|Born||Richard Stanford Cox
April 19, 1930
Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, U.S.
|Died||July 8, 1994
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Cause of death||Prostate cancer|
|Other names||Richard Sargent, Richard Cox, Dick Cox|
|Partner(s)||Albert Williams (1986–1994; Sargent's death)|
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.
Early Life & Career
Born Richard Stanford Cox in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, on April 19, 1930 to mother, Ruth McNaughton, daughter of John McNaughton who founded Los Angeles famed Union Stockyards. She appeared under the 'nom-de-arte' (stage name) of Ruth Powell, and had important supporting bit roles in such screen classics as The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and Hearts and Trumps with the great Nazimova. Sargent's father, Colonel Elmer Cox, who served in World War I, later became a business manager to such Hollywood alumni as Douglas Fairbanks and Erich von Stroheim. Sargent's grandfather was John McNaughton, who founded Los Angeles’s Union Stockyards. Dick attended the San Rafael Military Academy in Menlo Park, California before majoring in drama at Stanford University.
Sargent had appeared in films since his debut in Prisoner of War (1954). When Dick York was forced to leave the Bewitched series owing to health problems in 1969, Sargent stepped into the role. He had previously appeared on the short-lived sitcom Broadside and the even shorter-lived Tammy Grimes Show. He appeared in The Great Locomotive Chase starring Fess Parker, Operation Petticoat starring Cary Grant, and The Ghost and Mr. Chicken starring Don Knotts. Later, he played Darrin Stephens on Bewitched for three years between 1969 and 1972, replacing ailed actor Dick York. Later in the 1970s, he appeared in the 1979 film Hardcore as Jake Van Dorn's straight-laced brother-in-law, Wes DeJong. He also played Sheriff Grady Byrd on the show The Dukes of Hazzard.
Sargent continued to work in film roles such as playing Harry in Live a Little, Love a Little in 1968 starring opposite Elvis Presley and Michele Carey and made numerous guest appearances on various television shows, including Ripcord, Three's Company, The Waltons, Charlie's Angels, Knots Landing, Family Ties, Fantasy Island, Emergency!, and at least two episodes of The Dukes of Hazzard. He also portrayed himself in a 1993 Columbo episode. In the mid-1980s, he landed the steady role of Richard Preston, the widowed father, in the TBS sitcom Down to Earth. He also appeared in the witch-themed movie Teen Witch in 1989. He also appeared on Diff'rent Strokes.
On National Coming Out Day in 1991, Sargent publicly declared his homosexuality and supported gay rights issues. The high rate of suicide among young homosexuals was the main reason, jokingly referring 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. He lived with his domestic partner, Albert Williams, until his death.
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.
- "Sargent Replaces Bewitched Costar". Los Angeles Times. January 31, 1969. p. G14.
- Keehnen, Owen. "Interview with Dick Sargent, 1992". No More "Straight Man", Dick Sargent is Out and Proud. Retrieved August 16, 2011.
- "Elizabeth Montgomery Dies Of Cancer". Spokesman-Review. May 19, 1995. Retrieved May 16, 2011.
- "Actor Dick Sargent, Long-Suffering Husband On Television's 'Bewitched'". The Seattle Times. July 9, 1994. Retrieved September 26, 2013.
- Meyer, Jeff (July 8, 1994). "Bewitched Star Sargent Dead At 64". The Bangor Daily News. Retrieved August 16, 2011.
- Brady, David E. (July 9, 1994). "Dick Sargent, 64; 'Bewitched' TV Actor". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 26, 2013.
- Owen Keehnen: Interviews (1992). "Dick Sargent is Out and Proud". the Queer Cultural Center. Retrieved August 16, 2011.
- Linda Rapp. "Sargent, Dick (1930-1994)". glbtq. Retrieved August 16, 2011.
- Dick Sargent at the Internet Movie Database
- Dick Sargent at AllMovie
- Dick Sargent at the TCM Movie Database
- Dick Sargent at Find a Grave