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March 29 in Twilight Zone History: Remembering actor Paul Genge ('Dust') on the anniversary of his birth

Contributed by
Mar 29, 2018

Today, March 29th, This Day in Twilight Zone History and The Twilight Zone Encyclopedia remember character actor Paul Genge on the anniversary of his birth in 1913.

A memorable addition to any cast, Genge (1913-1988) portrayed John Canfield, the laconic father of a child run down in the street by a wagon driver in "Dust." For me, the definition of a classic character is the ability to convey pages of emotion without any dialogue, and Genge fit the bill. Unfortunately, he was another actor I had to leave out of my encyclopedia because of space limitations.

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It's mourning father John Canfield (Paul Genge) who has to make a fateful decision at a hanging in the atmospheric "Dust." 

Arguably, Genge's most famous role was Mike, the balding, white-haired killer in Bullitt. He's the one who aims his Winchester pump shotgun out the window of a Dodge Charger in an attempt to take out Steve McQueen in that signature 1968 Mustang.

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In the signature car chase in Bullitt, actor Paul Genge (left) portrayed laconic Mike, a shotgun-wielding hit man. 

Nine years earlier, he was Whitey, the Soviet agent taken down by James Stewart's team of agents in The FBI Story. Both roles featured very little or no dialogue.

I also remember him as a dedicated highway patrol officer who offers some advice to another TZ veteran, Dana Andrews, in the 1967 film Hot Rods to Hell, which was directed by another TZ veteran, John Brahm.

So let's hoist a cup of dust-covered desert water to Paul Genge, who brought his special talents to a dry, dusty corner of The Twilight Zone.