Today, April 12th, This Day in Twilight Zone History and The Twilight Zone Encyclopedia celebrate the birthday of French actor Roger Jacquet, who turns 90 today.
You won’t find Jacquet’s name on any MGM or CBS casting lists. He starred in Season 5's "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," the only time in the five-year history of the show that an outside project was acquired for broadcast – in this case, an Oscar-winning short film directed by Robert Enrico and prized by TZ producer William Froug.
Jacquet, sans dialogue, is terrific as Peyton Farquhar, a condemned Confederate sympathizer who we meet as he's about to have his neck stretched by Union Army executioners. However, the rope breaks on Owl Creek Bridge and he plunges into the river below, initiating a desperate escape.
Jacquet later reprised his Peyton Farquhar character in the feature anthology In the Midst of Life (1963), which included "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" and two other Ambrose Bierce stories: "Chickamauga" and "The Mockingbird."
Roger Jacquet had made his feature debut opposite Jeanne Moreau in director Louis Malle’s crime thriller Elevator to the Gallows (1958). Do we detect a theme here?
So on this, the 90th anniversary of Jacquet's birth, let us toast with French champagne a fine actor whose talents were imported to our show of shows: The Twilight Zone.