Today, February 4th, This Day in Twilight Zone History and The Twilight Zone Encyclopedia celebrate the birthdays of two TZ leading ladies: Ida Lupino, born on this day in 1918, and Collin Wilcox, born on this day in 1935.
Lupino starred in "The Sixteen-Millimeter Shrine," portraying aging film star Barbara Trent, cut from the same cloth as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard. Like Norma, Barbara doesn't leave the house and is entirely consumed with repeatedly watching her previous films. She's terrified of how people might react to her in the real world.
Lupino (1918-1995), once married to TZ veteran Howard Duff, went on to become a terrific television director... and she is the only woman to direct an original episode of the Zone, returning in the fifth and final season to helm "The Masks."
Collin Wilcox (1935-2009) starred as rebellious Marilyn Cuberle in "Number 12 Looks Just Like You." In a creepy futuristic society, ordinary people are compelled to transform themselves into perfect beauties. However, Marilyn doesn't want to conform – she's perfectly happy the way she is.
Before she came to the Zone, Cuberle had portrayed Mayella Violet Ewell, the teenage daughter of a racist who accuses Brock Peters' Tom Robinson of rape in To Kill a Mockingbird. She's also the former wife of TZ player Geoffrey Horne ("The Gift").
So let's hoist one to two classy ladies of the Zone whose characters were confronted with the awful pressures to conform to society's mandates. One refused, and the other took that giant step into The Twilight Zone.