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January 18 in Twilight Zone History: Remembering actress Sarah Marshall ('Little Girl Lost')

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Jan 18, 2018

Today, January 18th, This Day in Twilight Zone History and The Twilight Zone Encyclopedia remember actress Sarah Marshall, who passed away on this day in 2014 at the age of 80.

A British actress in the U.S. starting in 1939, Marshall starred in "Little Girl Lost" as Ruth Miller, a wife and mother whose daughter disappears into another dimension. Written by Richard Matheson, it was another story that started with a typical American family... but ventured deep into The Twilight Zone.

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Sarah Marshall brought a touch of British class to the role of distraught housewife Ruth Miller in "Little Girl Lost." However, like countless actresses before and after her, she lost the accent. 

The concept of a child who disappears from home but seems to still be present was later copied in the classic Tobe Hooper horror film Poltergeist, with JoBeth Williams taking over the concerned mother role. Tobe and co-writer/producer Steven Spielberg just added a ghostly edge to the piece.

Are there parallel dimensions bordering our own? The Twilight Zone seemed to love the idea. How many times have you inexplicably lost something in your own house (besides the proverbial sock)? We've all had that experience; Matheson simply takes it to the next dimension with a child in jeopardy.

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Chris Miller (Robert Sampson) comforts his wife, Ruth (Sarah Marshall) in "Little Girl Lost."

Marshall played the fraught housewife with considerable aplomb. She came from cinema royalty; her father was Herbert Marshall (The Black Shield of Falworth, The Fly) and her mother was Edna Best (The Man Who Knew Too Much).

So let's pay tribute to a quality import from Blighty who brought an extra touch of class to the deep outer reaches of the next dimension over in The Twilight Zone.