Twilight Zone Jess-Belle hero

July 26 in Twilight Zone History: Remembering actor James Best, actress Alma Platt and cinematographer George T. Clemens

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Jul 26, 2018

Today, July 26th, This Day in Twilight Zone History and The Twilight Zone Encyclopedia celebrate the births of a trifecta of Zone veterans: James Best (1926), Alma Platt (1891) and cinematographer George T. Clemens (1902).

Best (1926-2015) was a TZ staple, featured in "The Grave" as Johnny 'Blabbermouth' Rob, starring as the title character in "The Last Rites of Jeff Myrtlebank," and romancing Anne Francis and Laura Devon in "Jess-Belle."

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Marie Holt (Alma Platt, right) and her husband (Joseph Schildkraut) learn the bitter truth in "The Trade-Ins."

Alma Platt (1891-1976) starred in "The Trade-Ins" as Marie Holt, an elderly woman who joins her dying husband (Joseph Schildkraut) in a quest for beautiful and youthful new bodies.

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Cinematographer George T. Clemens, a prince among cameramen, was nominated three times for the Emmy for his work on TZ, winning in 1961. 

George T. Clemens (1902-1992) was a true hero of The Twilight Zone, filming an astonishing 117 of 156 episodes and winning the Emmy in 1961. Watch those episodes on Blu-ray today and you will be impressed with their sharpness and clarity. Unlike the six episodes that were unfortunately shot on video in the second season, Clemens' output will stand the test of time. And, yes, he was a relative of a certain gentleman with the pseudonym Mark Twain.

So let's raise a cup of moonshine, a goblet of youth serum and a trophy full of beer to Best, Platt and Clemens, three more parts of the elaborate puzzle of creativity we call The Twilight Zone.