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Samantha Stephens in Bewitched: Excerpt from Women of Science Fiction and Fantasy Television

By Karen A. Romanko

The following is an excerpt from my latest book, Women of Science Fiction and Fantasy Television (McFarland, 2019), an encyclopedia of 400 female characters from 200 series since the 1950s, which celebrates the essential contributions of women to science fiction and fantasy television. This excerpt is about Samantha Stephens, portrayed by Elizabeth Montgomery in the long-running and highly popular series Bewitched (1964-1972), still available in reruns on FETV.

Stephens, Samantha (Bewitched)

Samantha Stephens is a witch! Her mortal husband, Darrin Stephens (Dick York and later Dick Sargent), learns this fact on their wedding night, but Samantha (Elizabeth Montgomery) promises to become a model suburban wife in true early-60s, pre-women’s liberation style—no witchcraft allowed. That promise doesn’t last long, however, when Sam uses her powers to get revenge against a haughty ex-girlfriend of Darrin’s in “I, Darrin, Take This Witch, Samantha” (1964), the pilot episod…

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