Twitch Upon A Star: The Bewitched Life and Career of Elizabeth Montgomery is a new book by Herbie J. Pilato which tells you all about Bewitched, the magical 1960s-and-’70s sitcom, and other triumphs enjoyed by the talented and beautiful Montgomery.
And it turns out Endora (the astounding Agnes Moorehead) was not thrilled when Dick York had to be replaced as Darrin (because of back problems) by Dick Sargent in 1969.
In fact, she almost cast a spell on the new Darrin and turned him into a little gay rat shrouded in smoke.
“Sargent’s new term on the show began on a foot of edgy hostility,” explains Pilato.
“Set in her ways, Moorehead was not at all pleased with his presence.
“She was fond of York and his talent, and respected his New Age-like spirituality.
“Even though such beliefs countered her conservative Christian viewpoint, Moorehead felt his presence was key to the show’s success.”
And she was downright rude about it.
At the first table read with Sargent, Moorhead rose from her seat and declared to those around her, “I am not fond of change!”
(But if it was spare change, I bet she would have taken it in a heartbeat.)
She also once instructed Sargent to kiss her hand as if greeting royalty.
Montgomery–who liked Moorehead despite her flareups–was particularly offended.
Perhaps Moorehead didn’t realize that Sargent was actually the original choice for the part, but had chosen to do another series at the time.
In any case, Sargent dealt with the dissing with dignity and only praised York.
I always felt the two of them should have gotten together for a remake of Sergeant York.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 26, 2012