Today, July 3rd, This Day in Twilight Zone History and The Twilight Zone Encyclopedia remember actor Tim O'Connor, who was born on this day in 1927.
Perhaps channeling Commander J.J. Adams, the Leslie Nielsen character in Forbidden Planet, O'Connor played Colonel Sloane, a rescue expedition leader who arrives on a desolate desert planet to rescue a previous space exploration group in "On Thursday We Leave For Home."
Sloane is professional, kind-hearted and delighted to rescue the 200 ragged colonists in this brilliant Rod Serling-scripted one-hour episode from Season 4, but he eventually comes into conflict with their previous leader: one Captain William Benteen (a terrific James Whitmore), the previous commander who has his own agenda for the colonists.
O'Connor, who passed away this past April andmade a career of playing staunch military and police roles, is perhaps best known for his role as ex-convict turned newspaper publisher Elliot Carson on the long-running Peyton Place (416 episodes) nighttime soap.
So on this the anniversary of Tim O'Connor's birth, let's toast a patrician pro who brought hope to the residents of a misbegotten alien world in The Twilight Zone.