What ever happened to the cast from Bewitched
I love watching television, and there's nothing better than sitting down and watching an old favorite with my kids. Thanks to Nick at Nite, TV Land, and now, TV series released on DVD, we can enjoy all the old favorites such as Gilligan's Island, The Brady Bunch, I Dream of Jeannie, and Bewitched. When I sit down to watch, I can't help but wonder what happened to the actors after the shows were cancelled. For instance, what ever happened to the cast from Bewitched?
Bewitched was an ABC sitcom that ran from 1964 to 1972, and it still runs today in syndication. In 2002, it ranked number 50 in TV Guide's list of the Greatest Television Programs of All Time. The premise surrounded the mixed marriage of a witch named Samantha to advertising executive—and mortal—Darrin Stephens.
The nose-twitching witch Samantha was played by Elizabeth Montgomery. During the run of Bewitched, she was honored with five Emmy nominations and four Golden Globe nominations. After Bewitched, she had trouble being considered for other roles and was upset at being typecast. She didn't like to talk about the show and even refused to do her nose-twitching trick for fans.
After the show was cancelled, she purposely took dramatic parts to get as far away from the Samantha Stephens role as possible. She received an Emmy nomination for playing murderess Lizzie Borden in the TV movie The Legend of Lizzie Borden. In 1977, she created some controversy when she played a police detective having an affair with her black partner, played by O. J. Simpson, in A Killing Affair. She also did a long run as a celebrity contestant on the game show Password. Her last role was as a detective in the Edna Buchanan series.
Montgomery was a liberal, actively worked for women's rights and gay rights, and even appeared as Grand Marshal in a Gay Pride Parade in Los Angeles. In 1995, she was diagnosed with cancer. Eight weeks after the diagnosis, she died in her home with her husband and children at her side. She was 62. Her role as Samantha Stephens was immortalized in 2005, when a statue of the character was erected in Salem, Massachusetts.
Dick York was the first actor to play Darrin Stephens. He was nominated for an Emmy for the role in 1968. He suffered a back injury while working on a film, and during the fifth season of Bewitched, he collapsed on the set from the pain. While in the hospital, he resigned from the role so that he could devote his time to his recovery.
It took years for York to recover and try to revive his acting career. He appeared as a guest actor in television shows such as Simon&Simon and Fantasy Island.
Thanks to being a heavy smoker as a young man, he suffered from emphysema in his final years. Even though he was confined to bed during that time, he founded a Christian charity, called Acting for Life, that helped the homeless and destitute. He died in February 1992.
Dick Sargent was the second actor to play Darrin, taking over the role in 1969. He was actually originally offered the role at the beginning of the series, but was unable to accept because of a contract with Universal Studios. He continued to play Darrin until the series ended in 1972. After Bewitched, he continued to work in film and TV and played a short role in The Dukes of Hazzard.
Sargent revealed his homosexuality later in life and became an advocate for gay rights. He lived with his lifelong partner Albert Williams until he died of prostate cancer in 1994.
Agnes Moorehead played the recurring role of Samantha's witch mother, Endora. She was a big star of radio dramas in the 1940s and 1950s. She received six Emmy nominations for playing Endora, even though she thought the role beneath her stature as an actress.
Moorehead was a devout Presbyterian and was known to read Bible stories to kids on the set. She died of uterine cancer in 1974, just two years after Bewitched ended. She bequeathed her family estate to Bob Jones University, a Christian educational institution.
Uncle Arthur was one of the most-loved of Samantha's magic relatives. Arthur was portrayed by Paul Lynde. After Bewitched, Lynde did a lot of voice acting work in cartoons, the most famous role being Templeton the Rat in Charlotte's Web. Lynde was the center square on the TV game show Hollywood Squares for thirteen seasons. Although he never actually "came out," it was widely known in Hollywood that Lynde was homosexual. He was found dead in his home in January of 1982. The coroner ruled his death a heart attack and said that his heart looked like that of an old man from years of alcohol abuse.
What ever happened to the cast from Bewitched after the show ended, they will always be best known for their roles in this classic fantasy sitcom.