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Old 09-02-2019, 11:51 AM   #17
Larry Tate
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Join Date: Dec 26, 2001
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 1,353

Was Dick York Fired or did he resign?

Although i think Dick York would have been fired by both Screen Gems and ABC after his initial 5 year contract expired, i do believe Bill Asher when he said on the day of his collapse that Dick York simply resigned from the show that day.

The delays caused by his absences and the uncertainty of his being able to work any given week due to his back condition cost both ABC & Screen Gems a fair bit of money, so i think they would have been inclined to cut their loses at that point.

Later the following year in late spring Dick York did re-approach Screen Gems and ABC about returning to the cast as Darrin.

He had asked to be allowed a sabbatical till that September to allow his back to heal at which point filming of his scenes would have recommenced.

By that point though Screen Gems had recast Darrin and signed Dick Sargent for the role, in fact 3 or 4 episodes had already been filmed by that point in time and were in the can so to speak.

As well Liz & Bill and Screen Gems did not believe that the time off would make any difference knowing full well the extent of Dick Yorks back problems and how difficult it had been for him all those years.

They correctly believed that he would still be incapacitated after his time off and would be unable to work.

This would have left Bewitched in the Lurch without a Darrin and with most likely all the best candidates no longer available forcing them to take whatever they could get.

They proved to be right as after Dick York's collapse in early December, 1968 he was bedridden and only semi lucid for for more then a year so obviously would have been unable to film scenes for Bewitched in September, 1969.

He was never again able to physically work for any sustained period of time, so the time off would have accomplished nothing.

That summer after he had been rebuffed by the Ashers and Screen Gems he said in an article that he was glad to have left the show and wanted to play other roles, that he felt he was improperly and underused as Darrin and that the atmosphere on the set was very unpleasant.

Talk about burning your bridges, that alone made any further expectation of any contact between Elizabeth Montgomery and Dick York in the future unrealistic and not rational.

Why would anyone rush to that aid of someone who in your last interaction with them had slapped you in the face.

Interestingly Dick York in interviews near the end of his life in the 1990's still claimed if they had just given him that summer off he could have finished the run of the show.

So he was clearly in denial on that matter all of his life.

It is sad he was not able to finish the run of the series, it would have been great and preferable if he could have, but it simply was not possible.

At least we do have his wonderful performances of the first 4 2/3 seasons of the show to enjoy over and over, they are all timeless those episodes and never get old.
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