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Old 09-02-2019, 11:51 AM   #18
Larry Tate
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Join Date: Dec 26, 2001
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 1,353

Who was first cast as Darrin Stephens and by Whom?
Although some have said it is so, the following is not an incorrect story that is being repeated over & over again, rather it is proven & corroborated Documented fact and has been accepted as such over 40 years.

What is incorrect is the revisionist history that is being perpetuated of late by those that can't stand the idea that Dick York was not alone in consideration for Darrin in the initial early time period when Bewitched was created & cast by Liz & Bill Asher in the Fall of 1963.

At no time has Bill Asher said that Dick York was the first & only choice by them as Darrin, quite the opposite is the case actually & it is on the public record & William Ashers comments on the record & on camera state that the Dick Sargent's contractual obligations such as his being on the
Tammy Grimes show were indeed the reasons why he could not be cast as Darrin after he was cast as Darrin by Elizabeth Montgomery & William Asher after they joined the project and Sol Saks left.

There is no reliable proof or corroboration that Dick Sargent was cast prior to Bill and Liz getting involved nor that he was involved whatsoever while Tammy Grimes was being considered as Cassandra (Samantha), no one at anytime, anywhere, that was associated with the show in any way has stated this was the case.

As well Tammy Grimes had never actually signed onto to doing Bewitched & never was happy with a script for a Pilot, even the last one Sol Saks did just prior to Liz & Bill coming on board, as such as in effect the project was in such a initial state with Samantha not even having been officially & contractually cast, that there would have been no casting of the other characters such as Darrin until Tammy Grimes had indeed officially signed on which of course she never did.

In fact Sol Saks the Producer for Bewitched prior to Liz & Bill taking over has stated on tape that no casting was done on his watch nor was it being seriously considered which in effect states that Dick Sargent was considered, auditioned and cast as Darrin by Liz & Bill after they had joined the show.

This makes the whole Dick Sargent being cast back then with Tammy Grimes as being illogical as well.

All this is is second or third hand fantasy or in some cases wishful thinking.

As well there was almost no time in between when Tammy Grimes pulled out to to a Broadway show & Liz & Bill being asked to take over it by Harry Ackerman the shows Executive Producer.

That Dick Sargent stated himself that he was the first choice by Bill & Liz in interviews & as well in Bewitched Forever is proven fact & not merely a wishful assumption.

Likewise so is the fact that this was stated at the time of his joining the show
in 1970 in numerous interviews in magazine articles by himself, ABC & Screen Gems Executives & that Liz herself never said it was not so, these again are facts not wishful thinking that someone merely makes up.

As well in the ET Bewitched special & in the subsequent pieces ET did on the
two Darrin's re Dick Sargent & Dick York it was stated by them in each of them that Dick Sargent was the first choice & that Dick York was only considered when Dick Sargent was not available when they went back to him after their initial interview in order to offer him the role.

Furthermore Bill Asher in the E! True Hollywood Special himself on camera
clearly states that Dick Sargent was the first choice as Darrin, that THEY as in he & Liz
wanted him but that he was unavailable, so there it is fact instead of fiction.

Screen Gems did all the casting themselves for the Pilot & after when the show was sold, Liz & Bill had final say in all casting after they came aboard.

Asher has been utterly consistent over the years on Dick Sargent being his & Liz's
first choice, there are no instances where this has been stated by him
otherwise, nor has there been any offered as proof, why?, because it does not exist.

From 1963 to the last year or two Bill Asher has always said it was Dick Sargent & never said it was Dick York, what he said was that Dick York was the best choice in hindsight & the only choice in that respect, not that he was the first one, there is a difference.

In a recent article on Ebay about Dick Sargent taking over as Darrin it was stated that Dick Sargent had been offered the role and was a prime candidate in 1963 for the role When producer Bill Asher was casting the show but had to turn it down due to a recent contractual commitment to another studio, Universal.
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