Jay, Peaches, Spinderella and other Darrining Victims
fans were in for a shock when they tuned in to the show's season six premiere in 1969: the Darrin Stephens they had grown to love over the course of five years had been replaced without warning by a different actor: Dick Sargent. Or, as he would come to be known in the annals of TV history, The Other Darrin. The sitcom, about a beautiful witch named Samantha and her uptight mortal husband, was a hit under the pairing of Elizabeth Montgomery and Dick York. Unfortunately, York became increasingly dependent on pain killers for an excruciating back injury and, when it became too much to bear, the network replaced him with Sargent. Different actor, same character.
Trouble immediately started brewing before filming even began. Agnes Moorehead, the legendary Hollywood actress who played Samantha's devious mother Endora, stood up during the first table script-reading with Sargent and said "I am not fond of change" before storming out. Fans missed the old Darrin, and ratings continually dropped during the last three seasons.
Many musicians have suffered the same fate as York. It's bad enough to be replaced in a band, but to have the new guy answer to your own name adds a new level of insult to injury.
Ever wonder why the group that did "At This Moment
" is Billy Vera & the Beaters instead of the more palatable Billy & the Beaters? Vera didn't want to be Darrined.