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, October 3rd, This Day in Twilight Zone History honors character actor Dub Taylor who passed away on this day in 1994 at the age of 87. Dub co-starred as Peters, a townsman in “The Last Rites of Jeff Myrtlebank” – one of a number of rural folk who are suspicious of the amazing Jeff Myrtlebank (James Best), who rose out out of the coffin at his own funeral.
If you were going to cast a story set in the south or any rural enclave, then Dub Taylor was usually on your list. Born Walter Clarence Taylor, his nickname “Dub” came from the fact that in his early life, people called him W, short for Walter, which later morphed into Dub. Like fellow Zoner veterans Warren Oates, Simon Oakland and Claude Akins, he was known for his grouchy, persnickety manner on screen.
Appearing in tons of westerns of the “A” and “B” variety, genre audiences also remember him as the LA railroad watchman who is accused of being a fence for “hot sugar” in Them!, and he’s the draft board guy who nabs Will Stockdale (Andy Griffith) in No Time for Sergeants. Let’s hoist one for another supreme character talent who brought his gifts to the 5th Dimension.