Bewitched: Why did Dick York leave?

Dick York, the original Darrin Stephens on Bewitched, confirmed that he left the show due to his increasing reliance on prescription pain medication.

Bewitched is the 1960s hit sitcom that was premised, “A witch married to an ordinary man cannot resist using her magic powers to solve the problems her family faces.”

One of the first major losses on the show was when Dick York, in the role of Darrin Stephens, left the sitcom, due to his growing addiction to painkillers after a back injury.

Why did Bewitched end?

Bewitched was not cancelled, rather, the sitcom ended after its eighth season due to the breakdown in the marriage of title actress, Elizabeth Montgomery, and her husband at the time, William Asher, who was also the executive producer of Bewitched.

Confirmed by the fact that with the end of the sitcom, the two also got divorced.

Bewitched: Why did Dick York leave?

For the first six seasons of the show, Dick York was the lead male actor of Bewitched, as he played Samantha’s human husband, Darrin Stephens. Therefore, it came as a surprise when season seven started airing and York was not playing Darrin anymore.

At the time, this caused speculation, as the show did not share official word about the change beforehand. Moreover, even on the show, the change was treated insouciantly.

Therefore, in the 1970s, many speculated that York was fired or had left the show due to conflict regarding payment or animosity with the cast and crew behind the scenes.

But in the 1980s, York finally addressed the matter and put the unfounded rumours to rest, revealing that he left the show due to his increasing addiction to prescribed painkillers that he used for a back injury that he had sustained earlier in his acting career.

When did Dick York leave Bewitched?

After passing out on the set of Bewitched in 1969, York made the decision in hospital to leave the show when he realised that his addiction was only worsening.

Who replaced Dick York as Darrin Stephens?

Acclaimed actor, Dick Sargent, replaced Dick York as Darrin Stephens for the last two seasons of Bewitched.

Did Dick York recover from his addiction?

Dick York reportedly went cold-turkey in 1971 and recovered from his addiction, but by then it was too late as his career had deteriorated as a result of being away from television. He only got small acting roles in the years that followed.