Twilight Zone Night of the Meek Val Avery on the phone

July 14 in Twilight Zone History: Remembering actor Val Avery ('Night of the Meek') on the anniversary of his birth

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Jul 15, 2018, 6:27 PM EDT (Updated)

Today, July 14, This Day in Twilight Zone History and The Twilight Zone Encyclopedia remember Val Avery, who was born on this day in 1924.

Born Sebouh Der Abrahamian, Avery was a memorable character actor of Armenian descent who played Bruce the bartender in "Night of the Meek." It is Bruce who keeps an eye on woefully drunk Henry Corwin (Art Carney), a department store Santa who gets fired for being inebriated but proceeds to have an epiphany on Christmas Eve.


It is Bruce the bartender (Val Avery) who is responsible for pumping booze into department store Santa Henry Corwin (Art Carney) on Christmas Eve in "Night of the Meek."

The son of Mgerdich der Abrahamian, a founder of the Republic of Armenia, Avery (1924-2009) graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, served as a flight instructor during World War II, and later made his television debut on Lux Video Theatre (1953). One of his most memorable bits was in The Magnificent Seven (1960), in which he played Henry, the traveling salesman whose offer to pay for Joe the Indian’s funeral leads to Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen driving the hearse to Boot Hill.


Val Avery as Henry, the Good Samaritan in The Magnificent Seven.

So let's raise a boilermaker to Avery, a quite memorable Christmas, and another equally memorable trip into The Twilight Zone.