His father was a World War I flying ace, and his mother was a silent film actress. His name was Richard Cox until he changed it to Dick Sargent, fearing that casting directors of the 1950s would assume he was trying to capitalize on the success of then-hot TV star Wally Cox. In films since 1957's Bernardine, Sargent was also a regular on several one-season-wonder TV series of the '60s; his oddest gig was on the very short-lived The Tammy Grimes Show (1966), playing the star's twin brother. Sargent's latter-day fame rests with his five-season (1969-73) tenure as the "second Darrin Stevens" on the weekly sitcom Bewitched. "I don't know why (Dick York) quit the show" commented Sargent at the time he succeeded York as Darrin. "I just thank God that he did." At the peak of his popularity, Sargent listed a failed first marriage on his studio biography. This, however, was a subterfuge, calculated to keep the actor's homosexuality a secret. Many years after the cancellation of Bewitched, Sargent became incensed at California governor Pete Wilson's veto of a gay-rights bill. At this point, the actor deliberately put his career on the line by making public his own sexual orientation. Thus, Sargent was one of the first major Hollywood actors to voluntarily come out of the closet without the spectre of AIDS hanging over him. Dick Sargent died of prostate cancer at the reported age of 61.