CLICK HERE to read page 1 of the article about Terry that appeared in the Los Angeles Daily News on February 2, 2016 and CLICK HERE to read page 2.
FOR SALE: AUTOGRAPHED QUOTATION CARDS Handwritten and Signed by nearly 200 TZ Actors!
Herman Darvick, an autograph expert and authority who has been interviewed by Oprah and other legendary newspeople, has collected these hand-signed cards for over 30 years. He is now selling them. A few of the signers include such big Hollywood stars as Martin Landau ("Mr Denton on Doomsday", "The Jeopardy Room"), Roddy McDowall ("People are Alike All Over"), Kevin McCarthy ("Long Live Walter Jameson"), Cliff Robertson ("The Dummy", "A Hundred Yards Over the Rim"), Julie Newmar ("Of Late I Think of Cliffordville"), Mickey Rooney ("Last Night of a Jockey"), and about 200 more. The collection consists of exactly 237 cards, measuring 6 1/2" x 4 3/4" and 6 3/8" x 4 5/8". The price is $100,000 (negotiable.)
All cards are in mint or near-mint condition. Serious parties, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with "TZ Quote Cards" in the subject line.
Dear Friends: News flash - as of 2016, this website has "merged" with our Facebook page! Due to the high hit numbers we get on Facebook, we've found that we're now getting about an equal number of people visiting the Facebook page, in addition to or instead of visiting this website. From this point forward, all major updates and (sadly!) TZ actor/director/crewmember obituaries will be posted exclusively on Facebook, although the page listing the Vital Stats will be constantly updated.
Also, for those of you who might not be aware, we were getting a large number of emails every month from folks asking if there will be any more Twilight Zone Conventions and we're now at the point where we can't take the time to answer them, so you may wish to save yourself an email. In case you were one of the wonderers, the answer is: "no, at least none that we will be organizing." We, along with almost all of those people who were employed by Cayuga Productions from 1959-1964 (as actors, writers, directors, et al), are retired now. However, we live in a free world, and anyone is free to organize their own TZ event. So, 'carpe your diem' and do another convention, with or without those who worked on TZ. Thanks for your interest, and please do have a look around the website at the coverage of some of the five TZ conventions that were done from 2002-2009. We also still get a fair number of emails about people who want props from the show. Our answer: "We don't have any and the ones that do exist out there are not for sale." We are also no longer selling the prop reproductions, great though they were. They were limited editions. Thank you kindly for your support! -Andrew
Gone But Never Forgotten
EARL HAMNER, JR. (1923-2016)
With the passing of Earl Hamner, Jr. on March 24th, 2016, all of the writers of "The Twilight Zone" are now gone from our midst. He was known as "the backwoods writer of Hollywood", and in fact, in one of his early letters home to his family in Virginia, he remarked, "...with the sunshine and swimming pools, it's almost like being in a real place." We were fortunate to have Earl with us at the 2002 Stars of the Zone Convention, where he spoke on the Writers Panel alongside George Clayton Johnson, John Tomerlin, and Marc Scott Zicree. Earl was a very kind and generous soul. A grand salute to You, Earl - you were an amazing man with amazing talent and will be greatly missed.
GEORGE CLAYTON JOHNSON (1929-2015)
George Clayton Johnson's life began on July 10th, 1929 in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and ended in Los Angeles on December 25, 2015, on what would have also been Rod Serling's 91st birthday. George was, needless to say, an outstanding writer. He was a member of the so-called "Southern California Group" of writers, which included Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson, Charles Beaumont, William F. Nolan, John Tomerlin, OCee Ritch, and a handful of others. While his last "Hollywood" credits date from the 1970s, he remains known for his earliest work - the screenplay "Ocean's Eleven", and the novel "Logan's Run" (co-written with Nolan), and his four episodes and four stories of "The Twilight Zone."
George wrote a lot of stories. He recalled in 2002 at the Stars of the Zone
Convention on the Writer Panel, how he got started on "The Twilight Zone." He
said, "Rod Serling knew that he needed help. He was supposed to write the
majority of the episodes, but he couldn't do them all, so he got the two best
fantasy writers in town, Richard Matheson and Charles Beaumont. Before the
show began, I had this short story, it was called "All of Us Are Dying." My
agent - who never did sign any formal contracts with me, but he said that if I
could find something to get involved in that he would represent me - was Jay
Richards of Famous Artists Agency. Jay took a ballpoint pen and re-named it
"Rubberface." It was submitted to the show, and he called me to tell me that
Rod had bought it. Rod kept most of my original title. Prior to that, and
after that, I dug a lotta dry wells lookin' for water. I would write a story,
submit it, it would be rejected, and I'd keep working on it to find that one
little thing in it that was holding it back. Anyhow, on the very first day of
nineteen-sixty, January 1, I sat on the floor of my little crackerbox house in
Pacoima, in front of the TV, with my wife (George lived there until the day he
died). When I saw my name in the closing credits, my first on-screen credit
ever, I felt a wash of emotion over me that I can't even describe. Rod stuck a new car under my windshield - my story, that is." Of Rod
Serling, he said, "He was a gentleman. I only saw the man about eight times -
and he was far more interested in me and what I was working on, rather than
discussing what he was doing. I wanted to hear about what he was doing so I
could learn something from him."
To try to describe George in print would also be impossible to do. Needless
to say, he had an amazing mind, an amazing brain. He adored people. And, he
adored The Twilight Zone. He said, "Even if I had never written an episode of
that show, I watched it religiously because the kind of stories that show did
every week - the surrealism - was what I really dug." He also loved his fans
and followers, of which there were a great many. "When someone tells me that
they like something I wrote, I am as modest as I can be, but I glow inside."
He was indeed very modest. And usually, if someone complimented him, it would spark a discussion. He'd give them even more. I will never forget just how
much George added to the four "Twilight Zone" conventions, done by myself and
Bill DeVoe and Herman Darvick. In 2006, at the third convention in New
Jersey, I came down to the front desk at 1 am next morning because something
was not working in the room. George was in the bar, adjacent to the front
desk, with a few other people, holding court and leading some philosophical
discussion, as he LOVED doing. In late 2001, when we were getting
preparations underway for the first convention, George was one of the first to
call me. He left a message on my voicemail - which I still have, saved - that
said "Hi, this is George Clayton Johnson. I'm looking for Andrew. Would you
have him call me, please? Thank you." I didn't have his phone number, but
got it, and called him. Instead of "Hello?", or "This is George", or
something insincere, the greeting was the most warm and heartfelt "HI!" I'd ever
heard in my life, even before I said who I was, and I'd bet anything he had no
CallerID. It was as if we already knew each other very well. Anyhow, a long
conversation ensued, wherein he suggested several things that might be done to
make the convention "bigger and better." I took him up on
all of them, the main one being a special V.I.P. dinner to be held on the
first night, with the keynote address that would be given by him.
As all 84 people who attended the dinner will tell you (or would tell you), it
was one amazing evening. At the conventions, George didn't spend much time
behind the table signing autographs. He preferred to "just be a fan, along
with everybody else." A nicer man, you could not hope to know. He lived a simple existence, and prided himself on it. "I don't need much," he sometimes said. His straw hat, blue windbreaker (bearing a few buttons and pins, one of which was the Rod Serling Memorial Foundation) simple trousers and black loafers and a sweatshirt or t-shirt were his wardrobe for many years. When George talked, people listened, and he was never for a moment boring. He thought up things that no one else dreamt. At the 2006 convention came
my fondest memories of him. I was nearby when a mother from Michigan took
a photo of George and her two young kids. She showed George the photo and he said "I look like a child molester!" Later that afternoon, I led a panel discussion with George and five or six actors. As usual, he got to talking, and started to veer off into some treacherous territory. I will never forget gripping my chair as he started to talk about God and prayers ("What if prayers were REAL?"). I was thinking "Someone here is going to object to this and is going to go ballistic!" But, thankfully, it didn't happen. In more recent years, George was at virtually all of the Twilight Zone happenings in Los Angeles, what few there were. The last time I saw him was in 2009, at the 50th anniversary TZ gathering, not organized by us. Thankfully, he left a legacy -
enough stories and episodes of television, that he'll never leave our stream of consciousness. He wrote very skilfully about death, and in fact, the subject is present in most of his TZ episodes.
To quote (arguably) the best line of his eight episodes, "As long as people talk about you, you're not really dead" (spoken by Fats Brown in "A Game of Pool.") "I know that I'm immortal," he said. "The Twilight Zone may not continue to be re-made, but it will never stopped being watched. That show was a major player in what I call 'consciousness expansion' - and it lifted me up into what I call 'the great telephone mindspace in the sky." Hopefully, George and Charles Beaumont and Rod Serling and Richard Matheson and all the
others had a grand party to celebrate George's arrival in that great landscape out in the stars, known as The Twilight Zone.
JASON WINGREEN (1919-2015)
Sad to report, we had not one but two deaths on December 25th. The second, but equally noteworthy, was the departure of Jason Wingreen, at the age of 96. We were honored to have him with us at the 2002 TZ Convention. He was a very nice man and a super-familiar face on TV. He appeared three times on TZ - in "A Stop at Willoughby" as the conductor (which he always said was his favorite, and "While we were shooting it, I knew it was very special"), "The Midnight Sun" where he played Mr. Schuster, the neighbor, and "The Bard", in which he played the director of Burt Reynolds in the Shakespeare play. "My agent was asleep at the switch on that one, because I didn't get screen credit for it," he recalled many years later. Most people know him for his long-running role on "All in the Family" and "Archie Bunker's Place" where he played Harry Snowden the bartender. "That was the best part of my career," he said. Later in the 80s and early 90s, he had a semi-regular role as a judge on "Matlock" and appeared on "Mama's Family" in what was to be a regular role as Mama's (Vicki Lawrence's) neighbor but it didn't quite happen. Many also remember him for his small but funny role as the heart surgeon in "Airplane" (1980), who has an anatomic model heart atop his desk which can be seen flopping and bouncing around. Jason had a great career and will be missed!
CHARLES HERBERT (1948-2015)
Charles Herbert, whom many know for his role in "I Sing the Body Electric", passed away on October 31st after a sudden heart attack. He had a prolific career as a child actor who appeared in TV, film, and commercials, for about 13 years from the early fifties thru the mid sixties. He had the distinction of appearing in TZ, The Outer Limits, and One Step Beyond. In the days before there were child actors' rights, families could do as they pleased with their child's earnings, and he received less than $2,000 after his career ended. He turned to substance abuse, which plagued him for most of his life, but in the early 2000s, he reached sobriety and remained substance-free until the end of his life. He lived in Las Vegas in a small apartment for many years and, deservedly, received a pension from Screen Actors Guild. He remained good friends with many actors, including Paul Petersen, himself a child actor who later became the leading advocate for child actor rights. Paul released the news of Charlie's death. The photo below was taken from a scene in the Bert I. Gordon film "Attack of the Puppet People", alongside Susan Gordon, herself a TZ star. Sadly, Susan passed away prematurely in 2011 of cancer. Charlie was a very nice man and greatly appreciated his fans. He appeared at many conventions (including several with Bert and Susan Gordon) and had plans to appear at more. I wish I'd asked Paul Petersen - who stopped by our TZ Conventions in Los Angeles, if he knew where Charlie was. One other credit, that not many people know Charlie for, because it was uncredited, was his appearance at the very end of Serling's "Requiem for a Heavyweight". He and his mother (played by Mary LaRoche, also of TZ fame) share a scene with Jack Palance, wherein Mountain McClintock (Palance) decides his next move in life after being forcibly retired from prizefighting. The little boy starts up a conversation with Mountain, who proceeds to teach him about boxing. It is an extremely moving scene, thanks in part to Charles Herbert.
MARTIN MILNER (1927-2015)
The great Martin Milner has passed away. I am glad I got to know Marty, just for a bit in the early 2000s. He attended both of our Twilight Zone conventions and was a very nice man, not to mention being a fine actor. On TZ, he co-starred with Vera Miles in the superclassic TZ episode "Mirror Image" in early 1960, one of the finest half-hours of sci-fi TV, although TZ was not a sci-fi show. That was in 1960. Both he and co-star Vera Miles were both alive for fifty-five years after the episode was filmed! Milner gained his greatest fame on "Route 66" from 1960-64 from 1968-75 as Officer Malloy of "Adam 12", a series which spawned another great TV show, "Emergency!" in 1972. Not long after his appearance on TZ, he starred on the ever-popular "Route 66". He will be missed - by TZ fans, but mostly by veteran cops who wanted to grow up to be like Malloy! In his later years, he hosted a radio show called "Let's Talk Hookup!" and lived in Carlsbad, California. Martin and his wife Judy, with whom he had a 58 year marriage, had four children - Amy (deceased), Molly, Andrew, and Stuart. Martin always loved his fans and they will definitely miss him. Martin always had a following, even after his days on camera ended; his character Malloy certainly inspired a lot of young men to become cops!
THEODORE BIKEL (1924-2015)
Theodore Bikel, legendary actor, singer, activist, storyteller...passed away on 21 July at the ripe old age of 91. He certainly made his mark during his time on Earth - and other than his performing arts achievements, he was the founder of Actors Federal Credit Union in New York (leader of a small group of members who started the financial institution in the early 1960s.) Theo came to our TZ convention in 2004 and we were glad to have him there. His most memorable TV credit was of course "Four O'Clock", the episode of TZ where he played the megalomaniacal Oliver Crangle, who reports all bad people to the authorities and eventually gets turned into a gnome. Theo often said that he and his two sons loved that part and that he utilized the 'Crangle' name around his house. In the early 2000s, he enjoyed a very long run as Tevye in "Fiddler on the Roof", which was performed all over the world. He was married for over 40 years to Rita Weinberg, divorcing not many years before his death, and he had marriages to Tamara Brooks, a well-known chorusmaster from New York (she preceded him in death) and to Aimee Ginsburg, who survives him, along with his sons.
DONNA DOUGLAS (1932-2015)
Donna Douglas, equally well-known for the revealed Janet Tyler in TZ's "Eye of the Beholder" and Elly May Clampett on "The Beverly Hillbillies", passed away on January 1st. She always appreciated her millions of fans. She'd been retired from showbiz for many years but continued to appear at events throughout the world, often in her overalls! Donna was a very nice lady and will be missed. In 2004 she returned to Louisiana, where she began. She was previously a resident of Huntington Beach, California.
TERRY BECKER (1921-2014)
Terry passed away on December 30th at the ripe old age of 93. He appeared on the fifth season episode "I Am the Night - Color Me Black", and very nicely, as the condemned killer named Jagger. Terry was a very nice man and attended our 2004 TZ Convention, as well as a few other autograph shows around Los Angeles over the past 10 years. He is also known for his co-starring role as Chief Sharkey in "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" opposite Richard Basehart, from 1964-68. Terry also gave us a great interview in 2004 which can be seen on the TZ DVD disc special features.
ROD TAYLOR (1930-2015)
Rod Taylor, co-star of episode "And When the Sky Was Opened" passed away on January 7. He was a fine actor. He is of course well-known for TZ, and also Hitchcock's "The Birds" and George Pal's "The Time Machine." While Rod was not fond of signing autographs, he kindly signed a number of them for us, which were sold at the various TZ Conventions. Our good friend, the late Gloria Pall, said, "I loved working with Rod Taylor as the girl at the bar. He was one of the hottest young stars at that time, having just come here from Australia."
Your Ad Here! - Advertise With Us!
Twilightzonemuseum.com is a non-profit website. We do not solicit donations, as that violates our purpose and mission and it's just downright cheezy (not to mention cheap!) However, every year since 2002, when the site debuted, we have had individuals and organizations who have graciously sponsored the website by paying the costs of keeping it online. Of course, our sponsors benefit from the ads and links placed within this website. We get hundreds of thousands of page hits per month. For information about advertising on here, please email email@example.com Thank you!
STARS OF THE ZONE CONVENTION, 13 YEARS LATER...
Dear Visitors and TZ Convention Attendees,
August 2015 marks 13 years since the world's first-ever "Twilight Zone" convention, the Stars of the Zone Convention #1, which was held in Los Angeles on August 24 and 25, 2002. I was hoping to have a retrospective article about it completed and online by now, but due to my schedule, I will not have a chance to complete it for awhile. Such is life. The article is going to be long - literally, *so much* happened during that time that it's hard to assimilate it and write it in such a way that it will be something that others can enjoy reading (although, not everything in the process was wholly enjoyable and I'll hit on those things as well.) In the meantime, you can CLICK HERE to read a few of my memories of the event, or look at the CONVENTIONS section of the website. Those two days were a milestone in TZ history. Looking back on it, I'm still amazed that it happened. It goes without saying that it took us a lot of work to get there and it was truly a once-in-a-lifetime thing. Just looking at a few of those now-old photos myself, I really wish I could go back to that weekend, as it was the beginning of so many great things. And...sigh...some of those who were with us that weekend have since left us and they are much-missed. TZ alum Carol Burnett's song "I'm so glad we had this time together" (which she sang at the end of her variety show every week) seems a very appropriate way to sum up the two Stars of the Zone Conventions. Bill DeVoe and I *sincerely* - and I do mean sincerely - thank all of those who attended the first convention - ardent TZ fans, plus the fifty-seven actors, two writers, and two directors (rounding up that many people was a remarkable feat in itself) and also those who worked closely with us to help make that weekend what it was.
"I never went to any Star Trek conventions. We do have a local event near
where I live. It's called Monster Bash. They do a very nice job on a somewhat
smaller scale. Yours was the first one I attended. I remember being very
star-struck at first. But then I felt more comfortable talking to the guests
once I realized that they were just as interested to talk with us, as we were with them. I have a great memory of sitting down to eat lunch in the courtyard
and having a nice old lady join me at my table. I did not know who she was,
but after talking with her for awhile, she told me that she was one of the
"fun girls" from the Andy Griffith show! It was Jean Carson! I had a nice chat
with her, and later she signed a photo for me. Those were the good ol' days!" - AJ, TZ fan from Pennsylvania (attended both of the conventions)
DVDs OF THE CONS ARE AVAILABLE!
For those who missed our two Los Angeles-based TZ Conventions, you're in luck! We have the 3 panel discussions done in 2002 available on DVD. The actor panel featured actors Cliff Robertson, Jean Carson, Jonathan Harris, Arlene Martel, Wright King, William Windom, Suzanne Lloyd, Kevin McCarthy, James Best, Anne Francis, and Suzanne Lloyd. The writer panel featured George Clayton Johnson, Earl Hamner, John Tomerlin ("Number 12 Looks Just Like You"), and Marc Zicree. The directors panel featured James Sheldon and Eliot Silverstein plus actors Susan Gordon and Ben Cooper (who appeared in their episodes). George Clayton Johnson's historic keynote address at the VIP Dinner Celebration, which can be viewed for free right here on this page, is also available on DVD. The 2004 panels: Actor panel with George Takei, H.M. Wynant, Shelley Berman, Gail Kobe, Bill Mumy, and Lloyd Bochner. Director/Producer panel with Ted Post and Del Reisman (both of these panels were hosted by Tony Albarella). Writer panel hosted by Andrew Ramage, with Gloria Pall (TZ actor and writer of her own TZ scrapbook plus 14 other books), Sandra Grabman (author of "The Albert Salmi Story"), Chris Beaumont (son of Charles Beaumont, TZ writer extraordinaire), Roger Anker (biographer of Beaumont), and George Clayton Johnson. There was a fourth panel of folks involved with "The New Twilight Zone" (from the 80s), led by Alan Brennert and including Harlan Ellison, Rockne O'Bannon, and others. The charge is $60 for all four of the 2002 panels
(plus $6 for USPS Priority Mail shipping within USA) and the charge for all five of the 2004 panels is also $60 (plus
$6 shipping within USA.) Outside USA shipping - please inquire for cost, as we will have to look it up online. These are high quality Region 1 DVDs. Payment methods accepted are Paypal, cash, or
USPS money order ONLY! If paying by Paypal, there is a surcharge of $6 if purchasing both sets,
or $3 if purchasing only one set, due to Paypal's processing fees. Note: it costs you nothing to send money by Paypal, but there is a fee for us to receive your money and a 2-3 day waiting period before it hits our bank account. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to place your order or if you have further questions!
From one of our happy customers, Mark D. from upstate New York:
"This is gold...a panel w/ Cliff Robertson, Anne Francis, Johnathan Harris? That's like asking, "If you had a "dream" dinner party, who would you invite?" These folks are on my list!
The banter, humor, and, sheer fun, makes for a great showing. What I liked about it especially, is that they didn't talk exclusively about the "Twilight Zone".
Anecdotes, personal stories, and the countenances of actors expressions/demeanor's as they relayed their stories, was a wonderful treat! Brings it alive. As a medium, moving pictures have something special to share as in writing & music & art...so very nice to have on record visually. Is there anything else out there right now that is comparable that documents the thoughts and feeling of cast members who are intertwined with this legacy?"
George Clayton Johnson's Historic Keynote Address at the convention VIP Dinner, August 24, 2002.
Special thanks to Rich for restoration of the original video, which was videotaped on a camcorder!
As I Knew Him - My Dad, Rod Serling by Anne Serling
Rod Serling departed Earth over forty years ago. Since then, a few biographies have been done. With this publication,
we now get a glimpse into what it was like to live in the Serling household - with Rod Serling, who was not only the father of television, but her real-life dad. I'll defer to Carol Burnett's quotation about Anne's book, "Beautifully written. I laughed, I cried. I plan to read it again after I catch my breath." This is a very long-awaited publication and it is not to be unread!
GEORGE TAKEI VISITS TZ CONVENTION 2004
George Takei was our featured guest at TZ Convention #2 in 2004, and this really delightful video was made by his management. He said at the time, "It was great to attend a Twilight Zone Convention; I attend so many Star Trek Conventions and don't get much of a chance to really talk much to
those who come to talk to me. It was also an honor to co-star in "The Encounter", aka "the banned Twilight Zone episode"! So check out the video.
We often get inquiries from people regarding purchasing props and photos signed by T.Z. actors.
Here's the scoop - there are no more! 'The Prop Man', Bill DeVoe, is no longer manufacturing
them. I sold off nearly my entire inventory of TZ autographed photos and other
items and will not
be acquiring any more. Thank you.
According to the epos systems the only items remaining are DVDs of the Stars of the Zone Convention Actor/Writer/Director panel discussions plus George Clayton Johnson's address at the VIP Dinner Celebration from 2002. In 2004 we did the same three panels with different actors/writers/directors, and there was a fourth panel of folks involved with "The New Twilight Zone" (from the 80s), led by Alan Brennert and including Harlan Ellison, Rockne O'Bannon, and others, and a FIFTH panel, a reading of "The Long Morrow", with Michael Dante and Kathy Garver starring in the parts
played by Bob Lansing and Mariette Hartley in the original. The charge is $60 for all four of the 2002 panels
($6 shipping within USA) and the charge for the 2004 panels is also $60 (five for the price of four, plus
$6 shipping within USA.) Purchasing both the panels of 2002 and 2004 is $110 (savings of $10, free shipping within USA.) Outside USA shipping - please inquire for cost. These are high quality Region 1 DVDs. Payment methods accepted are Paypal, cash, or
USPS money order ONLY! If paying by Paypal, there is a surcharge of $6 if purchasing both sets,
or $3 if purchasing only one set, due to Paypal's processing fees. Please email email@example.com to place your order or if you have further questions!
"FORGOTTEN GEMS FROM THE TWILIGHT ZONE" on Kindle now!!
This two-volume set of books contains the scripts
of "The Chaser", "The Trouble With Templeton", "Dead Man's Shoes", "I Dream of Genie",
"Long Distance Call", "The Incredible World of Horace Ford", "The Encounter", "What's In the Box",
"Come Wander With Me", "Number 12 Looks Just Like You" (both the original and shooting scripts)
plus "Dreamflight" by W.F. Nolan and G.C. Johnson, which was bought by Cayuga Productions
but never produced. Also included is a story outline for "Pattern for Doomsday" by Charles Beaumont.
The scripts, plus commentaries for each, written by me, are included. Order today on Amazon.com
or directly thru my publisher, BearManor Media, Inc. These two books round out the other books of TZ scripts of principal writers Serling, Matheson, Johnson, Hamner, and Beaumont (11 of the
22 scripts he did have been published...and I'm trying to see if we can get the other 11 printed at long last),
The scripts of Montgomery Pittman (3 of them), plus a few assorted ones by various 1-episode
contributing writers, will hopefully be in print someday. "Why script books??" well, if you're
a film/TV school student, or a researcher, or hardcore enthusiast, these scripts read very, very well.
And you can see differences between what was conceived and what was actually filmed.
Some Trivia and Fun Facts About Rod Serling from Betty White
Is there anyone more awesome on TV than Betty White? She's not only a gem of an actor but she'll
always be known as the first lady of television.
I recently re-read Betty's second book, published in 1995, entitled "Here We Go Again."
It was intended to be her last book; by that point, Betty had been in shobiz for nearly five
decades and was preparing for the natural possibility of "succumbing to Hollywood ageism."
Thank God it never happened!! She has another book out now, entitled "If You Ask Me...And Of Course, You Won't" which was just released (May 2011), which I haven't read. But in "Here We Go Again",
she talks a lot about Rod Serling and his game show days. Without breaking copyright, I will
mention a few of the fun facts here:
1. Rod had an Irish Setter dog named Mike. Serling liked the name Mike (for instance,
Mike Ferris was the character's name in the pilot he wrote to sell the show, and which served
as Episode 1!) Rod brought Mike to Betty White's show "The Pet Set" one time.
2. Rod was no good at ad-libbing, nor was he a host by trade. He needed a script. He was a writer, after all. Betty, who of course was a staple part of dozens of game shows for over three decades, was on Rod's game show "The Liar's Club." Whenever the stage manager would give Rod the cue that only 15-20 seconds remained before cut-off, it would be painful for him - and all he could do was break up in laughter over it, along
with the guests on the show. In 1976, after Rod's death, "The Liars Club" came back for 3 more years and was hosted by Betty's husband Allen Ludden of "Password" fame. Betty says it was the funnest game to play of all.
3. Rod and his wife Carol would dine with Betty and Allen often (The Luddens
lived in New York and Los Angeles, as The Serlings did, but they were usually in the same city at the same time.)
When they met, they usually went to a mutually favorite restaurant, Johnny Sproat's The Bat Rack in Santa Monica area of Los Angeles. Apparently Rod - as well as the others - were interested in just about everything and their discussions weren't at all limited to TV. Rod didn't like what was happening to TV at that time but he had great faith in it and believed that it was trying to be better (which it was in those days.) Had he lived, TV might have been different. Of course it would've been. Although with the
state TV is in nowadays, it's that much more painful to think of what could've been.
4. Betty predicted, "When and if the Superhighway becomes a reality, don't be surprised to
find Rod Serling in a driver's seat." Although Rod hasn't quite occupied such a position, his
spirit certainly has, in a way. Other people as wise as Betty White, who worked in the
biz at the same time Rod did, were well aware of Rod's clairvoyancy, which presented itself multiple times in his writing on "Twilight Zone."
TWILIGHT ZONE - On Location
Death Valley and Olancha, CA - Fifty Years Later!
Paul Giammarco, lifelong TZ fan and authority on the series, made a National Geographic-style
trek to capture footage of the exact filming locations of "The Lonely", "I Shot an Arrow Into the Air", "A Hundred Yards over the Rim", "The Little People", and "The Rip Van Winkle Caper" - fifty years later. Check out this amazing video. Too bad James A. Corry's cabin in "The Lonely" didn't have bar stools!
About This Site
The Twilight Zone Museum, this website, opened on 15 September, 2002, the month after the
first Stars of the Zone Convention, the first ever "Twilight Zone" Convention, hosted by myself and
Bill DeVoe in Hollywood, California. The website was opened because it was an attempt to complete the
circle of "Twilight Zone" websites online at that time. The Twilight Zone Archives was and is online,
and focused on the 'behind-the-scenes' aspect of the show (and now claims to be 'the #1 Twilight Zone website online, if for no other reason than its higher search engine listings.) As many of you remember, there was The Fifth Dimension, hosted by a fan from Texas. This was a wonderful site and for a long time was the most comprehensive one online. It was a treasure trove of information - coverage of each episode, and had numerous articles and information about virtually all of the things that sprang forth after Rod Serling created the show - movie connections, references
in popular culture and on other TV shows and in films. I'm sure that guy spent into the tens of thousands of hours building it. There was also a very good message board
there for a brief time in the late 1990s and early 2000s, [which still exists as The Twilight Zone Cafe, and some folks from those early days remain active on the forum today.] The site came online in 1996 and saw many transformations - including a name change from The Fifth Dimension to TheTZSite.com (after the band of the former name wanted the domain name for themselves.) There were also other assorted sites that filled in most of the gaps.
But the BIG gap had still not been filled.
There was no real website that kept people informed of the current happenings related to the "The Twilight Zone." A convention had just been done, and like the show itself, had broken new ground and eventually spawned 4 more TZ conventions. Coverage of those events needed to be shared with the Twilight Zone public, especially those who could not attend. The actors - the people who really 'made' the show what it was, has been largely forgotten - they needed to be spotlighted again - and we found a good way to do it. They would be spotlighted in the form of their autographs. And luckily over the past decade, a very few of us got them to sign "Twilight Zone" production stills. Sure, they appeared in the episodes - but a personal signature on a piece of memorabilia makes it that much more valid. Not to mention, it makes for nice viewing, especially for those who know TZ really well. After all, "Twilight Zone" had some of the best casting in the history of television. And, those who recently departed Earth would be given a mini obituary. A decent, non-critical episode guide with an acceptable presentation was also in order. And if you look at the menu bar, you will see other things that are not to be found elsewhere, and we continue to add new stuff all the time. I suppose you could say that the Twilight Zone Museum attempts to provide what can't be found elsewhere. Material upcoming includes a page on Automobiles in the Twilight Zone, and TZ Studs n' Babes. Possibly!! One never knows.
TheTZSite.com eventually closed after being ordered to cease and desist; the website overstepped its bounds as far as copyright. Numerous audio files of dialogue and screen captures from each episode were included, as well as articles reprinted without permission, and CBS issued the webmaster with a cease and desist notice in mid 2004. Most of the sundry TZ websites have since fallen away too, but a few still remain. There were plans for a physical Twilight Zone Museum in Binghamton, NY, but they fell through for reasons unknown. I'm not exactly sure what they would have displayed, though. Not much still exists from the original show, and what does exist is in the hands of collectors and CBS, Inc.
So, there you have it. And this site will be online as long as humanly possible. We've been Serving Man for over twelve years now! Figuratively. If you want literal, you'll need to talk to the Kanamits about it. They have the recipes.
"I think Twilight Zone failed in terms of its consistency. It was very good some weeks, quite bad other weeks. But this, I think, is pretty much the track record of most television, by virtue of its desperate overexposure and the brevity of time allotted to us to produce something that is qualitative. But overall, I would say that it was a creative series. We did much more creating than we did imitating. I think we tried things---failed frequently, succeeded other times. But I think the mark of the show was the quite perceivable attempt at quality that went on in the show."
- Rod Serling
Comments, suggestions, or questions? Feel free to contact us. Thanks for dropping past...and be sure to stay within The Zone!