‘Bewitched’: Here’s Why Dick York Ended Up Leaving the Show

by Taylor Cunningham

Bewitched made a Darrin change up mid-run and never explained the reason. So naturally, fans thought there was bad blood on set.

For the first five seasons of the classic sitcom, Dick York played Samantha’s smitten husband. But sometime over the summer hiatus, Dick Sargent took his place. And when season 6 opened, he was helping York’s supernatural wife with her witchy hijinks.

But strangely, the producers just hoped no one would notice the new man in Samantha’s life. And they never explained why York made an exit.

However, we know the reason why the actor quit. And while it had nothing to do with bad blood, it was heartbreaking.

Long before York starred on Bewitched, he played Pvt. Renziehausen in They Came to Cordura. And while he was filming in 1959, he suffered a serious back injury. Doctors were never able to completely repair the injury. And because of that, the actor had to rely on painkillers indefinitely.

In 1992, the actor explained to FilmFax magazine that the accident happened while he was driving a handcar down a railway. And when the director yelled cut, an extra reached up and grabbed the handlebar to stop York from driving any further. When he did, York pushed down one more time and met the weight of the man.

“The muscles along the right side of my back tore,” he said. “They just snapped and let loose. And that was the start of it all — the pain, the painkillers, the addiction, the lost career. I didn’t attend to the problem then. I continued to work through it.”

After a few years, York became addicted to the medication. And by 1969, the problem was so serious that he passed out while filming an episode of Bewitched, according to Biography.com.

York spent some time in the hospital after fainting. And while he was there, he told director William Asher that he needed to quit. He thought both the pain and addiction were too serious to continue with the series.

Dick Sargent was able to step into the part flawless. And Dick York remained out of the spotlight for 14 more years.

‘Bewitched’ Movie in the Works

Bewitched is heading to the silver screen once again.

Back in March, The Hollywood Reporter and Screen Rant announced that the iconic sitcom was getting a movie remake. And unlike the 2005 version, this film will be closely based on the original story. Meaning, Samantha and Darrin will try to live a somewhat normal life despite Samantha’s witchy history.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, scriptwriters Travis Fickett and Terry Matalas will be heading the new flick. Also, John Fox and John Davis of Davis Entertainment will produce the film.

Sony owns the rights to the movie, just as it did in 2005. But because its first go at the concept flopped at the box office, it decided to give it another try.

So far, the movie is in early development, and neither the cast nor release date has been released. However, when we hear more news, we’ll be sure to pass it along.