Darrin the Bold
|Full Name||Richard Allen York|
|Birthdate||September 4, 1928|
|Birthplace||Fort Wayne, Indiana, United States|
|Death Date||February 20, 1992 (age 63)|
|Death Place||Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States|
Richard Allen York was an American radio, stage, film and television actor. He is best remembered for his role as the first Darrin Stephens on the ABC fantasy sitcom Bewitched. His best known motion picture role was as teacher Bertram Cates in the film Inherit the Wind (1960).
Born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, he quickly found work in the entertainment industry. In 1943, at age fifteen, he became the star of the network radio program, "That Brewster Boy." Beginning in movies in 1947, with the role of Philip Norton in the film "Shy Guy,” his roles were few and far between. To further develop his skills and to earn money, he played a number of small roles on early television shows, beginning with "Visit to a Small Planet" on the Goodyear Television Playhouse in May of 1955. Over the next several years, he continued playing small, supporting actor roles on such television series as “Kraft Television Theater,” “The Philco Television Playhouse,” “Studio One,” “The United States Steel Hour,” and “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” all the while doing numerous other supporting actor roles in less than memorable films, waiting for the big breakthrough role which never came.
In 1959, while acting in the role of Private Renziehausen in the cavalry film "They Came to Cordura,” he injured his back, which later aggravated into a painful degenerative spine injury. York was in the movie “Inherit the Wind” in 1960, which was based on the real-life court case of 1925, “Scopes Monkey Trial.” In the film two great lawyers argued the case for and against a science teacher, the role played by York, accused of the crime of teaching evolution in a Tennessee high school biology class room.
In 1964 he won the supporting role of Darrin Stephens in the comic television series Bewitched, where he played the all-too-human husband of a witch with supernatural powers, played by Elizabeth Montgomery. His back continued to hurt him, and he quit the role in 1969, being replaced by actor Dick Sargent. From 1983 to 1985, he regained his health enough to play a couple of small supporting roles in such television series as “Simon and Simon” and “Fantasy Island.”
He later founded Acting for Life, a private fund raising effort for the homeless. He managed this project from his home while bedridden from his degenerative spine injury until his death from respiratory failure.
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