Although Dick York had a successful career in radio, television, and movies his claim to world-wide fame on the 1960s television show Bewitched. From 1964 to 1969, Dick gave us one of televisions greatest performances as the frazzled, but ever-loving Darrin Stephens. Dick left "Bewitched" due to a debilitating back injury he suffered doing the making of a film years earlier. The chronic pain became so intense that he eventually resigned from the series and left acting until the early 1980s.
How many seasons of "Bewitched" did Dick York star in?
Dick York created the role of Darrin Stephens in the pilot episode (1964) and worked through the fifth season (1969). Dick brought much more to the role than what was written on the page. His on-screen chemistry with Elizabeth Montgomery was exceptional and the two of them made a memorable TV couple. Dick Sargent replaced Dick York as Darrin and continued until the series ceased production in 1972.
Why did Dick not star in another series after leaving Bewitched?
Dick recuperated from his back injury for over a year after leaving "Bewitched." By the time he was ready to go back to work he found that the dreaded typecasting had ended his career. This typecasting, unfortunately, most of the beloved stars of 1960s television. The cast of "Gilligan's Island," "Batman," "The Munsters" and more have all reported that being so identified with their characters prevented them from even being seen by casting directors. This was the age before the huge marketing and publicity machines television stars have with them today. If Dick was an actor today and had experienced the same thing, a huge "comeback" would have been staged and a new multi-million dollar series contract would be handed to Him. Regardless of typecasting, Dick York was one of the greatest stars of the 1960s and a fine actor.
Did Dick and Elizabeth Montgomery get along?
Dick only had positive things to say about Elizabeth and never publicly mentioned any rift between them. There are some rumors (and one specific book) that stated Elizabeth tried to get Dick fired from Bewitched on at least one occasion. Another rumor stated that Dick was in love with Miss Montgomery and that she knew it and it irritated her. Such rumors are actually impossible to prove or disprove now and seem more sensational than anything else. It's all hearsay over forty years later and neither Dick nor Elizabeth can set the record straight. In a way, Dick was "in love" with Elizabeth as a costar and the wonderful person she was - as many people who knew her and worked with her were. It's unlikely Dick was "in (romantic) love" with Elizabeth as he was a loyal family man totally dedicated to his wife and kids (read his autobiography to know that for a fact). He did say that Elizabeth reminded him a bit of his own wife, Joey, and as a result he had a hard time yelling at her (as Samantha) onscreen. Agnes Moorehead was quoted as saying that Dick's contribution to Bewitched was never fully acknowledged by anyone. Who know why. However, in 1969, ABC did know how important Dick York was to "Bewitched" and asked him to continue on in the series despite his illness after season five. Unfortunately, he was not able to. As far as Elizabeth, she said very little publicly about her first Darrin (but did about Dick Sargent) and Dick himself admitted that he had tried unsuccessfully to contact her a while before he passed away. Elizabeth did not publically comment on Dick York after he died as she did for Dick sargent after his passing.Elizabeth did say that losing Dick York "was a shame." It would also have been unprofessional and rude for her to choose one Darrin over the other and instead stated that they were both good in the role. Despite their wonderful on-screen chemistry, Dick and Elizabeth were really just "coworkers." After Dick left, they did not keep in touch. They led totally separate lives. We'll never know what Elizabeth really felt about her greatest costar now. In the end, it doesn't matter. They made magic onscreen.Was Dick fired for missing so many episodes?
No. ABC came to the York's house to visit Dick while he recuperated and asked him to return. He was just too sick. Dick only missed 8 episodes in his final season related to his illness. ABC re-ran the Darrin-less episodes prior to premiering Dick Sargent in the role to soften the switch. Dick was never fired from "Bewitched."
No, they did not meet. Dick felt Sargent stepped right in and made Darrin his own character just as he should have. One of Dick's greatest regrets was that he let everyone on "Bewitched" down by stepping out of the role. He was able to take some consolation in the fact that his leaving did not result in the series ending and people being out of work. In a way, Dick Sargent was able to give a great gift to Dick York by letting the series stay in production.