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Twitch Upon a Star The Bewitched Life and Career of Elizabeth Montgomery
978-1-58979-749-9 • Hardback
November 2012 • $24.95 • (£15.95)
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978-1-63076-025-0 • Paperback
October 2014 • $18.95 • (£11.95)
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978-1-58979-750-5 • eBook
November 2012 • $11.99 • (£7.49)

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Pages: 472
Size: 6 1/4 x 9 1/2
By Herbie J Pilato
 
Biography & Autobiography | Entertainment & Performing Arts
Taylor Trade Publishing
Based on author Herbie J Pilato’s exclusive interviews with Elizabeth Montgomery prior to her death in 1995, Twitch Upon A Star includes never-before-published material and commentary from several individuals associated with her remarkable life and career before, during, and after Bewitched, including her classic feature films The Court Martial of Billy Mitchell (1955), Who's Been Sleeping In My Bed? (1963), and Johnny Cool (1963).

Two of Montgomery’s many popular TV movies,
A Case of Rape (which remains one of the highest-rated TV-movies of all time) and The Legend of Lizzie Borden (which will soon be remade as a feature film), were groundbreaking and remain classics. But Twitch Upon a Star also goes behind the scenes to explore Montgomery’s political activism, including her early advocacy for AIDS sufferers and the peace movement; her support for all minorities, including the gay community and the disabled; and her controversial participation as narrator of the1988 feature film documentary Cover-Up, and its 1991 Oscar-winning sequel, The Panama Deception (both of which chronicled the Iran/Contra scandal of the l980s). The book also explores Montgomery's tumultuous relationships with her father, screen legend Robert Montgomery (she was a liberal; he was a staunch conservative), and her four husbands (including actor Gig Young, who later died in a double murder/suicide). Through it all—and to family and friends such as fellow performers Sally Kemp, Florence Henderson, Ronny Cox, and the Oscar-winning actor Cliff Robertson—she was just Lizzie: down-to-earth and unaffected, just like Samantha, the "witch-with-a-twitch" Stephens, her most famous role.

Writer/producer/actor Herbie J Pilato is the author of several books on media and celebrities, including The Bionic Book, The Kung Fu Book of Wisdom, Bewitched Forever, and The Bewitched Book. He has served as a consultant on "Bewitched: The E! True Hollywood Story," the Elizabeth Montgomery episode of A&E's "Biography," Bravo's hit five-part series "The 100 Greatest TV Characters," and countless other productions. He has written about classic television for magazines like Starlog, Sci-Fi Entertainment, Retro Vision, Remember, Classic TV and Electronic House. In addition, he is the founder and executive director of The Classic TV Preservation Society, a nonprofit organization that seeks to close the gap between popular culture and education.

Preface
Introduction
Part I. Prewitched
Chapter 1: Once Upon a time
Chapter 2: Grim
Chapter 3: Elizabeth Montgomery Presents
Chapter 4: Brush with Fame
Chapter 5: The Equestrians
Chapter 6: Training Days
Chapter 7: The Europeans
Chapter 8: Spirits and Demons
Chapter 9: Two Plus Hundreds
Part II. Bewitched
Chapter 10: Lizmet
Chapter 11: Remember the Mane
Chapter 12: Double Double . . .
Chapter 13: . . . Toil and Trouble
Chapter 14: Public Broadcasting
Part III. Disenchanted
Chapter 15: To Twitch Or Not To Twitch
Chapter 16: Temperatures Risingf
Chapter 17: Post Serial
Chapter 18: Awakenings
Part IV. Reconciled
Chapter 19: Spirits and Angels
Chapter 20: Humanities
Chapter 21: Political Science
Chapter 22: Final Exams
Chapter 23: Graduation
Afterword
Appendix
Sources
Bibliography
Acknowledgments
Suggested Reading
Index
About the Author

Elizabeth Montgomery's life is beautifully portrayed by author Herbie Pilato in [this] loving new biography.
FrontiersLA


[A] comprehensive and touching biography of Montgomery's life. . . . Fans of classic television or of well-written biographies should seek this out . . . an insightful read about an amazing woman!
Journeys in Classic Film


. . . [T]ells you all about Bewitched, the magical 1960s-and-'70s sitcom, and other triumphs enjoyed by the talented and beautiful Montgomery.
Village Voice


Twitch Upon a Star is an engrossing look at a strong-willed actress whose career spanned five decades. It will satisfy Elizabeth Montgomery's fans, as well as Bewitched buffs interested in learning more about that series' leading lady—and even how the famous twitch was ‘invented.’
Classic Film and TV Café


[A] blockbuster new book.
The National Enquirer


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


. . . [A] love letter . . . No matter how big your twitch itch, this book will scratch it.
Ventura County Star


. . . [I]t's like meeting [Elizabeth Montgomery] all over again for the very first time. . . . If you've ever enjoyed an episode of Bewitched, come meet her for yourself.
BookSteve's Library Blog


This biography covers it all. . . . Fans will love the three sections of photos and Pilato's respectful, yet truthful, portrait of the woman who will forever be remembered for as the beautiful witch Samantha Stephens.
SheKnows Book Lounge


Twitch Upon a Star is based on Pilato's exclusive interviews prior to Montgomery's 1995 death. . . . The book follows her career before, during and after Bewitched, and goes behind the scenes chronicling her political activism [and] reveals behind-the-scenes anecdotes about the show and Montgomery's life.
Long Beach Press-Telegram


Pilato expertly captures the life of [this] wonderful actress.
Daytona News-Journal


[Pilato is] the master of all things Bewitched. . . . [Twitch Upon a Star is an] amazing new book.
NewNowNext on Logo Online


Fans of Elizabeth Montgomery and Bewitched will love this book.
Living in the Kitchen with Puppies


For anyone who only recalls Elizabeth Montgomery from her most memorable role, on the 1960s 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


Herbie J Pilato, a long-time fan and later friend of the actress uses his extensive interviews with the actress, plus meticulous research to get to the bottom of what the real Elizabeth Montgomery was like.
Soap World Magazine


Herbie J Pilato reveals the real Elizabeth Montgomery in Twitch Upon a Star. Her loves, her demons and even her politics are explored in this new biography of one of television’s favorite stars.
InMaricopa.com


The research that went into this book is amazing. . . . We get the essence and life of Elizabeth Montgomery by embarking on a journey ‘into the loves, politics and performances of this multi-talented actor—a very magical journey, yet based in the real emotion of love.’
Reviews by Amos Lasser


Twitch Upon a Star: The Bewitched Life and Career of Elizabeth Montgomery is based on the author's exclusive interviews with Montgomery before her death in 1995, and includes new, never-before-published material and commentary from many associated with her life and career before, during and after Bewitched. Any with an interest in the show or Montgomery will find this a definitive exploration that ranges from insights on her career to revelations about her personal life and relationships. The result is a lively read indeed, recommended for film and biography holdings in general and especially for any reader with prior affection for Bewitched.

Midwest Book Review


Twitch Upon a Star is as perfect a book could be. . . . [It] shines bright at a rating of 5 Stars (out of five). I read it twice. Afterwards I watched re-runs of Bewitched—knowing what I learned from Twitch Upon a Star—and what stirred me most were the questions that came to mind which I feel Twitch Upon a Star answered. Twitch Upon a Star is as no other book. . . . For me, a person who thinks he’s read the best of the best books, [this] put a twinkle in my eyes [from] Herbie J Pilato’s mastery of the craft of writing.
Salvador SeBasco, book critic; host of The Inside View Show


Heavily researched, expertly executed, and handled with reverence, Twitch Upon A Star is a magical revelation about one of the most popular and endearing performers of all time. It's clear that Herbie J Pilato not only knows what he's talking about, but that he also cares very deeply about his subject, from a personal, yet objective perspective. . . . No two ways about it, this book is a class act about a classic actress.
Danny Gold, film and television producer


I encourage everyone to read Pilato's astounding, loving, riveting, eye-opening book.
Lydia Cornell, star of classic TV's Too Close For Comfort, comedienne, and women and children's advocate


The way Herbie J Pilato tells it, Elizabeth Montgomery just didn't have guts, she had balls. She was kind to those she felt deserved it but had no qualms about setting others straight. Who'd'a thunk that sweet little Samantha had such chutzpah?
Larry Brody, veteran TV writer and producer (Baretta, Diagnosis: Murder, The Fall Guy, and more)


Not only has Bewitched’s Samantha Stephens influenced hundreds of female TV characters and the actresses who portrayed them, but Elizabeth Montgomery’s lasting influence on Hollywood and society has been far greater than the TV series that made her a legend. Herbie J Pilato, one of the great students of classic TV, spins a compelling narrative that brings to life a magical TV series and its even more magical star. It’s a true Hollywood story, and more than any book I’ve read Twitch Upon a Star goes behind-the-scenes to capture a fascinating period in history when television was coming of age.
Jack Myers, media ecologist, author, and producer


Intricately revealing, well written and hard to put down, Herbie J Pilato’s Twitch Upon a Star captures the essence and life of Elizabeth Montgomery. He leads readers on an intriguing journey into the loves, politics and performances of this multi-talented actor—a very magical journey, yet based in the real emotion of love. I heartily recommend this well rounded read for fans, friends and all who value the life of a gifted, complex and bewitching woman.
Kathy Garver, film, TV, and stage star (Cissy on the classic Family Affair TV series); author, The Family Affair Cookbook and Surviving Cissy; speaker.


Much more than just a celebrity biography Twitch Upon A Star relays a spiritual quest that can speak to anyone. Retelling the story and work of a life can activate an awareness of the beauty and purpose in our own unfoldment. Pilato accomplishes this masterfully and magically, uncovering such depth and absorbing reflection with authenticity and vigorous charm to reveal Elizabeth Montgomery's journey as a true cultural treasure. This book is magnificent!
Thomas Warfield, performing artist and founder of PeaceArt International


Twitch Upon A Star is ASTOUNDING. Herbie J Pilato does a wonderful job of mixing hard info with his personal relationship with Elizabeth Montgomery. His approach makes the book very unique. This is one of the best biographies I've read in years. It is a real classic . . . a brilliant work!
Rick Lertzman, media historian and author of Codename: Dr. Feelgood


Wonderful book and terrific author . . .
Shannon Devereaux Sanford, Shannon's Corner, WTBQ radio


Named as one of The Huffington Post's Best Film Books of 2012.

 
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