Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone premiered on October 2, 1959, and over the course of its five-year run would churn out 156 episodes and cement itself as a classic of science fiction television. Its influence would be felt in any number of shows and movies that would follow -- from The Walking Dead to Stranger Things -- and beyond, becoming one of the enduring pop culture staples of its era. This Day in Twilight Zone History presents key commemorative facts about the greatest science fiction/fantasy television series of all time, presented by author Steven Jay Rubin, whose latest book is The Twilight Zone Encyclopedia (arriving this October). Whether it’s a key performer’s birth or death, the date an episode debuted, or any other related fact, This Day in Twilight Zone History presents a unique aspect of the rich history of this television series and the extraordinary team that created it.
Today, August 21st, This Day in Twilight Zone History wishes happy birthday to actor Jack Weston, who was born on this day in 1924. Usually a comic joy, Weston was cast by Serling against type as one of the freaked out homeowners in “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street.” Playing suspicious and slightly inebriated, Weston was a force.
In the fourth season, he was cast closer to type in one of the funnier hour episodes,“The Bard,” playing hack television writer Julius Moomer, who with the help of some black magic, conjurs up the ultimate ghost writer – William Shakespeare (John Williams).
With a bigger-than-life personality and serious acting skills, Weston was another sterling example of the genius of The Twilight Zone’s casting professionals and their amazing ability to find and cast the best character actors in Hollywood.