Elizabeth Olsen plays Candy Montgomery in 'Love & Death'
Get To Know The Cast Of The True Crime Drama Love & Death

Love & Death is “a dramatization of actual events” about Texas housewife Candy Montgomery, an affair, and the gruesome murder of Betty Gore.

Back in 1980, Candy Montgomery was living in the small town of Wylie, Texas with her husband and kids. She went to church with her family, had lots of friends, and ended up killing her friend Betty Gore by hitting her with an axe 41 times. And if you think that part of the story is intense, just wait until you watch Love & Death on HBO Max. The seven-part series, which premiered on April 27, offers a fictionalized look at not just Candy’s story, but how the events surrounding the murder affected everyone in her small community. And the cast who has been chosen to play the people in this community would be reason enough to tune in.

Love & Death is not the first version of Candy’s story to be made into a series. Most recently Jessica Biel played the title character in the 2022 Hulu series Candy, while Melanie Lynskey played the doomed character of Betty Gore. This time around, much of the content comes from a two-part Texas Monthly article called “Love & Death in Silicon Prairie, as well as the book Evidence of Love: A True Story of Passion and Death in the Suburbs” by John Bloom and Jim Atkinson.

And of course, there’s the cast. So many faces you’ll recognize but now from a totally different perspective.

Elizabeth Olsen as Candy Montgomery


Wandavision’s Elizabeth Olsen tackled the role of Candy Montgomery, a bored ‘80s housewife who decides to jazz things up a bit by having an affair with her friend Betty’s husband. The two make it very clear from the outset that they will not get emotionally attached, but it seems Candy didn’t really take that to heart. After her affair ends, she goes to Betty’s house where she is confronted by Betty. In an act of self-defense, Candy hits Betty with an axe 41 times. Despite this, Olsen told The Hollywood Reporter that she believes the series was very kind to Montgomery. “I oddly think we made the show she would want to have made. We really defend her, without trying to let her completely off the hook. But we are telling, I think, her story.”

Jesse Plemons as Allan Gore


Jesse Plemons has really made a career out of playing vaguely befuddled men in period pieces like Fargo and The Power of the Dog, and his turn as Allan Gore in Love & Death is right up his alley. Gore is a husband who finds his wife too needy and is not all that averse to an offer from his neighbor Candy to have an affair. He seems to be getting pulled along by Candy until he eventually ends their affair, and this is when everything starts to go extremely wrong for Allan. And Plemons, who is a dad of two with wife Kirsten Dunst, plays it all perfectly.

Lily Rabe as Betty Gore


Lily Rabe (Shrinking, American Horror Story, The Tender Bar) had a tough task when playing Betty Gore. The mom of two has a heck of a time of it in her short life. She and her husband were struggling with marital issues. He was having an affair. Her friendships were struggling. And then she gets killed. It’s a lot to take in, and Lily Rabe does it with empathy and sensitivity.

Patrick Fugit as Pat Montgomery


If Patrick Fugit looks familiar in his role as Candy’s husband Pat Montgomery, there’s a reason for it. You might recognize him from his role in Almost Famous, or more recently in Babylon. As he did in both of those period pieces, Fugit slips seamlessly into his ‘80s-era role as Pat, a sort of sweet goofball whose wife first cheats on him, then kills someone, then goes to court to claim self-defense. Pat tries his best to stand by Candy through the whole ordeal, but it’s not easy for him.

Tom Pelphrey as Don Crowder


When it came time to go to court to defend herself, Candy chose Don Crowder as her defense lawyer. And Crowder, played by Tom Pelphrey (Mank, Ozark) was unorthodox in his defense to say the least. He claimed Candy killed Betty in self-defense due to being triggered by unresolved childhood trauma, a controversial move to many. Crowder and Candy knew each other through their church community, and he frequently got in trouble for feeding misinformation to the press about the case.

Krysten Ritter as Sherry Clecker


Candy Montgomery’s best friend is played by Marvel’s Jessica Jones herself, Krysten Ritter, which feels like a bizarre turn of events considering Olsen’s role in Wandavision. But I digress. In Love & Death, Ritter plays Sherry Clecker, Candy’s best friend and confidante. She supports Candy through her affair and is truly always in her corner. Until the murder trial hits. Then things seem to change for the best friends.

Elizabeth Marvel as Jackie Ponder

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Elizabeth Marvel (House of Cards, Unbelievable, Homeland) takes on the role of Rev. Jackie Ponder in Love & Death. Ponder is based on a real pastor who greatly influenced the way Candy looked at the world. She is described as a liberal feminist, a working mom and something of a self-made woman as she went back to college at 30 while raising her kids. But it was Ponder’s decision to separate from her husband and leave town that reportedly triggered Candy into thinking about having an affair. Ponder had already moved by the time of Betty’s death and so wasn’t aware of the issues surrounding Candy’s life until it was too late.

Candy Montgomery’s story is one that rocked the state of Texas and continues to fascinate people to this day. Watch the cast bring it to life in Love & Death, streaming on HBO Max now. New episodes come out every Thursday.