Dick Sargent

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 ABC's fantasy situation comedy Bewitched. He took the name Dick Sargent from a Saturday Evening Post illustrator/artist of the same name.

Dick Sargent
Dick Sargent headshot.jpg
Born
Richard Stanford Cox

(1930-04-19)April 19, 1930
DiedJuly 8, 1994(1994-07-08) (aged 64)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Other namesRichard Sargent
OccupationActor
Years active1954–1993
Partner(s)Albert Williams (1986–1994; his death)

Early life and careerEdit

Sargent was born Richard Stanford Cox in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California on April 19, 1930 to Ruth McNaughton, daughter of John McNaughton (who founded Los Angeles's famed Union Stockyards). She appeared under the stage name of Ruth Powell, and had supporting roles in The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and Hearts and Trumps. Sargent's father Colonel Elmer Cox, who served in World War I, later became a business manager to Hollywood figures, including Douglas Fairbanks and Erich von Stroheim. Sargent attended the San Rafael Military Academy in San Rafael, California and majored in drama at Stanford University. He appeared in two dozen plays with the Stanford Players Theater.[1]

Sargent appeared in feature films following his debut in Prisoner of War (1954). He appeared in The Great Locomotive Chase (1956) starring Fess Parker. In the 1957 movie Bernardine, the little-known Sargent had his most important role to date as lovesick teenager Sanford "Fofo" Wilson. The character was the main focus of the story, but Sargent's work was overshadowed by the presence of several famous names in the cast, including Janet Gaynor, Ronnie Burns, and Pat Boone, who had just become a singing sensation and was making his film debut.

Sargent appeared in the 1959 feature film Operation Petticoat starring Cary Grant, and The Ghost and Mr. Chicken starring Don Knotts in 1966. He was a regular in three short-lived television comedies One Happy Family in 1961, Broadside in 1964,[2][3] and The Tammy Grimes Show in 1966. For three seasons, from 1969 to 1972, he played Darrin Stephens in Bewitched, replacing ailing actor Dick York.

In 1975, Sargent appeared on the television show TattleTales with Fannie Flagg as his "beard", and was introduced as "her guy".[4]

His later movies included the crime drama Hardcore (1979) as Jake Van Dorn's strait-laced brother-in-law, Wes DeJong, and as Dr. Jameson in the sci-fi horror film Parts: The Clonus Horror (1979). He also played Sheriff Grady Byrd in two 1979–1980 season episodes of The Dukes of Hazzard.

Sargent continued to work in film. He played Harry in Live a Little, Love a Little (1968) opposite Elvis Presley and Michele Carey, and made guest appearances on television series, including Navy Log, The West Point Story, Medic, Code 3, Ripcord, Gunsmoke, Wagon Train, The Alaskans, Ozzie and Harriet, The Rat Patrol, I Dream of Jeannie, Hazel, Dr. Kildare, Daniel Boone, Kraft Mystery Theater, Three's Company, The Waltons, Charlie's Angels, Knots Landing, Family Ties, The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Adam-12, The Streets of San Francisco, Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law, Ellery Queen, The Tony Randall Show, The Devlin Connection, Baretta, Switch, The Six Million Dollar Man, Marcus Welby, M.D., Trapper John, M.D., Matt Houston, Alice, Taxi, Benson, Vega$, Diff'rent Strokes, Here's Lucy, Love American Style, The Yellow Rose, The Commish, Finder of Lost Loves, Murder, She Wrote, L.A. Law and Harry and the Hendersons. In 1990, he also portrayed himself in an episode of Columbo.[5] In the mid-1980s, he landed the steady role of Richard Preston, the widowed father, in the sitcom Down to Earth. He also appeared in the fantasy comedy Teen Witch (1989).

Throughout the 1980s, he joined actress Sally Struthers as an advocate for Christian Children's Fund, which brought relief to children in developing nations. Sargent also did charitable work for the Special Olympics, World Hunger, AIDS Project Los Angeles and the American Foundation for AIDS Research.[1]

Personal lifeEdit

On National Coming Out Day in 1991, Sargent publicly declared his homosexuality and supported gay rights issues.[6] The high rate of suicide among young gay people was the main reason; he jokingly referred to himself as a "retroactive role model". Sargent recognized that his ill health from prostate cancer may have led people to assume he suffered from AIDS.[7]

Sargent had a long-time companion with whom he lived for over 20 years, and the unidentified man died from a cerebral hemorrhage in 1979. He later lived with his domestic partner Albert Williams until his death.[8]

In June 1992, Sargent was a grand marshal of the Los Angeles Gay Pride parade along with Elizabeth Montgomery.[6]

DeathEdit

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.[9] Sargent died from the disease on July 8, 1994, aged 64.[8] His body was 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."[7] Montgomery herself died of colon cancer less than a year later.[6]

Partial filmographyEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Former "Bewitched' star Dick Sargent dies". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved June 20, 2020.
  2. ^ "Sargent Replaces Bewitched Costar". Los Angeles Times. January 31, 1969. p. G14.
  3. ^ Keehnen, Owen. "Interview with Dick Sargent, 1992". Chicago Outlines. Retrieved August 16, 2011.
  4. ^ "Tattletales (February 4, 1975)". YouTube. Retrieved November 1, 2020.
  5. ^ "Columbo: Uneasy Lies the Crown: Cast and Crew". TV.com. Retrieved April 27, 2016.
  6. ^ a b c "Elizabeth Montgomery Dies Of Cancer". The Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. May 19, 1995. Retrieved May 16, 2011.
  7. ^ a b "Actor Dick Sargent, Long-Suffering Husband On Television's 'Bewitched'". The Seattle Times. July 9, 1994. Retrieved September 26, 2013.
  8. ^ a b Meyer, Jeff (July 8, 1994). "Bewitched Star Sargent Dead At 64". Bangor Daily News. Retrieved August 16, 2011.
  9. ^ Brady, David E. (July 9, 1994). "Dick Sargent, 64; 'Bewitched' TV Actor". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 26, 2013.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit