Today, December 28th, This Day in Twilight Zone History celebrates the birth of actor Martin Milner ("Mirror Image"), born on this day in 1931.
Bedecked in a fedora and suit, Milner (1931-2015) portrayed Paul Grinstead, a fellow bus traveler who tries to lend a sympathetic ear to Millicent Barnes (Vera Miles), who claims she’s seen her dopplegänger. Was there a more sympathetic actor in television than Martin Milner? Probably not, so he was the perfect choice to play Millicent's savior.
If you're in a Twilight Zone-esque predicament, it's best to have a companion. If you think about it, the solo acts don't have a great track record – think of Richard Conte in "Perchance to Dream," Mickey Rooney in "The Last Night of a Jockey," Joe Maross in "The Little People," or Anne Francis in "The After Hours." So Paul Grinstead was a help to Millicent Barnes – until he discovers his own roadway into The Twilight Zone.
If you're a World War II film geek like me, you were aware of Milner very early on. He's in The Sands of Iwo Jima and Operation Pacific with John Wayne, Halls of Montezuma and Destination Gobi with Richard Widmark, and Mister Roberts with Henry Fonda. But this fresh-faced young actor who seemed to never age achieved his greatest fame on the small screen – first in Route 66 as Tod Stiles opposite George Maharis, then as Officer Pete Malloy on Adam-12.
So let us toast a man who seemed to be perpetually young on the show that also aged very well: The Twilight Zone.