With modern filmmaking stuck in “reboot” mode, it’s easy to forget that franchises used to have to recast roles. Controversial recasting happened for many reasons. Sometimes an actor got into legal trouble, but his character was too popular to “kill off.” Other time fans liked the character but hated the actor in the role.
Recasting was such a common practice at one point that audiences never batted an eye. Here is the best “blink, and you’ll miss it” of Hollywood recasting. You’ll never guess how many actresses played Catwoman in the ’60s!
The Two Darrins From Bewitched Started It All
Photo Credit: ABC
Dick York played Darrin on Bewitched for five seasons before leaving the show for medical reasons. An old back injury forced the studio to recast the role with Dick Sargent for the sixth season.
The show peaked with 31 million viewers a week with York. When Sargent took over the numbers plummeted to 11 million. Sargent played Darrin for three seasons before Bewitched ended its run. One of the first major roles to ever be recast, the phenomenon became commonplace.