Today, July 23rd, This Day in Twilight Zone History and The Twilight Zone Encyclopedia remember actress Lili Darvas, who passed away on this day in 1974 at the age of 72.
Darvas co-starred in "Long Distance Call" as the grandmother of little Billy Bayles (Bill Mumy). Grandma Bayles and her grandson have a very close relationship – so close that when she passes, little Billy starts to get telephone calls on his little toy telephone... telephone calls from beyond the grave. Talk about long distance!
Darvas (1902-1974) was the widow of playwright Ferenc Molnar. She had made her television debut opposite Darren McGavin in "The Clean-Up" episode of Crime Photographer (1951). Born in Budapest, Hungary, her feature film career dates back to 1935 and her starring role in director Henry Koster's Affairs of Maupassant, a German film that also featured character actor S.Z. Sakall. Additional big screen credits include Meet Me In Las Vegas (1956) and Cimarron (1960).
So let's raise a cup of hot cocoa to Darvas, the quite communicative Grandma Bayles and the show in which keeping in touch takes on a new meaning: The Twilight Zone.