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Bewitched Switches Darrins A great many TV sitcoms have experienced cast changes during their runs. None, however, was more startling to the average viewer than when the role of Darrin Stephens on Bewitched went suddenly from Dick York to Dick Sargent in 1969. York had portrayed Darrin since the series premiered in 1964. However, York had suffered a severe back injury while filming a movie in 1959. He became heavily dependent on pain killers for sleeping and getting through the day. By 1968 York's back injury was so crippling that he had to be written out of several episodes and/or the show's shooting schedule had to be changed to accommodate his absences. Often, when York was able to work, his scenes were structured so he could lie down on a couch or a bed. Finally in January 1969 he passed out during a taping and had to be rushed to a hospital. During York's hospitalization, producer William Asher asked York if he wanted out of the show. York knew he couldn't continue so he reluctantly agreed. He was replaced by the much taller Dick Sargent who played a more assertive version of Darrin. How did the show account for the dramatic change in appearance of its leading male character? One idea was to have Darrin the victim of a spell that made him grow. Eventually it was decided that nothing would be said; Sargent just assumed York's old role without explanation. Sargent played Darrin until the show's run ended in 1972. Bewitched fans constantly debate which actor played Darrin better. Sadly, York fell on hard times after leaving the series. Bad investments drained his savings. He died in poverty in 1992.
Tags: Bewitched  two  Darrins 
Added: 21st October 2009
Views: 1804
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Posted By: Lava1964

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