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Dick Sargent

Dick Sargent

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Also Known As: Richard Sargent, Richard Cox Died: July 8, 1994
Born: April 19, 1930 Cause of Death: prostate cancer
Birth Place: Carmel, California, USA Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Gangly actor with a nervous, anxious quality and a good sense of comedy, remembered for his work in TV comedies of the 1960s and early 70s, especially as the perennially frazzled spouse of nose-twitching wife-cum-witch Samantha (Elizabeth Montgomery) on the popular sitcom "Bewitched". Sargent began appearing in light feature fare in the late 1950s including the teen comedy, "Bernardine" (1957) and the Pat Boone musical, "Mardi Gras" (1958). He sometimes played in dramas like "Captain Newman M.D." (1963) but more typically Sargent was cast in supporting roles in "That Touch of Mink" (1962), "Fluffy" (1965) and "The Ghost and Mr. Chicken" (1966) as gawky small-towners, well-meaning but ineffectual types and comically tense businessmen. Feature work picked up for Sargent during the 60s but some of his best-remembered work came in sitcoms during this time. "The Tammy Grimes Show" (1966) only lasted four episodes, but he played it likably straight on the "McHale's Navy" spin-off, "Broadside" (1964-65). "Bewitched" would guarantee Sargent his modest niche in popular memory. It is to his credit that his Darrin was an eminently suitable replacement given that the role had already been stamped so indelibly by...

Gangly actor with a nervous, anxious quality and a good sense of comedy, remembered for his work in TV comedies of the 1960s and early 70s, especially as the perennially frazzled spouse of nose-twitching wife-cum-witch Samantha (Elizabeth Montgomery) on the popular sitcom "Bewitched". Sargent began appearing in light feature fare in the late 1950s including the teen comedy, "Bernardine" (1957) and the Pat Boone musical, "Mardi Gras" (1958). He sometimes played in dramas like "Captain Newman M.D." (1963) but more typically Sargent was cast in supporting roles in "That Touch of Mink" (1962), "Fluffy" (1965) and "The Ghost and Mr. Chicken" (1966) as gawky small-towners, well-meaning but ineffectual types and comically tense businessmen.

Feature work picked up for Sargent during the 60s but some of his best-remembered work came in sitcoms during this time. "The Tammy Grimes Show" (1966) only lasted four episodes, but he played it likably straight on the "McHale's Navy" spin-off, "Broadside" (1964-65). "Bewitched" would guarantee Sargent his modest niche in popular memory. It is to his credit that his Darrin was an eminently suitable replacement given that the role had already been stamped so indelibly by Dick York, who left the series due to illness.

Now that he possessed that great TV actor asset-- recognizability--Sargent was able to keep busy in guest spots on a wide range of TV series, as well as in TV-movies including the pilot for "Fantasy Island" (1977), "The Gossip Columnist" (1980) and "Acting on Impulse" (1993). He also successfully returned to features, admittedly minor ones like "The Clonus Horror" (1979), but often with prominent roles. One of his most amusing feature roles was as the father of a "Teen Witch" in that 1989 film (which also featured a character named Serena, Samantha's naughty cousin in "Bewitched"). Late in life Sargent gained media attention in his 60s when, on 1991's National Coming Out Day, he announced that he was gay, and for the rest of his life was proud to be labeled a "retroactive role model".

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
2.
 Frame Up (1991)
3.
 Twenty Dollar Star (1991) Lisa'S Father
4.
5.
6.
 Teen Witch (1989) Frank
7.
 Body Count (1988) Charles Knight
8.
 I'm Going to Be Famous (1982) Director
9.
 Clonus Horror, The (1979) Dr Jameson
10.
 Hardcore (1979) Wes Dejong
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1957:
Played first prominent feature film role (billed as Richard Sargent) in "Bernardine"
1960:
Began to billed more regularly as Dick Sargent with his role in the feature, "The Great Imposter", starring Tony Curtis
1961:
Played meteorologist Dick Cooper on the NBC-TV situation comedy, "One Happy Family"
1964:
Portrayed Lt. Maxwell Trotter on ABC sitcom spinoff of "McHale's Navy", "Broadside"
1966:
Played Terence Ward, twin brother of Tammy Ward, on short-lived (four episodes) ABC-TV sitcom, "The Tammy Grimes Show"
1968:
Last feature film for over a decade, "Live a Little, Love a Little", starring Elvis Presley
:
Cast as a replacement for the ailing Dick York as Darrin Stephens on the popular ABC sitcom, "Bewitched"
1975:
TV-movie debut, "Melvin Purvis: G-Man"
1979:
Returned to feature films with a role in Paul Schrader's "Hardcore"
:
Played most prominent feature film roles in "The Clonus Horror" (1979) and "I'm Going to Be Famous" (1982); was top billed in the latter
:
Kept busy during the 1980s with mostly guest star spots on various TV series; included several appearances in recurring role of Sheriff Grady Byrd on the CBS comedy-adventure series, "The Dukes of Hazzard"
1988:
Returned again to feature films for "Body Count"
1989:
Learned that he had prostate cancer
1991:
Publicly announced he was gay on "National Coming Out Day", partly in response to California governor Pete Wilson's decision to veto a gay rights bill
1991:
Last films, "Frame Up" and "Twenty Dollar Star", both direct-to-video releases directed by Paul Leder
1993:
Last TV-movie, "Acting on Impulse"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Stanford University: Stanford , California -

Notes

"Realizing that revealing his homosexuality could wreck his career, (Sargent) posed with buxom actresses for magazine spreads and even added a phony failed marriage to his publicity bio." (from "People", 7/25/94)

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Albert Williams. Writer, producer. Together from c. 1989 until Sargent's death; born c. 1957.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Elmer Cox. Boxing promoter, horse trainer, gambling impresario, business manager. Served in WWI; achieved rank of Colonel; was later a business manager for a number of prominent film actors; died of a massive stroke c. 1941.
mother:
Ruth Cox. Actor. Worked in silent film; acted in the Rudolph Valentino starrer, "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse" (1921).
sister:
Edie Cox. Older.

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