Today, June 7th, This Day in Twilight Zone History and The Twilight Zone Encyclopedia celebrate the 1920 birth of actor Robin Hughes who played the captive Devil in "The Howling Man."
It is Hughes' ever-so-persuasive Satan who convinces naïve traveler David Ellington (H.M. Wynant) that the monks who are holding him prisoner are delusional. In perhaps the most atmospheric of all the Twilight Zone episodes, Hughes is sensational, especially when he gains his freedom in one of the most extraordinary TZ sequences, brilliantly directed by ace helmer Douglas Heyes.
Hughes (1920-1989), born Robert Harold Hughes in Buenas Aires, Argentina, was a British Navy veteran of World War II who, according to IMDb, was transferred from the HMS Hood just before it was sunk by the German battleship Bismarck – a true TZ moment. He made his film debut in the British adventure comedy Hue and Cry, which starred Alistair Sim.
A top character actor in his day, Hughes moved easily between feature and television roles — he even played the voice of Christ in Quo Vadis and a police sergeant in Hitchcock's Dial M for Murder.
So on this, the anniversary of his birth, let's hoist a tall ornate goblet of Demon Rum to Robin Hughes, the timeless performance he gave as "The Howling Man," and the equally timeless universe he played in – The Twilight Zone.