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. 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, we honor the memory of bald-pated character actor Richard Deacon, who died on this day in 1984 at the age of 62. Deacon starred in "The Brain Center at Whipple's," playing a fuss-budget determined to automate his plant at all costs. Written over 50 years ago, this is one episode that is more timely than ever.
Deacon is well remembered as long-suffering Mel Cooley on The Dick Van Dyke Show, and if you are a fan of the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), you'll remember him as the emergency room doctor in the film's opening and closing scenes.
Here's to Richard Deacon!