Dick York will be forever remembered as “Darrin Stevens” (the first one) on the 1960’s sitcom Bewitched. During the last years of his life, Mr. York lived in Rockford, Michigan.

He was bed-ridden and mostly in a stupor from the amount of painkillers he had been prescribed. He ripped his back muscles in 1959 while working on a movie with Gary Cooper, and that’s when his addiction began. Even though his career was doing fine with Bewitched, it was becoming too much for him and he quit the show, being replaced by Dick Sargent (“Darrin II”).

He wrote a tell-all about his addiction called The Seesaw Girl and Me, which was published after his death. In it, he says, "I had a band playing in my head, bagpipes night and day…..The fans whisper to you and the walls whisper to you and you look at television and sometimes it flashes in a certain way that sends you into a fit and you know that your wife has put her hand in your mouth so you won't bite off your tongue. You can't sleep. You hallucinate. I used to make a tape recording of rain so I could listen to the rain lying in bed at night to drown out those damned bagpipes."

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Even though he finally beat his addiction he spent his last years in Michigan using an oxygen tank to help fight emphysema, thanks to a three-pack a day cigarette habit.

While living his last days in Rockford, he said, "I've been blessed. I have no complaints. I've been surrounded by people in radio, on stage and in motion pictures and television who love me. The things that have gone wrong have been simply physical things." He passed away in Blodgett Hospital in Grand Rapids on February 20, 1992 at 63 years old.

You can easily find his gravemarker in Plainfield Cemetery in Rockford.
If you plan to visit and pay your respects to a man who spent his career for our enjoyment and entertainment, please respect his plot - and all markers - in the cemetery.


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