Elizabeth Montgomery, who charmed 1960s television viewers as a nose-twitching suburban sorceress married to a wary mortal in the Emmy Award-winning series "Bewitched," died of cancer May 18 at her home in Beverly Hills, Calif.
She was 62, according to numerous reference books and old clippings, though her family maintained that she was 57.
"Bewitched," which ran on ABC from 1964 to 1972, was her only series. Miss Montgomery starred as Samantha, a pretty suburban witch who, to please her advertising executive husband, tries to avoid using her powers.
She was surrounded by relatives who disapproved of her efforts to abandon her supernatural roots, notably her mother, played by Agnes Moorehead. When Samantha wound up using sorcery as a last resort to solve a comic problem, a twitch of her nose usually was all it took.
Miss Montgomery also played Samantha's mischievous look-alike cousin, Serena. Samantha and husband Darrin (played first by Dick York, then by Dick Sargent) first became script parents in 1966 with the birth of daughter Tabitha. The pregnancy coincided with a real-life pregnancy for Miss Montgomery.
In a 1965 Associated Press interview, when "Bewitched" was flying high, Miss Montgomery recalled that "I'd never thought much about a series because I liked the idea of picking a script I liked with a character I thought I could sustain for an hour. In a series, you live with one character day in and day out -- and you only hope it will be one that will not drive you crazy."
Miss Montgomery's post-"Bewitched" career focused on TV movies, including "Deadline for Murder," broadcast on CBS just last week. It was her second TV film based on the career of police reporter Edna Buchanan.
Those productions often won her critical acclaim. They included "A Case of Rape," 1974; "The Legend of Lizzie Borden," 1975; "Black Widow Murders: The Blanche Taylor Moore Story," 1993; and "The Corpse Had a Familiar Face," 1994, her first Buchanan film.
She worked with her husband, Robert Foxworth, in television movies ("Mrs. Sundance," 1974; "Face to Face," 1990) and in a 1989 production of the play "Love Letters."
She also tackled more serious subjects, working for liberal causes and narrating "The Panama Deception," a documentary that criticized the 1989 U.S. invasion of Panama. The film won the Academy Award for best feature documentary in 1993.
Along with her acting career, she supported causes favoring gay rights, the animal welfare movement and the fight against AIDS.
Miss Montgomery was the daughter of Hollywood star Robert Montgomery. He gained fame as a suave leading man in the 1930s and later also won praise as a director. In the 1950s, he produced and was host of a TV playhouse series, "Robert Montgomery Presents." Her mother, Elizabeth Allen Montgomery, was an actress.
Miss Montgomery made her television debut in her father's series and went on to appear in more than 200 live TV programs during the next decade.
Being a star's daughter opened doors early in her career, she once said, but "after that initial advantage -- then it's entirely up to you. You have to prove yourself, or else."
Miss Montgomery appeared in a few films in the 1950s and 1960s, including "The Court Martial of Billy Mitchell," which starred Gary Cooper. But television was her medium of choice. "I guess you'd say I'm a TV baby," she once told an interviewer.
She is survived by her husband. Among her previous husbands were actor Gig Young and "Bewitched" producer William Asher. She and Asher had three children. JOHN W. DIGGS Association Vice President
John W. Diggs, 59, vice president for biomedical research of the Association of American Medical Colleges, died of cancer May 15 at his home in Silver Spring. He had lived in the Washington area since 1958.
He was former deputy director for extramural research at the National Institutes of Health, where he worked for nearly 20 years. Earlier, at Walter Reed Army Institute, he did research into the healing of wounds. At the medical colleges association, he was the spokesman for research policy and administration for the nation's medical schools and teaching hospitals.
Dr. Diggs was a graduate of Lane College in his native Tennessee. He received a master's degree in zoology and a doctorate in physiology from Howard University.
He received two Presidential Meritorious Executive Rank Awards, the Public Health Service Superior Service Award, Distinguished Alumni Awards from Lane College and Howard University, the Distinguished Senior Professional Award of the International Personnel Management Association and outstanding service awards from the Maryland Congress of Parents and Teachers, the Montgomery County NAACP and other community organizations.
Dr. Diggs served as chairman of the board of trustees of Montgomery College, a commission on excellence in teaching of the Montgomery County Board of Education, the minority scholarship committee of Sen. Ida G. Rubin (D-Montgomery) and the educational committee of the Montgomery NAACP. He conducted workshops on cultural diversity for county school employees and also volunteered with Alpha Phi Alpha social fraternity and Blacks in Government.
Survivors include his wife, Claudette A. Diggs of Silver Spring; three sons, Gregory Diggs of Columbia, Brian Diggs of Wheaton and Derric Diggs of Silver Spring; his mother, Tommie Lou Diggs of Martin, Tenn.; and two brothers, Tommy Diggs of Detroit and Cornelius Diggs of Decatur, Ill. WILLIAM EDWARD VIRNSTEIN Bakery Owner
William Edward Virnstein, 81, who retired in 1968 as owner of V&H Bakery in Leonardtown and Lexington Park, died of a pulmonary infection April 28 at St. Mary's Hospital in Leonardtown. He lived in Tall Timbers, where he had operated Tall Timbers Tavern.
Mr. Virnstein was a native of Washington and a graduate of McKinley Technical High School.
Survivors include his wife, Sue Virnstein of Tall Timbers; three children, Mary L. Yuhas of Bowie, Robert W. Virnstein of Palatka, Fla., and Alice A. Rowe of Marysville, Wash.; and five grandchildren. CAPTION: ELIZABETH MONTGOMERY