Today, June 30th, This Day in Twilight Zone History and The Twilight Zone Encyclopedia remember character actor George Chandler, who was born on this day in 1898.
Chandler (1898-1985) portrayed the old man who sells used car dealer Harvey Hunnicut (Jack Carson) a vintage Model A Ford in "The Whole Truth." He pays the paltry sum of $25, but Hunnicut soon learns that the car is truth serum on four wheels.
I remember the soothing voice of George Chandler from the first regular series I ever watched: Lassie, on which he played kindly Uncle Petrie Martin. Born a few months after the sinking of the U.S. battleship Maine – an event that precipitated the Spanish American War - Chandler later, according to IMDb, accrued 457 acting credits and was a favorite of director William Wellman, who put him in 20 of his films.
Two bits stand out for me – he's the senior airplane mechanic who introduces whistling John Wayne in The High and the Mighty and he's the infantry recruit in Battleground, whose comment to the soldier who's trying to over-explain the workings of the M1 rifle was, "Look you're not trying to sell it to me, you're just telling me how it works."
On television, Chandler was also a regular opposite Robert Sterling on Ichabod and Me (1961-1963, 36 episodes), a situation comedy that may have inspired Rod Serling to hire Robert Sterling to play the lead in "Printer's Devil."
So let's hoist a brew to another legendary character who, however brief it was, made an appearance and left an imprint in a memorable episode on the show where there are more imprints than the Chinese Theatre, The Twilight Zone.