Dick Sargent, 1969 (ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)
Dick Sargent is remembered today as the replacement Darrin Stephens for the last three years of Bewitched, but Sargent was actually the first choice for the role. When offered the part in 1964, Sargent was under contract with Universal Studios and unable to join the new comedy. In addition to his work on Bewitched, he was a successful film actor, appearing in Prisoner of War, Operation Petticoat and The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, among others. He was also a regular on network television series, making guest appearances on popular programs throughout the 1980s and early 1990s. One of his last performances was on a 1993 episode of Columbo, guest starring as himself. He died of prostate cancer in 1994. We remember Dick Sargent's life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
2013: Brett Walker, U.S. musician and songwriter whose music was heard on more than 300 television shows, including One Tree Hill and Sex and the City, dies at 51.
2012: Ernest Borgnine, U.S. actor who won an Academy Award for his role in Marty and starred in the TV sitcom McHale's Navy, dies of kidney failure at 95.
The Associated Press obituary for Borgnine led with a statement about the Oscar-winning actor's usual character – the "heavy" – and called him a "beefy screen star known for blustery, often villainous roles." But the performances his fans remember are more than just the tough-guy parts. Borgnine's career was varied indeed, with memorable roles in comedy, romance and even children’s TV – and that's why his fans loved him. Read more
2011: Betty Ford, U.S. former first lady of the United States and the founder of the Betty Ford Center for substance abuse and addiction, dies of natural causes at 93.
While her predecessors tended toward decorum and genteel causes – Lady Bird Johnson's beautification project, Pat Nixon's volunteerism – Ford spoke her mind and didn't worry too hard about what was "proper" for a first lady. She had strong political convictions and she didn't hesitate to fight for the causes that were dear to her heart – abortion rights, breast cancer awareness, the Equal Rights Amendment. Read more
2011: Roberts Blossom, U.S. actor known best for his role as "Old Man Marley" in the John Hughes movie Home Alone, dies of a stroke at 87.
2009: Midnight, U.S. singer who was the lead vocalist for the critically acclaimed progressive metal band Crimson Glory, who toured with Metallica and Ozzy Osbourne, dies at 47.
2006: June Allyson, U.S. actress most popular in the 1940s and ’50s, starring in a series of movies with Van Johnson, dies of bronchitis and respiratory failure at 88.
After her film career ended in the late '50s, Allyson starred on television as hostess and occasional star of The DuPont Show with June Allyson. The anthology series lasted two seasons. In later years the actress appeared on TV shows such as Love Boat and Murder, She Wrote. For the last 20 years, Allyson represented the Kimberly-Clark Corp. in commercials for Depends and championed the importance of research in urological and gynecological diseases in seniors. Read more
2002: Ward Kimball, U.S. animator for Walt Disney Studios, whose creations included the Mad Hatter and Jiminy Cricket, dies of pneumonia complications at 88.
1994: Dick Sargent, U.S. actor known best as the second Darrin Stephens on the sitcom Bewitched, dies of prostate cancer at 64.
1991: James Franciscus, U.S. actor who starred in the TV series Mr. Novak, The Naked City and Longstreet, dies of emphysema at 57.
1990: Howard Duff, U.S. actor who starred on the TV series Felony Squad and had a recurring role on Knots Landing, dies of a heart attack at 76.
1985: Phil Foster, U.S. actor and comedian known best for his role as Frank De Fazio on the sitcom Laverne & Shirley, dies of a heart attack at 72.
1984: Christine McIntyre, U.S. actress known best for her appearances in more than 20 Three Stooges film shorts, dies at 73.
1981: Loring Smith, U.S. actor who appeared in many Broadway plays along with movies and television appearances including Shadow of the Thin Man, dies at 90.
1979: Michael Wilding, English actor who starred in The World of Suzie Wong opposite William Holden and was married at one time to Elizabeth Taylor, dies at 66.
1973: Gene Coon, U.S. screenwriter who wrote for many television shows including Dragnet, Bonanza, McHale's Navy and Star Trek, dies of throat and lung cancer at 49.
1971: Charlie Shavers, U.S. jazz trumpeter who played with Dizzy Gillespie, Tommy Dorsey and Billie Holiday, dies of throat cancer at 50.
1822: Percy Bysshe Shelley, English poet regarded by critics as one of the finest lyric poets in the English language, drowns in a boating accident at 29.