Dear Friends, We get 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 get a large 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!
The Twilight Zone Museum: By Fans, For Fans.
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!
As I Knew Him - My Dad, Rod Serling by Anne Serling
Rod Serling departed Earth 38 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!
H.M. Wynant Autographed Photos from "The Howling Man"
We are offering (and if you want, personalized) copies of this photo on the left, signed by H.M. Wynant,
star of the superclassic episode "The Howling Man." Price is $39.99 for an 8"x10" or $49.99 for an 11"x14" print or $54.99 for 16"x20", inscribed as you wish.
Shipping cost is variable, depending on where you live and which method you'd like us to use (Fedex, USPS, etc.) If interested, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
WILLIAM FROUG (1922 - 2013)
William Froug, the last of the "Twilight Zone" producers, passed away on 23 August. He produced most of Season 5, which included many memorable episodes. From "Twilight Zone", he went on to produce "Bewitched" and "Gilligan's Island." Froug was very well-rounded when it came to television - he was not only a producer, but also a fine writer. He wrote best-selling books on screenwriting and also taught at the two Southern California universities (USC and UCLA) and abroad, for many years. His script entitled "Many Many Monkeys" was written in 1963 and was temporarily on the production lineup. I talked to him about this briefly in 2004, when I offered to publish it in my "Gems" series. He didn't think it was a good idea. "I produced some memorable shows that year, but it was good that Many Many Monkeys was not done as part of the original series. It was not a good script." It was, much later, done on "The New Twilight Zone." Mr. Froug had a strained relationship with Rod Serling. He talked about it in an issue of Filmfax magazine in later years. He took over when Bert Granet (producer of half of Season 4 and the first part of Season 5) left the show. Producing the greatest show on TV was no easy task but he did his best with a series that had nearly run its course. His countribution to TZ will always be much-valued.
TED POST (1918 - 2013)
Ted Post, one of TV's greatest directors, passed away on 20 August at the age of ninety-five. I was fortunate to be in touch with Ted for a brief couple of years in the mid 2000s, after having been introduced to him by Peter Mark Richman (whom he'd directed four decades earlier in TZ episode "The Fear"). I called him and invited him to the 2004 TZ Convention. I must have talked with him for about an hour. He said it had been a long time since had had talked about anything having to do with Twilight Zone...he also made the remark, "My number is listed in the phone book and so is my address, and I don't have any stalkers, so that tells you how popular I am." He came to the convention and was glad to re-meet many of the actors he'd directed in not only TZ, but other projects. He and producer Del Reisman talked to the audience about working on TZ and Ted, bless him, pulled out a piece of paper with a few thoughts he'd written down beforehand. I can't recall everything he wrote but it was a tribute to Rod, and it ended with "Rod saw the invisible, felt the intangible, and achieved the impossible" [Image Entertainment later used the quote - badly misprinted - on one of their DVD box sets.] After the convention, I connected Ted to some other folks who were doing TZ projects at that time. One was compiling Serling's scripts for publication, and another was putting together something called "Twilight Zone: The Lost Episodes". The latter never got off the ground but Ted's name was attached to it as director. I think he would've been perfect for the job. Ted worked four times on TZ. His involvement with TZ, by rights, should've been much more. He made a splash in Season 1 directing Howard Duff, Eileen Ryan, and Gail Kobe in "A World of Difference" (he re-met Gail at the convention; they worked together on "Peyton Place" later in the 60s...and sad though it is, Ted and Gail passed away just 3 weeks apart.) But then he got busy and couldn't do any more for a few more years.He directed three more episodes in Season 5. "Rod handed me the scripts for "Probe 7, Over and Out", "The Fear", and "Mr. Garrity and the Graves" and said, 'I was tired when I wrote these; please just do your best with them." And he did of course. Ted directed "Gunsmoke", "Bonanza", and many many other shows on TV. He got his start directing summer stock theater and then moved into television and film. His last directorial project was in 1999, with Peter Mark Richman's "4 Faces." One of Ted's greatest achievements was his marriage of 72 years to his wife, Thelma, and their two successful children. He will be missed, but he had a grand, long life! One of his colleagues said, "Ted Post was probably the most prepared director in Hollywood. He chose his sets and actors very carefully and he knew right where his camera was going to be and what it would be doing at all times."
GAIL KOBE (1929 - 2013)
Actress, director, producer, and executive producer Gail Kobe passed away on 1 August, 2013.
She will be missed. For me, Gail's passing is monumental, because she was one of my several
favorite talents (of any actor/actress/director/writer) who worked on Twilight Zone. After Ted Post hired her for her brief appearance on the first season episode "A World of Difference," she later got the co-starring roles she really
deserved, opposite George Grizzard, in "In His Image" in Season 4 and in "The Self Improvement of Salvadore Ross" opposite Don Gordon. They were Emmy-calibre performances, but her Emmy nom came in an episode of "Dr. Kildare". In all three of her TZ episodes, her acting can be described in two words: First Class.
Gail's career began in 1955 in the everlasting DeMille film "The Ten Commandments" and also James Dean's "East of Eden", and lasted over three decades. For the first two, she acted. She was in all the popular dramas and westerns of the day. Many remember her for the nearly four dozen episodes of "Peyton Place" she did in 1965-66. In the early 1970s she moved behind the camera and started producing. She was producer of "The Peoples Court" during its inaugural season in 1981-82, and in the years following, she produced the hit soap operas "The Guiding Light" and "The Bold and the Beautiful" and others. Her birth name was Gabriella Kieliszewski, and she was born in Hamtramck, Michigan on March 19, 1929. One of her pre-Twilight Zone roles, which was intended to be a recurring one, was on "Perry Mason" as Margo, secretary of Paul Drake. The network likely didn't want to have more than one major secretary (Barbara Hale was of course the main 'Della Street'.) In later years, Gail lived in the Rancho Mirage area of Palm Springs, and remained active as director and actress in community theater. Gail was not in the convention-going circuit, and living out in the desert, she was a bit detached from Hollywood. We had trouble finding her! Thanks to Jacqueline "Jacquie" Scott, fellow TZ actress and her close friend, we got in touch with Gail and invited her to the 2004 convention. She said "I'll be there, just let me know where and when." She came and had a great time, and was gracious enough to speak on the actor panel. She mentioned Rod Serling and how much she admired him and about how "truly handsome he was...I didn't really think about his wife or his many children!" About her work on "In His Image," she had very fond memories. "George Grizzard and I had a sympatico...we could answer each other's lines. That's how good our rapport was. I'd seen him in New York in a Broadway play with Hume Cronyn and his acting was just amazing." She also remembered that Henry Slesar, who had written the episode "Salvadore Ross", was a regular writer on "The Edge of Night", which she later produced. Gail was a very nice person, and also a very positive person. She said in 2004, "There was only one actor I worked with who I really did not like. And when you don't like someone, you [should] forget about them!" Great advice, in and out of Hollywood. She certainly made her mark in Hollywood and as one of her biggest fans, I'll always appreciate her contributions to the world of TV.
JEANNE COOPER (1928 - 2013)
Jeanne Cooper, one of the true matriarchs of television, passed away after a brief illness on 8 May, 2013, at age 84. She was an amazing actress and human being. Although she spent nearly half her life, appearing every single weekday as Mrs. Katherine Chancellor-Sterling (oft-known simply as Mrs. C) on "The Young and the Restless" (oft-known simply as Y.R.), Jeanne was truly a sterling actress who had a substantial resume before she hit daytime. One of the roles she valued highly was her TZ appearance opposite Dan Duryea in the first season episode "Mr. Denton on Doomsday." I wrote Jeanne a fan letter many years ago, and sent a photo taken on the set, picturing her, Duryea, Allen Reisner (the episode's director), and Rod Serling. She replied with a letter of her own, something which amazed me, given her frenetic schedule as a soap star. The last sentence of the letter said, "Rod was one of a kind----Genius----." That was in 2001, shortly before I got things underway for TZ Convention #1. I was in touch with someone who knew Jeanne personally, and I asked them to pass along an invitation to her to be a featured guest at the convention. I knew it would be a longshot, and it did not happen...not yet, anyhow. Convention #2 passed, as did the two held on the east coast. I took a chance in 2009...I wrote to Jeanne at her home address, inviting her to attend the 50th Anniversary TZ Reunion, which I'd been hired to help out with. Her son, Corbin [Bernsen, of "L.A. Law" fame, who himself has worked in the biz for 40 years!] replied to the letter. He wrote me an email and said "Give me a call." And I did. He said "I think this event would be good for my mom to do." She'd never done any autograph signing appearances, other than Y.R. fan events.
It would be her first. And she came, and had a wonderful time. I had photos printed up for her, several stills from the episode. When she looked at them, she was amazed. She said "Oh my gosh...this is like looking back through a very long time tunnel!", or words to that effect. The event was about to start, and luckily I had a chance to talk with her before the fan flood hit her (and Corbin's) table. I also reminded her about the episode of Boris Karloff's "Thriller" that she starred in, and she said "I had completely forgotten about that!!" A year or so after doing her TZ episode, she was cast in the film "The Intruder", written by Charles Beaumont and starring William Shatner. It was filmed in Missouri. During the nine-year run of "Perry Mason" (TZ's sister show, you might say, as most of the actors who worked on TZ also worked on Perry) Jeanne appeared five times. In 1973, she was cast as affluent once-alcoholic Katherine of (the fictional town of) Genoa City, Wisconsin, on a new soap called "The Young and the Restless." Most of her storylines on the show involved a younger lady named Jill Foster-Abbott, with whom she had an adverse relationship for decades. Jess Walton, who played Jill, was close friends with Jeanne offscreen. Jeanne's last scenes on the show were shot exactly forty years after the premier of the soap opera, and those scenes were televised just days before she passed away. In 2008, Jeanne finally won her first Daytime Emmy, having been nominated for many years before. Of course,
Jeanne was also a matriarch on the "Y.R." set. She went out of her way to be a friend to the actors, many of them new in Hollywood, who came onto the show over the years. Hosted by Jess Walton, the Y.R. community of actors gave a very moving tribute to her forty years on the show, which can be found on Youtube. She is survived by her three children and a great number of grandchildren.
STEVE FORREST (1924 - 2013) Steve Forrest passed away on 18 May, 2013. A character actor from the early days of television, many people remember him for his role as Lt. Dan Harrelson in the TV series "SWAT" which aired in the mid 70s for a brief season-and-a-half. Born William Forrest Andrews, he was the younger brother of well-known actor Dana Andrews (one of his older siblings...they had eleven brothers and sisters.) Steve had the distinction of appearing in one of the hour-long TZ episodes, "The Parallel", written by Rod Serling, which aired the week following an episode starring Dana, "No Time Like the Past", also written by Serling. While Dana's episode was about time travel, Steve's episode was about a parallel universe, and one of TZ's most original storylines. Steve got a fine leading lady in Jacqueline Scott, in the episode and 40 years later, we were lucky to have "The Parallel" as the number-one represented episode at TZ Convention #1 - Frank Aletter, Paul Comi, and Jacqueline Scott were all there, although I would love to have met Steve. Jacqueline recalled, "I remember I showed up on the set for work that Monday morning and Steve was standing at the opposite end of the room and I looked over at him and said to myself, 'Oh my gosh, we're co-starring in this thing together?! What a hunk! I'm so lucky!'" They both did an excellent job. Steve worked regularly for over four decades in showbiz. He also appeared in a couple other Rod Serling works - "The Yellow Canary", a film co-starring Pat Boone and Barbara Eden in 1963, right around the time he worked on TZ, and later on an episode of "Night Gallery." A WWII veteran, he is also an alumnus of UCLA.
LINDEN CHILES (1933 - 2013)
It is with great sadness that I talk about dear Linden Chiles, who died tragically in an accident at his home on 15 May, 2013, shortly after his eightieth birthday. Linden was a fine actor, who usually played "uptight assholes" in TV and film, for the better part of five decades. But offscreen, he was a very, very ordinary guy. I was introduced to Linden in 2003 by TZ actress Suzanne Lloyd (they were friends.) I went for lunch with him right after I moved to L.A. in early 2004. We talked for a couple hours, and it was a wonderful chat. He'd recently retired from acting. He told me about a terrible experience he'd had a year or so earlier, playing a character on "Frazier." "I said to myself, 'You know what? I don't like this business, I don't need the money, and I don't need to do this anymore. That's where it ended." Like myself, Linden had started his career as a chemist, and was a student at UCLA. He then segued into acting, after an acquaintence-come-friend told him he thought he would be good at it. And he certainly, certainly was. Reportedly, his big break came when director Ted Post (of TZ fame as well) spotted him in a theater production at UCLA and cast him in one of the shows he was directing.
I invited Linden to attend the 2004 TZ Convention but he'd already booked a trip to Spain so was unable to attend.
He did, however, attend the 2009 50th Anniversary TZ event in Burbank later, and had a great time visiting with some of his old acting buddies. I remember he said to me "Hey Andrew! I just saw Sally Kellerman...I had not seen her in like forever...and she gave me her phone number and told me to give her a call!" Linden had two marriages. He had two sons, one of whom died in a car accident while still in his 20s. Linden had a brief battle with cancer several years before his death, and although I had not talked to him in awhile, I heard he was doing well and still living in the same house up in Old Topanga Canyon. Linden will much be missed and I'm glad I knew him. My favorite childhood movie was "Cloak and Dagger," and Linden had a part in it, as the gruff airport security official (not dissimilar to the ones who now keep our nation safe against terrorist attacks). I must have watched that movie a hundred times. I'm glad that "after I grew up" I had a chance to meet the man who played that character in "Cloak and Dagger" and find out that he was a really nice man.
CHRISTINE WHITE (1926 - 2013)
Christine White, who co-starred in the TZ superclassic "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" opposite William Shatner, passed away on 14 April, 2013. She had long since retired from the biz. Her last role on TV was in a 1976 TV movie about James Dean, who was her close friend. 20 years prior to that, she appeared in Robert Altman's biographical film "The James Dean Story," wherein she appeared in a segment discussing the Actor's Studio, which she and Dean were a part of. She was a splendid talent and for about fifteen years, was a favorite of casting directors. She had a memorable role in Boris Karloff's "Thriller", opposite TZ alum Constance Ford. I shouldn't neglect her other TZ episode, "The Prime Mover", where she played Kitty, love interest of Ace Larsen (played by Dane Clark.) Both roles were right up her alley and demonstrated her substantial acting range; she played an intelligent mother of two and a sort of 'rock of Gibraltar' to her mentally unstable husband (Shatner) and as poor-but-intelligent waitress who refuses to marry the man she loves until he kicks his gambling habit. Ms. White was an educated performer, having earned a bachelor's degree in English and a master's degree in speech communication. It is surprising that her career ended prematurely, but it was likely by choice. She lived most of her life in Washington, D.C. According to records, she never married. Surprisingly, William Shatner took a moment to acknowledge her death on Twitter.
PATRICIA DONAHUE (1925 - 2012)
Patricia Donahue, who played one of TZ's most bitchiest of characters (or perhaps the bitchiest!), passed away on 11 June, 2012. Her death was not made public until recently. In the first season episode "A Stop at Willoughby", she portrayed Janie, the wife of Gart Williams (played by James Daly.) She loves his salary as a top advertising agency exec...and that's where her sympathies end! She did a lot of early television, and worked very regularly for three decades, from the mid 1950s with shows such as "Death Valley Days", "Perry Mason", "Bat Masterson", "Richard Diamond Private Detective", and many more. She was excellent in roles of the type that she played on TZ - sexy, well-to-do society women whose badge of status was earned by none other than their hard-working husbands or sizeable inheritances. Ms. Donahue's last work was on "General Hospital" in the mid 1980s. She was born Patricia Mahar in 1925 in New York City. Her son, Jerry, commented after his mother's passing that "When I was growing up, it always felt weird to me, watching her on the screen
acting like someone totally opposite to the person she actually was."
MAXINE STUART (1918 - 2013)
Maxine Stuart passed away of natural causes on 6 June, 2013, just three weeks shy of her 95thbirthday. Her role as bandage-covered Janet Tyler in "Eye of the Beholder" may very well be the most famous in the series, second only to Burgess Meredith's in "Time Enough at Last." She also holds the distinction of being the only actor, or actress, to star in an episode of the show, whose face is never seen. Maxine's career was a long and distinguished one, although she was already over-the-hill, well into her 40s, by the time she started working regularly in Hollywood and she also worked in real estate for a brief time after moving out west. Like many character actors, she had the acting chops but outside of loyal TZ watchers, she wasn't generally known to the public. She had a remarkably good voice that lent itself well to many roles, with a trace of a lisp. It was of course her voice which led director Douglas Heyes to cast her in that oh so famous TZ episode. The more she worked, the better the roles, including a rather sizeable one in the early 90s on "The Young and the Restless", opposite veteran actor Parley Baer. The two of them did several online chat sessions in the early days of the internet (I remember seeing the transcripts and was amazed!) Many also remember her for the chain-smoking piano teacher of Kevin Arnold in an Emmy-nominated performance on "The Wonder Years" in 1989. She began her career in New York in the theater, and studied in the Actors' Studio, of which she was a member throughout her life. She retired in 2003, at the age of 85. Born Maxine Shlivek in New Jersey, she felt the name 'Stuart' was more suitable to her career as an actress. She had two marriages, the first to actor Frank Maxwell, who himself appeared as the movie director in TZ's "A World of Difference". They had a daughter, Chris Ann. She later married David Shaw, a Tony-award winning writer. Maxine always greatly appreciated her fans, and she was scheduled to speak on the Actor Panel at our 2004 Stars of the Zone Convention. Due to health issues, however, she had to decline a few days beforehand. My friend Gary, a former Hollywood agent now living in Kansas, went to Maxine's Beverly Hills home the year before she died and she very kindly signed a few posters and photos for him. She was impressed by his devotion to TZ.
RICHARD MATHESON (1926 - 2013)
Richard Matheson, one of the four major writers on "The Twilight Zone", passed away on 23 June at the age of 87.
He penned thirteen scripts for the show, second only to Serling and Charles Beaumont (who wrote 22).
Of the 13, "The Invaders" starring Agnes Moorehead remains the most popular, although it was never one that Richard himself liked, despite the accolades that it got after it first aired, and which have continued. His work on the series started strong and only got stronger. His first entry was "The Last Flight" (originally called "Flight"), about a World War I Lieutenant caught in a time warp who mysteriously lands in 1959, and is able to travel backwards in time in order to save the life of a fellow officer who was trapped in a circle of German aircraft. His two short stories "And When the Sky Was Opened" and "Third From the Sun" (teleplays written by Serling), also broadcast in the first season and stand with the finest in the series. Another high point came with the hour-long episode "Death Ship" in Season 4 (starring Jack Klugman, Ross Martin, Frederick Beir), taken from his short story of the same title. In Season 5, the show's last, he wrote "Night Call", starring Gladys Cooper, which has gone on to be known as one of the scariest in the TZ anthology. And of course, during the final season there was "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" starring a certain pre-"Star Trek" actor called Shatner, which cemented Matheson's place in showbiz as a major sci-fi screenwriter. Rod Serling was a great admirer of Matheson, and according to writer George Clayton Johnson, "Before TZ even got started, Rod knew that he needed help. Richard was one of the first guys he called." Matheson's post-TZ career needs no recap. But like most writers in town, he started slowly. In one interview, he stated, "A friend asked me, 'How long are you going to give yourself in Hollywood before you come back home?' 'Five years,' I replied." Needless to say, he never had to go back home. In June 1984, in his Foreword to the book "The Twilight Zone: The Original Stories", Matheson said, "...in all writing media - stage, screen, television, and the printed word - the story is all. If, when I move on, I am remembered as a good storyteller, my soul will be content."
JONATHAN WINTERS (1925-2013)
The legendary comedian Jonathan Winters passed away on 11 April after an extended illness. Despite his long and distinguished career (Robin Williams called him "The Buddha" of comedy), most people living today know him primarily for his appearances in Doritos commercials in the 1990s. He is also remembered, of course, for one of the very few serious roles he played as Fats Brown in TZ's "A Game of Pool". His co-star, Jack Klugman, predeceased him by just 4 months. During the 1980s, he had a long run as the voice of Papa Smurf on "The Smurfs", and was brought back to reprise the role on the Smurfs movies (2011, 2013). Jonathan was invited, and accepted, invitations to our 2002 and 2004 TZ Conventions, but both times had to cancel due to illness.
He did, however, appear every few years or so at other autograph events around Los Angeles. His wife of 60 years, Eileen, died in 2009, and two children survive him. He appeared in over 50 films over his 65 year career, and was certainly one of the last of the great old time comics.
GLORIA PALL (1927 - 2012)
Gloria Pall passed away peacefully on 30 December after about six weeks of illness. As most TZ fans know, she played the girl at the bar in "And When the Sky Was Opened", opposite Rod Taylor in 1959. In one of my first conversations with her about her Twilight Zone experience, she said, "Working with Rod Taylor, who was one of the hottest stars on the screen at that time, was fun. I haven't seen him since then [she later did re-meet him in 2002]. Rod Serling, who was very nice, was around for some of it, and it was either he or the director who changed the scene in the bar. I was the 'head girl' at a table with a few other girls originally, and then they moved me up to the bar and gave me that part. Those two lines, 'Say um, what's it like up there in outer space?' and 'Ya got a beer here, honey' were catchy. I'm always happy to hear from people who remember me for that part - oddly enough, they gave me billing in TV Guide, but not in the credits at the end of that show." In 2004, Gloria and a small group of friends celebrated the 50th anniversary of her TV show, "Voluptua," which ran for 7 weeks in 1954, with a dinner at The Sportsmen's Lodge. Although very few people remember Gloria for her role as the temptress
Voluptua who was called 'too torrid for TV', they remember her for her parts as 'the sultry dancer' in "Night of the Hunter", "The Crimson Kimono", and of course, "Jailhouse Rock." She and Elvis became pals.
Gloria is survived by her son, Jefferson, an accountant. She had two marriages; the first was in 1957-58 to actor Robert Eaton (who played one of the enormous astronauts at the end of TZ episode "The Little People") and the second was to Allen Kane, owner of a Ford dealership, from 1965-1983. The Kanes bought one of O.J. and Marguerite Simpson's Los Angeles homes in 1978. "It was in Bel Air, on Elvill Drive...which proved to be a very fitting street name. Never in my life had I seen, or would I ever see again, a home that was so rampaged, smashed, and trashed...[the previous occupant] was obviously deeply emotionally disturbed. We fixed it up, lived in it for a year or so, and then sold it."
She wrote 15 short books about her career in Hollywood, including one about the purchase and sale of OJ's home. She had plans to do a few more. She also wrote her autobiography, extracts of which I someday hope to publish in her biography.
In reading over some excerpts of her autobiography a few years ago, I realized just how *much* Gloria did in her life. Born in New York and spending her formative years in the depths of the post-1929 depression, she developed a toughness and strength of character that served her well when she headed for the soundstages of Los Angeles in 1951. She used to go around and entertain her neighbors, as a little girl, and would get a few pennies for her fine performances. She never completely lost her New York accent. There was always a trace of it. I will also share another little-known fact about Gloria - she knew how to act. She called herself a 'cameo queen' because she had so many bit parts, but she was lucky enough to get a few really good roles on such shows as "The Ray Bolger Show" and "People's Choice" (with Jackie Cooper). Like many actors in this town, she lacked a good agent to get her in the know with casting directors. "Twilight Zone was one of the last things I did on screen - I did a few things after it, but I ended my SAG [Screen Actors Guild] membership in 1962." She went on to a career in real estate, and her clientele included some of the biggest names in Hollywood, including a number of TZ actors - James Best and Albert Salmi among them.
I first met Gloria in 2001. My old TZ friend Jeff Zentner told me of Gloria's whereabouts, as he'd ordered an autographed TZ photo from her website and they'd also talked by phone. I asked Jeff, "HOW did you find her? And why? Her part on TZ was so small, she only had two lines." He said, "She's really nice. Order a photo from her, she'll be grateful to you." And I did. That was in February, 2001. We exchanged an email and that was it, until shortly after 9/11, when preparations for the first TZ convention got underway, and I connected her to Steve Charendoff at Rittenhouse Archives to sign the trading cards. She felt honored - and I do mean honored - to sign those cards, let me tell you. We hit it off. Her birthday was on July 15th, and mine was on the 12th, forty-nine years apart. She was so easy to talk to - she was a great listener, and she was very interested in me. She admitted that she had a hard time staying organized, and I was no better. We had some very long conversations by phone in those early days of our friendship. She asked me, "So who else is coming
to the convention? I haven't done an autograph show in years." And I named some names. She then started naming off some people whom
she knew, and asked if they ever did TZ episodes. Among the names were Edson Stroll, Read Morgan,
Camille Franklin, Earl Holliman, plus some I'd already talked to, and quite a few much-more-famous people including Ernest Borgnine and Angie Dickinson and Carol Channing. And I said, "Oh my gosh, you *know* Edson Stroll? Do you know how many people would like to meet him?!" They were old modeling buddies; she met him in New York in 1948. She called Edson the next day, but he was not available to attend the convention that particular weekend because he was working (Edson did of course attend the 2004 convention later.) She went to great lengths to get Earl Holliman to attend. I was very touched when she told me that she drove to his house, about a quarter-mile from her home, and rang the bell at the gate. He was apparently friendly - (they'd worked together on the pilot for the series "Hotel de Paree" in the 50s) but declined. Read and Camille were delighted to be invited; Read is a very nice man, and I remain friends with Camille. When the convention rolled around in August 2002, I of course went and introduced myself to Gloria - it was our first face-to-face meeting, which was brief because I was so busy. When I shook her hand, she said, "Your parents must be very proud of you for pulling off this weekend." A week after it was over and I was back in Oregon, she emailed me a thank-you for the good time she had at the convention, and again mentioned how glad she was to sign the trading cards, and "If you ever need a favor sometime, just call me."
And I did call her. I didn't talk to Gloria much for the next year or so, during which time I moved to Los Angeles, where of course she lived. I was planning TZ Convention #2, and I called her to say hi and invite her.
She said, "Let's get together and talk." and I said "Great, how 'bout at the Garland Holiday Inn?" She said "Perfect, I live only a mile from there, we can meet at the coffee shop." We met, and had a great time catching up. I told her about the living situation I was in at the time, which was far from ideal. I could never have predicted what was to happen next.
She called me back, a few days later, just in the nick of time, telling me that she had a place for me to move into, for (gasp) only two-hundred dollars a month. It was a vacant guest house in the Sherman Oaks area of Los Angeles, owned by one of her old friends. Although the rent increased modestly as time went by, I lived there for five years - and saved a lot of money. What a way to return a favor! I was very touched when, a couple months later, she invited me to celebrate our birthdays together at The Odyssey, a restaurant in the hills of Burbank with a number of her friends. Gloria also introduced me to the Book Publicists of Southern California organization,
which has meetings every other month at the Sportsmen's Lodge in Studio City. I started going to all of the meetings and met many interesting people. I ended up selling some copies of my "Forgotten Gems from TZ" script books, thanks to the free advertising they allow at the meetings. Gloria and Jefferson were the first to tell me about a new website called Craigslist in 2004. On the Friday night before our second TZ Convention, they placed an ad on Craigslist, telling everyone to come.
The world feels that much emptier without Gloria. Her legacy was that she always put others first - to the point where she sometimes said, "I sure wish there were more generous people in the world. I could use a hand sometimes too!" Although she liked the glamor and the glitz of Hollywood, she was about as un-Hollywood as could be imagined when it came to relating to people. She was honest and ethical. I seriously doubt she ever told a lie - untruth and superficiality were not part of her. She was a quiet person, but not shy, and never selfish. She was genuinely interested in everyone she encountered. She appreciated it when you did something for her and she lacked the sense of entitlement that is common to most people who have worked in, or around, showbiz.
She was one of my closest friends and was so instrumental to me on my path in life and I'll always be grateful to her. I last spoke with her several weeks before she
"went off to The Twilight Zone" (those were the words she used on a couple occasions, to describe her eventual passing.) Instinctively, I knew she wasn't long for this world but I didn't want to accept it. I will always cherish the time we had together for eleven years. I saw her for the last time this past summer at yet another Book Publicists meeting. Then I got busy and a few months went by, and her health suddenly failed. She narrowly missed the 2013 Twilight Zone New Years Eve marathon, but now she's forever immortalized in the landscape, right along with Rod and the rest of them. Oh...the marathons. Gloria loved those "Twilight Zone" marathons (4th of July and New Years Eve) just as much as anyone. She'd be watching it at home and would call
me and say, "Andrew, my episode is on TV right now. I just watched the one with Theo Bikel...that was a funny one. And that part that Barbara Nichols did should've been mine! I could've done it even better."
So, now I have to conclude this and say a final farewell to you, Gloria. It was always a pleasure saying "Oh hi, Gloria" whenever you called me - I'd look at the caller ID and there was your name. And we were both flip-phone users, haha. To me, you'll always be Gloria the Great. Until we meet again, in the Twilight Zone. Love, Andrew
Gloria at a local autograph show, at Beverly Garland's Holiday Inn, 2005
STARS OF THE ZONE CONVENTION, ELEVEN YEARS LATER...
Dear Visitors and TZ Convention Attendees,
August 2013 marked 11 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. 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
(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.) Purchasing both the panels of 2002 and 2004 is $110 (includes free 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. Please email email@example.com 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!
Jack Klugman, one of the finest actors who ever lived, departed our world on Christmas Eve, 2012.
Jack loved his fans, and often said that Rod Serling's work was the best, or among the best, that he did in his career. In the early 1980s, Klugman was the host for the video release of "Requiem for a Heavyweight",
which starred Jack Palance, Kim Hunter, Keenan Wynn and Ed Wynn. He talked of the golden age of
live television, and talked of how the 1950s was a very exciting time in the world, in part due to the new
medium of TV. He has been called "a chameleon of an actor", and no other words describe his abilities
better. He, literally, could play any part. He did comedy as well as he did drama, and he did everything in between just as well. Jack was hired for starring roles in four episodes of "Twilight Zone", making him a semi-regular on the show. However, Jack's Twilight Zone roles are generally not as remembered as is his
"Odd Couple" work with his dearest friend, Tony Randall. About 10 years ago, Jack wrote a touching but short memoir called "Tony and Me", about his friendship with Randall. Jack Klugman's passing marks the end of an era, and his work will always be held in highest regard. He was truly one of a kind.
(1923 - 2012)
The great William Windom passed away on 16 August. He was
one of the greatest TV actors working in Hollywood for over four decades and
and one of the most familiar faces on TV. He semi-retired from
on-camera work right around Y2K but continued to work until about five years before he passed away.
He also did a fair amount of voiceover work, especially in his later years, having been endowed with a unique baritone voice.
Most people out there will remember him for his part in "To Kill a Mockingbird" - he played district
attorney Gilmer in the harrowing courtroom scene, wherein Atticus Finch unsuccessfully defends
Tom Robinson. Amazingly, we had both Mary Badham (Scout) and Bill in the same room on two
occasions, at our Stars of the Zone Conventions in 2002 and 2004. In a conversation with Bill by phone
in December 2001, he mentioned that he'd just been out for lunch with Kevin McCarthy and said, "Kevin
mentioned this Twilight Zone thing you're doing and if he's doing it, I'll be there too." Obviously, he thought
enough of TZ and Rod to attend. It seemed that every performance
that Bill did was better than the last. He really was 'that good' of an actor. He had a short but
amazing part on an early episode of "All in the Family" in 1971 - one of his lesser-known roles - where he played one of Archie's
old buddies who went on to become wealthy; he comes into town, in attempt to reunite with his estranged son and his son refuses to see him. The year before that, he took home an Emmy for the sadly short-lived series "My World and Welcome To It", which fell victim to bad network timeslot and was cancelled after only a single season.
Around the same time, he did one of his favorite roles, Randolph Kelly in Rod Serling's "They're Tearing Down Tim Riley's Bar" on Night Gallery. On TZ, Bill was cast in two excellent parts, as the frustrated army major in "Five Characters in Search of an Exit", one of TZ's unofficial Christmas episodes, and also as Dr. Wallman, the psychiatrist in "Miniature", with Robert Duvall. A long time later, Bill's virtuosity in the former episode became
immortalized in the opening sequence of the Columbia House versions of TZ. His line "Who are we?!!!", one of
the most memorable in the series, delivered
so splendidly, is heard amongst a handful of others.
Bill transitioned well into his later years of acting and gained another set of fans when he played Dr. Seth Hazlett on "Murder She Wrote" in the 80s.
The photo I have used above for Bill was from "Star Trek", but it's such a great shot that seems to summarize William Windom, the man and artist. Married five times, Bill's three daughters, a son, and his wife of 37 years, Patricia, survive him. Rest in eternal comfort, Bill. You were one of the great ones.
"WHO ARE WE?!!!"
* * *
JOHN RICH (1925 - 2012)
Distinguished Television Director Emeritus John Rich passed away on 29 January at the age of 86.
I use that title for Mr. Rich because he certainly deserved it; he was one of the greatest to work behind
the camera - or, beside the camera. I had the good fortune to meet him, thanks to his old college
chum Irwin Zucker, at a 2006 meeting of The Book Publicists of Southern California. When I mentioned
that I liked all his work, and then threw in a mention of "your two Twilight Zone" episodes, he suddenly
looked right at me and said "How did *you* know I directed Twilight Zone?!" I guess I didn't look old enough.
John's book, "Warm Up the Snake", had just been released, and I recommend the book heartily to anyone who watches old television. To learn more about John's humble beginnings and his travels along Hollywood Road,
please do get a copy of his book. As John's genius was principally in the area of comedy, he was not
a frequent director on TZ and actually, it's a miracle he directed any episodes. At the time, he was
heavily into his chores on "The Dick Van Dyke Show" and "Bat Masterson" and numerous others.
John was not a laid-back director, he participated in the production process fully.
His actors had to be willing to take his direction and a few actors
have made mention of his demanding style. His direction often went far beyond what was on the printed
page, the foremost example being the kiss that Sammy Davis gives Archie Bunker. In 1970, Mary Tyler
Moore invited John to direct her show on CBS. Thankfully, John passed on it and chose "All in the Family",
which was, he felt, going to take television by storm with its groundbreaking material. It was the best
decision he ever could have made and for three years, he was the show's house director. As far as "Twilight Zone", well, John's two episodes ("A Most Unusual Camera" and "A Kind of Stopwatch") were entertaining but forgettable, no doubt due to the average storylines of Rod Serling. Mr. Rich's accolades and awards were plentiful and his work will forever be valued and appreciated. Upon his retirement in Y2K, he gained new status as a historical figure and has not been forgotten around town. In his book, he tells a story where he went to meet with
some much-younger executives for a directorial job in the late 90s. He didn't get the job, but as he was leaving the office suite, one of them extended his hand and said, "...I'm shaking hands with a legend."
(1919 - 2012)
Phyllis Thaxter passed away on 14 August, 2012. She's best known as Superman's mother, a very
small part in a very big picture, but she started working in showbiz in the 40s, appearing in scores
of old movies, and then she worked her way into TV. Her marriage to CBS president Jim Aubrey,
who was in command during much of the run of "Twilight Zone" (and was the driving force behind
moving TZ to videotape, arguably a very bad decision), concidentally, ended right around the time
she worked on TZ in the episode "Young Man's Fancy." She played a very good role in it, opposite Alex Nicol, as
Virginia Lane-Walker-Lane, in one of the shortest marriages in TV history! After divorcing
Aubrey, she quickly remarried and had another very long marriage of over 45 years. She only appeared
a few more times on screen after playing Ma Kent in 1978, preferring a quiet life on the east coast.
(1917 - 2012)
R.G. Armstrong, distinguished character actor, passed away after a good, long life, at the age of 95
on 27 July. You can find R.G. in, literally, loads of TV episodes, where he played a lot of heavies and
backwoods characters. One of his college chums was Andy Griffith, and it was only fitting that R.G.
guested once or twice on Andy's show sometime later. Born in Alabama, he got into acting during his
college years at the University of North Carolina, and also got into playwriting. He also attended the
Actor's Studio for some time. Upon working his way west to Los Angeles in the early 1950s, he
did his first film, "Garden of Eden" in 1954, and then made his home in television. Although he played
his fair share of backwoods roughnecks, he could also be found in sensitive roles, like the one he did
on TZ's "Nothing in the Dark". He retired from the screen in the 90s, and one of his last film roles was of course
'Pruneface' in "Dick Tracy." Four children survive him.
DORIS SINGLETON (1919 - 2012)
Doris Singleton, aka Carolyn/Lillian Appleby, passed away of natural causes on 26 June.
I mention Doris's "I Love Lucy" credit first because she's now immortalized as Mrs. Appleby,
who was a longtime friend-slash-adversary of Lucy Ricardo. Doris played the role to a T and she was
so good in it that the writers brought her back for many more episodes, including the famous Harpo Marx
episode, done when The Ricardos go to Hollywood. Doris did a lot of television - being a "Perry Mason"
fan myself, I always look forward to seeing the episodes Doris was in. On TZ, of course, she was the
bitchy secretary who loathes McNulty (played by Richard Erdman) in "A Kind of Stopwatch". John
Rich, director, hired her for the part; Doris was a semi-regular on "The Dick Van Dyke Show",
which Rich was then directing. Doris essayed an interesting
character on an early episode of "All in the Family" (again directed by John Rich) some years later, Mrs. Stonehurst, who shares a room with Edith (Jean Stapleton) when Edith hangs the jury.
Doris was a very nice lady and I'm glad I crossed paths with her and got her onboard for signing
the TZ trading cards. She lived a long and good 92 years and was always very generous to her
fans. She wisely avoided the convention circuit but did participate in one or two of the big Lucy-related
conventions around the time of the 50th anniversary of that show, and gave many interviews over the years.
WARREN STEVENS (1919 - 2012)
Warren Stevens, who had the starring role as Nate Bledsoe (and who assumes the soul of a gangster) in "Dead Man's Shoes", passed away on 27 March at the age of 92. We were honored to have Warren at the two Los Angeles TZ cons, and he attended one of the ones held in New Jersey as well. He was a very kind man and we'll miss him. He was born in Pennsylvania and joined the armed forces at the young age of 17, then got into acting in the mid 40s and was accepted into the Actor's Studio. His first performances came with the live Actor's Studio broadcasts of 1948-49. He went on to appear on all the staple TV shows back in the 50s and 60s, as well as in films. Most people know him for his role in the cult classic "Forbidden Planet" alongside a number of other TZ
alums. Warren infrequently attended scifi conventions and was always very kind to his fans. He semi-retired from acting in the early 80s but worked occasionally as the roles came his way. In the mid 80s he was privileged to return to TZ for the episode "A Day in Beaumont" (said Beaumont of course being a nod to the late TZ writer).
Warren was very close friends with Doris Roberts and they appeared together in public at various events around town in recent years. Warren is survived by wife and three sons.
GEORGE LINDSEY (1928 - 2012)
George Lindsey passed away on 6 May after a brief illness. Everyone of course will remember George as Goober Pyle, cousin of Gomer, but a few know him for another part he played - a complete 180 of Goober. On TZ, he portrayed Deputy Pierce, a lowlife scum of a cop in "I Am the Night - Color Me Black" right near the end of TZ's run. He always said that he enjoyed this role a lot, as it was a complete departure from Goober and other comedic
characters that he was doing at the time, and continued to do. George made appearances in public with Don Knotts and other members of the "Andy Griffith Show" cast infrequently over the years. Of his work on "The Andy Griffith Show" and working with (then young) Ron Howard, he said, "We call him Mr. Howard now." Born in Alabama, George got a formal education before starting his acting career. He received a bachelor's degree and for a very brief time, was a schoolteacher before moving into the theater in New York, and then moving to L.A. to begin his TV career.
GEORGE MURDOCK (1930 - 2012)
George Murdock passed away on 30 April of cancer. He was known of course for his one-line part in TZ's "The Dummy", playing the human version of Willie the dummy at the very end of Serling's miraculous episode starring Cliff Robertson. This was his first role, ever, on screen.
He had a long and varied career, appearing on scores of TV shows, and he seemed to
get a lot of roles playing judges. George was slated to attend our two Los Angeles TZ conventions but unfortunately he couldn't attend them, as he had other engagements that came up at the last minute.
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. As far as signed TZ photos - I have a few left and sell a few of what very few I have left from time to time and will post on here when that happens. We're no longer responding to emails sent to the site about props. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.)
When they met in New York, they usually went to a mutually favorite restaurant, Johnny Sproat's The Bat Rack, which had magnificent hand-made bar stools. 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!
"A Stop at Willoughby" - One Of Rod's Best
Rod Serling had a few favorites of the episodes he penned - "The Trade Ins" was one of his favorites. He never liked "Walking Distance" - I think he was one of the very few - but "A Stop at Willoughby" was another fave
that he thought turned out much better than its predecessor. Jason Wingreen, who played the present-day
Conductor - has always called it one of the highest points of his long career in TV and film ("Archie Bunker's Place", "Matlock", ad inf.) "I knew there was a very special quality about it when we were filming it,"
he said. 50 years hence, it remains as fresh and original...and ultimately saddening...as it was then. This photo
was taken by Herman Darvick, and Jason Wingreen autographed it with a few of the Conductor's lines. The photo was taken in 2010 by Herman, with the intention of having Jason write the quote and sign it. A most unique and priceless item!
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, [which still exists as The Twilight Zone Cafe, but only two or three folks from those early days remain active on the forum.] 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 seven years now! Figuratively. If you want literal, you'll need to talk to the Kanamits about it. They have the recipes.
Comments, suggestions, or questions? Feel free to contact us. Thanks for dropping past...and be sure to stay within The Zone!