logo
Getty Images
Getty Images

‘Bewitched’s Dick York Cleaned Apartments & Went on Welfare before He Passed from Incurable Disease 3 Decades Ago

Edduin Carvajal
Sep 18, 2021
02:30 P.M.

Dick York made a fortune with “Bewitched,” but before dying from an incurable disease, he had to clean apartments and couldn’t even leave his home for months.

Advertisement

Born in September 1928, Dick York grew up in a hard-working family. His mother, Betty, was a seamstress, while his father, Bernard, worked as a salesman.

Dick York filming "Bewitched" Season 4 in July 1967 | Photo: Getty Images

Dick York filming "Bewitched" Season 4 in July 1967 | Photo: Getty Images

DICK YORK’S EARLY CAREER

After moving from Indiana to Chicago, a nun at St. Mary of the Lake grammar school noticed his voice was exceptional, so when he was only nine years old, he joined the Jack and Jill Players.

He debuted in the play “Water Babies” and studied drama at the De Paul Academy and De Paul University. At the time, though, he had already landed minor roles in radio.

Dick York filming "The Alfred Hitchcock Presents" on September 3, 1959 | Photo: Getty Images

Dick York filming "The Alfred Hitchcock Presents" on September 3, 1959 | Photo: Getty Images

Advertisement

In 1944, York gained national notoriety by working in the TV series “That Brewster Boy.” His career improved after joining the cast of “The Jack Armstrong Show” and becoming “Junior Junction's” emcee.

Although his career skyrocketed in 1964 after being cast as Darrin Stephens in “Bewitched” opposite Elizabeth Montgomery and Agnes Moorehead, the project that really changed his life was “They Came to Cordura,” a western released in 1960.

Advertisement

Due to an accident filming one of the scenes, he ended up lifting over 180 pounds on his own, which tore the muscles along the right side of his back.

The disabling injury was permanent, but he was not ready to stop working. To ease the pain, he would take painkillers, but he eventually became addicted to them.

York was diagnosed with emphysema, a lung condition that causes shortness of breath.

Advertisement

YORK’S ADDICTION AND DOWNFALL

His pill addiction was a problem since the first day of filming “Bewitched” as director William Asher found him passed out in his car when they were supposed to be shooting. The director considered firing him right away but gave him another chance instead.

Asher pointed out that he wasn’t sure whether York’s substance issues started due to his back injury or he was actually dealing with the “disease of drug addiction,” and his sore back was just a good excuse.

Advertisement

Things got more complicated during "Bewitched" Season 5 when York had a seizure on the set, and Montgomery couldn’t take it anymore. She requested to find a replacement for York, and Dick Sargent stepped in.

After that, York struggled to return to the entertainment industry and eventually decided to walk away from it. If that wasn’t bad enough, York was diagnosed with emphysema, a lung condition that causes shortness of breath.

YORK’S FINAL YEARS

After his Hollywood career ended, he spent his savings on buying an apartment building in West Covina and had planned to live off rental income.

Unfortunately, when his tenants failed to pay the rent, he could not evict them thinking of his own youth. Eventually, York himself ran out of money and couldn’t afford the mortgage, so the bank foreclosed the entire property.

Advertisement

The only way the actor could hold onto his apartment was by cleaning other units. He went from earning six figures to getting his first welfare check in 1976.

Dick York and Elizabeth Montgomery filming "Bewitched" Season 4 in July 1967 | Photo: Getty Images

Dick York and Elizabeth Montgomery filming "Bewitched" Season 4 in July 1967 | Photo: Getty Images

By 1989, he had already overcome his painkillers addiction but was dying of emphysema and living with his wife, Joan, on a $650-a-month Screen Actors Guild pension in a bungalow in Michigan.

At the time, he confessed he had not left his home for months and was tethered to a 25-foot oxygen lifeline. On February 20, 1992, York sadly passed away at 63 years of age.

The late actor devoted his final days helping other homeless people in Chicago by helping collect 300 sleeping bags, 5,000 cans of grapefruit juice, and 12,000 surplus jackets. Rest in peace, legend.

Advertisement
info
Please fill in your e-mail so we can share with you our top stories!
By subscribing, you agree to our Privacy Policy
Advertisement
info

The information in this article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, and images contained on news.AmoMama.com, or available through news.AmoMama.com is for general information purposes only. news.AmoMama.com does not take responsibility for any action taken as a result of reading this article. Before undertaking any course of treatment please consult with your healthcare provider.

Related posts

This Cop Met His Superstar Wife Just 3 Days before Fathering His Love Child

February 14, 2024

What Happened to Robby Benson Who Hid His Heart Problem from His Colleagues in Fear of Hurting His Career?

January 29, 2024

Who Is the Person Robert Downey Jr Thanked for Pulling Him Out of Jail in His Oscar Acceptance Speech?

March 13, 2024

Cher’s Son Married Woman Who Resembles Her amid Strained Relationship with His Mom — Photos

February 06, 2024

Mom Eats a Full Bottle of Baby Powder a Day & Concerned Her Son Might Adopt Her Habit – 'I Can't Just Stop'

February 11, 2024

Ryan O'Neal's 4 Kids: Two Were Raised with 'No Food', While One Became Oscar-Winner

April 30, 2024

TV Superstar Met This Man in Church & Fell in Love – He Saved Her as She Contemplated Jumping off Balcony

March 05, 2024

5 Celebrities Who Faced the Death of Their Partners & How They Got through It

March 19, 2024

What Happened to Stefanie Powers Who Chose Private Life in Another Country after Her Partner Died?

March 22, 2024

Cher’s Child Went through Transition & Found Happiness as a Married Man – Inside His New Life

May 03, 2024

This TV Star Gave Her Spouse 24 Hours to Fulfill What She Asked For – He Failed & She Divorced Him ASAP

March 14, 2024

Why Cher and Sonny Bono's Widow Are Locked In Legal Dispute – Details of Lawsuit

January 30, 2024

Joanne Woodward Turns 94: Inside Her Private Life after Retreating from Public Eye Due to Alzheimer's

February 29, 2024

5 Celebrities Who Don't Look the Same as in the 80s – Photos of Radical Transformations

May 04, 2024