's daughter."

[edit] Secondary sources for 2

"Robert Montgomery" on Wikipedia
"The Bewitching Family Tree of Elizabeth Montgomery", by James Pylant copyright 2004

[edit] Further reading for 2

1920 Census of Dutchess County, New York "Henry Montgomery"
1930 Census of Los Angeles County, California "Robert Montgomery"

[edit] Elizabeth Daniel Allen

Elizabeth Daniel Allen was born 26 Dec 1904 in Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky, the daughter of Bryan Hunt Allen and his wife Rebecca Lowry Daniel. She married Robert Montgomery on 14 Apr 1928 in New York and the next year they moved to Hollywood. In 1930 the family lived in Los Angeles, California. They had three children, but the eldest Martha died aged 14 months.
[edit] Primary sources for 3

California Birth Index, 1905-95 : "Martha Bryan Montgomery, born 13 Oct 1930 Los Angeles County, mother's maiden name Allen"

California Birth Index, 1905-95 : "Elizabeth Montgomery, born 15 Apr 1933 Los Angeles County, mother's maiden name Allen"

California Birth Index, 1905-95 : "Robert Montgomery, born 15 Feb 1936 Los Angeles County, mother's maiden name Allen"

[edit] Secondary sources for 3

"The Bewitching Family Tree of Elizabeth Montgomery", by James Pylant copyright 2004

[edit] Henry Montgomery

Henry Montgomery was born 1868/9 the son of Archibald Montgomery and his wife Margaret Edminston.
[edit] Secondary sources for 4

"The Bewitching Family Tree of Elizabeth Montgomery", by James Pylant copyright 2004 citing "Eugene Dimon Preston and William Clifford Barney, ed., Genealogy of the Barney Family in America (Springfield, Virginia: Barney Family Historical Association, repr. 1990)"

[edit] Further reading for 4

1870 Census of Brooklyn, New York "Archibald Montgomery"
1900 Census of Dutchess County "Henry Montgomery"
1920 Census of Dutchess County "Henry Montgomery"

[edit] Mary Weed Barney

Mary Weed Barney was born 30 Mar 1875 in Bayonne, New Jersey, the daughter of Nathan Barney Jr and his second wife Mary A Deverell
[edit] Secondary sources for 5

"The Bewitching Family Tree of Elizabeth Montgomery", by James Pylant copyright 2004 citing "Eugene Dimon Preston and William Clifford Barney, ed., Genealogy of the Barney Family in America (Springfield, Virginia: Barney Family Historical Association, repr. 1990)"

[edit] Bryan Hunt Allen
[edit] Rebecca Lowry Daniel
[edit] Archibald Montgomery
[edit] Margaret Edminston
[edit] Nathan Barney
[edit] Further reading for 10

1900 Census of Brooklyn, New York

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