August 21, 1968
Los Angeles County, California, United States
Although only David Lawrence's name is shown in the credits on Bewitched (1964), the role of Adam Stephens was actually played by David and his twin brother Greg. It was a convention in television shows that babies and toddlers were played by twins, since the law required that child actors can work for only a certain time on television, and having twins play one character meant that workload for each child was cut in half. David and Greg Lawrence were discovered by an enterprising agent who had called pediatricians in California to see if they knew of any six-month old twins for an episode of "Get Smart."
A pediatrician in Sherman Oaks told the agent that he knew of "absolutely gorgeous, small-for-their-age, nine-month-old twins." He offered to call their adoptive mother to see if she would be interested in a meeting with the agent. The mother sent the agent pictures of the twins. Even though, "Get Smart" was canceled, the agent knew she could get work for the twins based on their photogenic qualities. They were soon in demand for commercials and landed every role that they auditioned, such as for Listerine, Pillsbury, and Southwestern Bell.
Meanwhile, the producers of "Bewitched" had done an exhaustive search throughout the state of California for a set of twins to play Adam, the warlock son of witch Samantha and her mortal husband Darrin. When they saw the Lawrence boys, they fell for the twins' dark hair, blue eyes, rosy cheeks, cleft chins, and great smiles. What gave the twins an edge was that they had same quizzical quirk in their eyebrows that Elizabeth Montgomery had. Once cast, the boys enjoyed working on the show and even fought over whose turn it was to be in the scene. Though Montgomery was very busy on the set playing Samantha and Serena and raising her own three children, she still found time to play with her television children.
Because of time constraints on television, the character of Adam was shown in small moments. The twins' biggest episode was "Adam, Warlock or Washout?," where Samantha and her parents were worried that Adam has not shown any talent for witchcraft. Samantha's father Maurice puts a spell on Adam, where he gets to fly. The twins enjoyed filming the episode, because they were wired to fly and because they worked with actor Maurice Evans who played Maurice. The viewers were happy with the episode when Maurice takes the spell off of Adam, at which time, he does show a genuine talent for witchcraft. The twins were troupers, since they both had ear infections and raging fevers when they filmed the episode.
Once the final season of "Bewitched" ended, the twins' parents decided to retire them from show business and just be regular kids. With the exception of the Emmy-nominated television movie, Victory at Entebbe (1976) with Elizabeth Taylor, Anthony Hopkins, and Kirk Douglas, the boys did not act in any other program.
When they were fourteen years old, they said that they found out that their biological parents were actor Tony Curtis and beauty queen Peggy Potter, and once they were born, they were soon adopted. It was a claim that they made on the Vicki Lawrence talk show in the early 1990's.
Tony Curtis never publicly acknowledged paternity. After the twins grew up, they decided to change their names to David Mandel-Bloch and Greg Mandel and experimented with several careers. They ran a restaurant together for a while. David later became a head chef at a restaurant, while Greg worked as a production assistant for New Wave Entertainment. Greg married Teri, and David has a daughter named Phoebe. The twins have appeared at Bewitched conventions along with Erin Murphy who played their television sister Tabitha.
- Adam, Warlock or Washout?
- Darrin Goes Ape
- Hansel and Gretel in Samanthaland
- How Not to Lose Your Head to King Henry VIII (Part 1) (uncredited)
- Money Happy Returns
- Paris, Witches Style
- The Salem Saga
- Samantha and the Antique Doll
- Samantha and the Loch Ness Monster
- Samantha and the Troll
- Samantha's Magic Sitter
- Samantha's Old Salem Trip
- Samantha's Psychic Pslip
- School Days, School Daze
- Sisters at Heart
- This Little Piggie
- TV or Not TV