Jo Scrimshire, Daily Mail Australia
20:03 on 19 March 2023, last updated: 20:13 on 19 Mar 2020
A surprise appearance by one of the most well-known child stars of the 1960s was made at an earlier cabaret in Hollywood this month.
Erin Murphy, who was Tabitha Stephens’s young character in American sitcom Bewitched, joined Nelson Aspen, singer and TV presenter, to take the stage for his show, “Welcome home” at the Gardenia Club in Los Angeles on March 9.
The 58-year-old was invited for an impromptu Q&A with Aspen and Emmy-winning actress Carolyn Hennesy, famous for her long-running role as Diane Miller in the soap opera General Hospital.
While on stage, she performed a duet with Aspen of Bewitched’s iconic theme song, composed by Jack Keller and Howard Greenfield.
Known for starring as the magical daughter of a witch (Elizabeth Montgomery) and her mortal husband (Dick York, later replaced by Dick Sargent) in the ABC comedy, today Murphy is one of just two surviving original actors from Bewitched – the other being her twin sister Diane, with whom she shared the role of Tabitha.
Although she left the spotlight in 1972 after Bewitched’s last episode, her name was still remembered by viewers thanks to syndication and reruns.
Murphy, who was two years old at the time she started playing Tabitha in Tabitha’s role, graduated El Toro High School in Lake Forest in California in 1981. From there, Murphy worked as a casting directors, makeup artist stylist, acting teacher, and stunt double.
Later in life, the mother of six returned to the entertainment business as a TV presenter for Fox Reality Channel and E! Other networks and hosted numerous infomercials.
She is still working in the entertainment business as an actress and voice-over artist, in addition to being the co-owner of an alcoholic icy pole brand, Slim Chillers.
Bewitched, which aired from 1964 to 1972, starred Elizabeth Montgomery as a kind-hearted witch named Samantha who falls in love with and marries an ordinary man called Darrin.
Darrin would like to live a normal life. Samantha attempts to hide her magic from the outside world.
However, her family, made up of witches or warlocks, is constantly interfering with her affairs. Agnes Moorehead plays Endora.
Dick York played Darrin in the first few seasons, but he was forced to leave in 1969 because of back problems. He was replaced by Dick Sargent.
Murphy was first seen on the show as Darrin, Samantha’s daughter Tabitha. He remained there until the end of 1972.
In compliance with U.S. child labour laws that limit the hours each girl can work, Tabitha was cast jointly by Diane and her twin sister Diane.
But, as Murphy told Studio 10 in March 2020, she and Diane were fraternal twins and ‘as soon as they hired us they realised we really don’t look that much alike’.
She said, “They ended up showing me my sister from behind or from afar and then after I took over for the first year.”
Murphy said Montgomery, who died of cancer in May 1995 at age 62, was ‘like a mother’ to her. Murphy added: ‘We were very close and she loved me very much.
Moorehead was her favourite co-star, however. Moorehead was’very much like a grandma’ to her and she just seemed beautiful and bright and fun. She loved purple, so everything in her dressing rooms was purple.
Later on in the 1970s there was a brief spin-off series called Tabitha in which the character was played by Lisa Hartman as an adult.
Nelson Aspen’s next cabaret shows will be held at The Green Room 42 in New York City on June 28 and 30, with guest stars to be announced
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