Tabitha Stephens is celebrating a big birthday today, though age 50 is probably not over-the-hill territory for a half-witch. It was 50 years ago today that “Bewitched” aired the episode “And Then There Were Three,” when Samantha and Darrin”s baby girl, Tabitha, is born.
“Bewitched” star Elizabeth Montgomery was pregnant off-camera too during the show”s second season: her second son was born in October of 1965.
On many TV shows, the birth of a baby has marked the beginning of the end of the show, as the young newcomer shatters the chemistry of the original cast or dilutes the a show”s premise. Not so for “Bewitched.” Viewers loved Tabitha and all the delightful storylines brought on by a child discovering her powers in a mortal home. The show ultimately aired for eight seasons.
After several babies portrayed the growing Tabitha, Erin Murphy played the Stephens daughter for six years on the hit “60s sitcom. (For many of those years, her name was spelled “Tabatha” until its spelling was changed in season 5.)
Other notable January 13 happenings in pop culture history:
• 1930: Mickey Mouse made his first comic strip appearance.
• 1957: Samuel Beckett radio play “All That Fall” was first broadcast on the BBC Third Programme.
• 1964: Bob Dylan”s “The Times They Are a-Changin”” album was released.
• 1969: The Beatles released their 10th studio album, “Yellow Submarine,” in the United States. The U.K. release followed later that week.
• 1989: Soap opera “Ryan”s Hope” airs its series finale, after 13 seasons on ABC.
• 1997: “Singin” in the Rain” actress Debbie Reynolds was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
• 1999: News broke that an episode of “Doctor Who” – one of the nearly 100 episodes of the series that the BBC had deleted from its archives – was recovered in New Zealand.
• 2002: Off-Broadway production “The Fantasticks” closed after a run of 42 years and 17,162 performances. A sleeper success that has starred such actors as Liza Minnelli, Glenn Close and Kristin Chenoweth, “Fantasticks” remain”s the world”s longest-running musical.
Birthdays: “The Hunger Games” actor Liam Hemsworth (turns 26 today), country singer Trace Adkins (54), “The Lord of the Rings” actor Orlando Bloom (39), “Grey”s Anatomy” actor Patrick Dempsey (50), “Veep” actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus (55), “Awkward.” actor Beau Mirchoff (27), “The Martian” actor Michael Peña (40), “Grey”s Anatomy” creator Shonda Rhimes (46), “The Affair” actress Ruth Wilson (34)