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January 19 in Twilight Zone History: Birthday wishes to Shelley Fabares, Fritz Weaver and Tracy Stratford

Contributed by
Jan 19, 2018

Today, January 19th, This Day in Twilight Zone History and The Twilight Zone Encyclopedia wish happy birthday to a trifecta of TZ veterans: Shelley Fabares, Fritz Weaver and Tracy Stratford.

Fritz Weaver (1926-2016) killed it in two classic episodes: "Third From the Sun," in which he played nuclear engineer Wiliam Sturka, who's planning to take his family to another planet to avoid a nuclear catastrophe; and "The Obsolete Man," in which he plays the tyrannical Chancellor, who meets his match in 'obsolete' librarian Romney Wordsworth (Burgess Meredith).

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In a totalitarian world, the tyrannical chancellor (Fritz Weaver, left) takes on condemned librarian Romney Wordsworth (Burgess Mereditn) in "The Obsolete Man."

1960s singing sensation Shelley Fabares (turning 74 today) starred in the Season 5 episode "Black Leather Jackets," playing Ellen Tillman, a suburban girl who falls for her new neighbor, a mysterious motorcyclist (Lee Kinsolving) who's in the vanguard of an alien invasion of Earth.

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Film and TV star Shelley Fabares first came to national attention in 1962 with her No. 1 Billboard magazine hit "Johnny Angel." 

Tracy Stratford, one of the youngest performers to appear in the original series (she turns 63 today), portrayed Tina Miller, a young girl who disappears after falling into another dimension, in "Little Girl Lost." She returned as a major character in "Living Doll," portraying the step-daughter of abusive Erich Streator (Telly Savalas).

So anybody born today, you have found yourself in excellent TZ company! Let's hoist a cold beer – except in Tracy Stratford's case (she gets a cold root beer) – to a cornucopia of TZ talent, all having served their good time in various dimensions of The Twilight Zone.

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Tracy Stratford (right) and her co-star in "Living Doll," Talky Tina.