Manny P. here…
On October 2nd, the 50th anniversary of the debut of The Twilight Zone will be celebrated in parts of the U.S. and on some cable networks. The landmark television show was the brainchild of screenplay writer, Rod Serling.
Serling is featured in Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History as I wrote about his early scripts, and his working relationship with actor, Van Heflin. Writing intelligent dramas for live TV, Serling won his first Emmy for his teleplay, Patterns. The Kraft Television Theatre special featured Ed Begley, Everett Sloane and Richard Kiley. Heflin replaced Kiley in the film version. Patterns was part of the fifties revolution of boardroom dramas in which folks like William Holden, Fred MacMurray, Henry Fonda, and the subject of Chapter 10 – Van Heflin, excelled in.
Serling would go on to win six Emmys for various screenplays, and write over 90 out of the 156 episodes in The Twilight Zone’s five year run. He would also act as host and narrator for the run of the initial series. Legendary Science Fiction writers, Ray Bradbury and Richard Matheson would also write for the anthology show.
Rod Serling died in 1975 of a heart attack (his third), a day after bypass surgery. He was 50 years of age.
On August 11th 2009, a postage stamp series commemorating early television was unveiled, and featured a portrait of Serling in an episode of The Twilight Zone, a distinct honor for this Sci Fi great.
Until next time> “never forget”