64 (passed away Jul. 8th, 1994)
Apr. 19th, 1930
Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, USA
Dick Sargent's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Richard Stanford Cox (April 19, 1930 – July 8, 1994), known professionally as Dick Sargent, was an American actor, notable as the second actor to portray Darrin Stephens on the television series Bewitched. The actor took the name Dick Sargent from a Saturday Evening Post illustrator/artist of the same name.
Sargent was a trim, handsome man with a longish chin. He played a variety of gawky businessmen roles in feature films before finding a niche in tv history as the second Darrin on Bewitched. Shortly before his death, Sargent publicly proclaimed he was gay, and became what he called "a retroactive role model" in the battle for gay rights.
Born in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, Sargent had appeared in films since his debut in 1956. When Dick York was forced to leave the Bewitched series owing to health problems in 1969, Sargent stepped into the role. He had first been offered the role in 1964 but was under contract to Universal Studios and unable to accept it. Sargent played Darrin until the show ended in 1972.
When Sargent and comic Stanley Myron Handelman were on Merv Griffin Show in 1975, the comic asked Sargent why he had changed his birth name from Cox. Sargent said wryly, "No one would have taken Dick Cox seriously".
Sargent continued to work in film and made numerous guest appearances on various TV shows, including one episode of The Waltons (with the second John-Boy, Robert Wightman), and two early episodes of The Dukes of Hazzard as Sheriff Grady Byrd. He played himself in a 1993 Columbo episode as well as on an episode of Knots Landing. In the mid-eighties, he played the role of Richard Preston, the widowed father, in the syndicated sitcom Down to Earth. In the 1980s, he joined actress Sally Struthers as an advocate of the "Christian Children's Fund", which brought relief to third world children.
He also played a role in another witch-themed movie called Teen Witch (1989).
Later in life, Sargent declared publicly that he was gay and supported gay rights issues. He had long hidden his sexual orientation, appearing with lesbian actress Fannie Flagg on Tattletales as a couple. Sargent lived with his domestic partner, Albert Williams, for more than a decade, until his (Williams') death.
In June 1992, Sargent was a Grand Marshal of the Los Angeles Gay Pride parade along with actress and former co-star 'Elizabeth Montgomery'.
Sargent was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1989. Doctors were initially optimistic that it could be treated; however, the disease continued to spread and by early 1994, he had become seriously ill. Sargent died from the disease on July 8, 1994 at age 64. His remains were cremated.
Former Bewitched co-star 'Elizabeth Montgomery' commented, "He was a great friend, and I will miss his love, his sense of humor and his remarkable courage". Montgomery herself died of colon cancer less than a year later.
- His grandfather, John McNaughton, founded Los Angeles's Union Stockyards.
- His role on _"Bewitched" (1964)_ (qv) was first offered to him in 1964, but he was under a contract with Universal Studios, so 'Dick York (I)' (qv) was hired instead. By the time an illness caused York to discontinue the role, Sargent was free enough to take over.
- Coincidentally, Sargent and 'Tammy Grimes' (qv) were said to have been original choices for the roles of Darrin and Samantha Stephens during the initial casting of the pilot episode of _"Bewitched" (1964)_ (qv) in 1964. Sargent bowed out due to a contractual commitment to Universal. Grimes also had contractual problems. Later, Sargent went on to play Tammy's brother on her short-lived series _"The Tammy Grimes Show" (1966)_ (qv) in 1966. Grimes' lead character's name happened to be Tamantha.
- Sargent's companion from 1989-1994 was writer/producer Albert Williams.
- Dick appeared on the game show _"Tattletales" (1974)_ (qv) with 'Fannie Flagg' (qv) in the 1970s. Apparently they were dating at the time.
- His father, Elmer Cox, was a World War I hero and a Hollywood business manager. His mother, Ruth McNaughton, was a film actress.
- Remembered by many for his role as the second Darren Stevens in Bewitched (1964).
- He was never married, but had a long-time companion whom he was with for 20 years before the man's death from a cerebral hemorrhage in 1979. He had "manufactured" a wife to the press in the early productive days, to protect his career.
Related sites for this celeb