Gangly actor with a nervous, anxious quality and a good sense of comedy, remembered for his work in TV comedies of the 1960s and early 70s, especially as the perennially frazzled spouse of nose-twitching wife-cum-witch Samantha (Elizabeth Montgomery) on the popular sitcom "Bewitched". Sargent began appearing in light feature fare in the late 1950s including the teen comedy, "Bernardine" (1957) and the Pat Boone musical, "Mardi Gras" (1958). He sometimes played in dramas like "Captain Newman M.D." (1963) but more typically Sargent was cast in supporting roles in "That Touch of Mink" (1962), "Fluffy" (1965) and "The Ghost and Mr. Chicken" (1966) as gawky small-towners, well-meaning but ineffectual types and comically tense businessmen.
Feature work picked up for Sargent during the 60s but some of his best-remembered work came in sitcoms during this time. "The Tammy Grimes Show" (1966) only lasted four episodes, but he played it likably straight on the "McHale's Navy" spin-off, "Broadside" (1964-65). "Bewitched" would guarantee Sargent his modest niche in popular memory. It is to his credit that his Darrin was an eminently suitable replacement given that the role had already been stamped so indelibly by Dick York, who left the series due to illness.
Now that he possessed that great TV actor asset-- recognizability--Sargent was able to keep busy in guest spots on a wide range of TV series, as well as in TV-movies including the pilot for "Fantasy Island" (1977), "The Gossip Columnist" (1980) and "Acting on Impulse" (1993). He also successfully returned to features, admittedly minor ones like "The Clonus Horror" (1979), but often with prominent roles. One of his most amusing feature roles was as the father of a "Teen Witch" in that 1989 film (which also featured a character named Serena, Samantha's naughty cousin in "Bewitched"). Late in life Sargent gained media attention in his 60s when, on 1991's National Coming Out Day, he announced that he was gay, and for the rest of his life was proud to be labeled a "retroactive role model".