| THOMAS QUEEN
FOR BABY BOOMERS and subsequent generations of TV fans, there are few shows which are cherished more than the classic 1960’s comedy Bewitched. One of its most memorable characters was the acerbic Endora, the “mother witch” of Samantha. Playing the role for the entire run of the show was one of the greatest character actresses of her generation, Agnes Moorehead. Did you know she had strong ties to Ohio?
Agnes Moorehead was born on December 6, 1900, in Clinton, Massachusetts. Her father was a Presbyterian minister and he moved the family to St. Louis, Missouri, when he took the helm of a church there. Agnes was encouraged by her mother to “act out” imaginary roles, and soon the acting bug bit her. After graduating with a degree in Biology from Muskingum University and a brief stint as a teacher in Wisconsin, Agnes graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts with honors in 1929.
Moorehead went on to receive four Academy Award nominations in her storied career, but it is perhaps for her role as Endora that she is most remembered. She received multiple nominations for Emmy Awards during her run in the series and received two Golden Globe Awards. She later received an Emmy for a guest starring role in the series The Wild, Wild West.
Her father later served as the minister to a church in Dayton, Ohio, and Agnes purchased a home in Rix Mills, Ohio, so that she could be close to her family when she was not working. After her death, the home was left to Muskingum University. Her family home, Moorehead Manor, was willed to the religious-based Bob Jones University, which quickly sold it for lack of interest. Agnes lost her battle with uterine cancer at the age of 74 and she rests with the rest of her family in the mausoleum at Dayton Memorial Park in Dayton, Ohio.
Agnes’ fellow cast member from Bewitched, Paul Lynde, also rests eternally here in Ohio. In an interview, he once acknowledged about her: “Well, the whole world knows Agnes was a lesbian--I mean classy as hell, but one of the all-time Hollywood dykes”. While married twice, she was said to have threatened one of her husbands after he had a dalliance with another woman: “If you can have a mistress, I can too.”