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July 21 in Twilight Zone History: Remembering actor Theodore Bikel ('Four O'Clock')

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Jul 21, 2018

Today, July 21st, This Day in Twilight Zone History and The Twilight Zone Encyclopedia remember actor Theodore Bikel, who passed away on this day in 2015 at the age of 91.

Bikel starred in "Four O'Clock" as Oliver Crangle, whom Rod Serling describes as "a dealer in petulance and poison." Out of his cluttered apartment – loaded with filing cabinets stuffed with information – Crangle attacks innocent human beings with lies, innuendos, misinformation and slander. He believes he's rescuing humanity from the dregs of society – but all he is a creepy miscreant dedicated to destroying the lives of others. Fortunately, in this case, The Twilight Zone metes out its own form of justice.

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Unfortunately for Crangle (Theodore Bikel), his only friend wears feathers. 

The first time I ever noticed Theodore Bikel, he portrayed German U-Boat commander Curt Jurgens' second in command in the cat-and-mouse World War II sea drama The Enemy Below. Bikel was also a Broadway star as the original Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music and he logged over 2,000 performances as Tevye the milkman in Fiddler on the Roof.

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Actor Theodore Bikel in one of his signature stage performances as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof.

So here's to remembering a terrific TZ performer who exposed the worst side of humanity in the dimension where extremes were the rule and not the exception: The Twilight Zone.

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