November 25 in Twilight Zone History: Remembering actor Jack Albertson ('I Dream of Genie')

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Mar 26, 2021, 10:00 PM EDT (Updated)

Today, November 25, This Day in Twilight Zone History remembers actor Jack Albertson, who passed away on this day in 1981.

Albertson (1907-1981) starred in two episodes: In "The Shelter" he's Jerry Harlowe, the good friend of bomb shelter owner Dr. Bill Stockton (Larry Gates), who refuses to allow Harlowe into the shelter when a nuclear threat is announced; and in "I Dream of Genie" he's the proverbial wish giver, although he's kind of stingy in that department, as lovestruck George Hanley (Howard Morris) is only allowed one wish.

Of course, stingy genies were not unprecedented. I still remember little Richard Eyer as Barani the Genie in The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958), who, when asked by Sinbad (Kerwin Matthews) for help scaling an impassable chasm, is thrown a rope. Jeez, talk about cheap. 


  In "The Shelter," Jerry Harlowe (Jack Albertson, left) pleads with Dr. Bill Stockton (Larry Gates) to gain entrance to his bomb shelter, but there's nothing doing. 

Jack Albertson was another actor who brought considerable stage and film experience to the small screen. In 1968, he won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as the father opposite Patricia Neal in The Subject Was Roses, a role that had also netted him a Tony Award on Broadway.


Jack Albertson (left) shined in "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" as feisty Grandpa Joe. 

Three years later, he was Grandpa Joe opposite Gene Wilder in the iconic Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

I still wonder how all those people slept in the same bed ...

So here's a gold ticket cheer for Jack Albertson and the class act he brought to two chapters in the ongoing saga we call The Twilight Zone.