Thursday, July 08, 2010

Remembering... Dick Sargent

At the risk of offending diehard Bewitched fans - and let's face it, is there any other kind? - I have to say I always kind of preferred Dick Sargent as Darrin Stephens over Dick York, even as a kid. Not that I had any problem with Dick York per se... It's just that there was something about Sargent I liked better*.

PhotobucketIn the early 1990s that certain something became clear when Sargent came out of the closet as part of National Coming Out Day in 1991; he was later co-Grand Marshal of the Orange County Pride Parade with his former co-star and one of the loveliest people to have ever appeared on American television, Elizabeth Montgomery.

Although originally cast as Darrin in 1964, Sargent was then unable to get out of an existing contract at Universal, at which time he was replaced by York; the tables turned in 1969 when York hurt his back and was unable to continue as the perennial fall guy (which in many cases involved literally falling in addition to falling victim to Endora's many magical traps or Uncle Arthur's many pranks).

Dick Sargent died on this day in 1994, following a long battle with prostate cancer; he was survived by his longtime partner Albert Williams, despite having appeared on the quiz show Tattletales in the 1970s alongside 'girlfriend' Fannie Flagg, who is herself gay and who has since made something of a name for herself as a novelist. At least all those years of lying to stay in the closet paid off for one of them...

*Even at a young age I knew what I liked best when it came to Dick.
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Gavin said...

I had no idea about the Fannie Flagg connection. Interesting background tidbit!

michael sean morris said...

I seem to recall watching Tattletales in the 70s, so I must have witnessed this for myself.