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December 18 in Twilight Zone History: Wishing Happy Birthday to actress Gladys Cooper ('Nothing in the Dark')

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Dec 18, 2017

Today, December 18th, This Day in Twilight Zone History celebrates the birth of actress Gladys Cooper, who was born on this day in 1888.

Cooper (1888-1971) starred in two chilling TZ takes on the concept of death: "Nothing in the Dark" and “Night Call," and co-starred in "Passage on the Lady Anne," which featured the best British actors in television.

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Gladys Cooper portrayed Millie McKenzie in the Season 4 episode, "Passage on the Lady Anne."

In the Season 3 episode "Nothing in the Dark," Cooper is fearful tenement resident Wanda Dunn, who believes the Angel of Death is stalking her. The fact that he's a wounded NY police officer (Robert Redford) in need of help isn't persuasive enough. Then again, the Angel of Death can be pretty persuasive...

In "Passage on the Lady Anne," Cooper returns in this atmospheric hour-long episode from Season 4 in which she and her husband (Wilfred Hyde-White) are passengers on the farewell cruise of an aging British liner. What fellow passengers Alan and Eileen Ransome (Lee Philips, Joyce Van Patten) don't realize is that this ship is not destined to reach port.

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In "Night Call," Gladys Cooper is Elva Keene, whose ghostly telephone calls keep coming in the middle of the night - long before the Do Not Call Registry was invented. 

In her final TZ performance, Cooper appears in the Season 5 episode "Night Call," this time as the terror-stricken Elva Keene, an invalid who starts to receive ghostly phone calls from an unknown party.

In addition to her solid TV work, Gladys Cooper received three Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actress (Now Voyager, The Song of Bernadette and My Fair Lady). So here's to a true grande dame of England and the three tickets she punched to our favorite destination in the universe: The Twilight Zone.