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November 26 in Twilight Zone History: Remembering actor Adam Williams ('A Most Unusual Camera')

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Nov 26, 2017

Today, November 26, This Day in Twilight Zone History remembers actor Adam Williams, who was born on this day in 1922.

Williams (1922-2006), whose real name was Adam Berg, co-starred in two TZ episodes. In "The Hitch-Hiker," he's a kindly U.S. Navy sailor whom frazzled Nan Adams (Inger Stevens) invites to accompany her on a cross-country car trip. In "A Most Unusual Camera," he's Woodward, the conniving brother who joins his sister and brother-in-law in a plan to make a fortune at the racetrack on a camera that films the future.

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Adam Williams played a decidedly sympathetic sailor to Inger Stevens' frantic Nan Adams in "The Hitch-Hiker."

You might not know Adam Williams by name, but if you've seen Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest, you definitely remember him as knife-wielding Valerian, who kidnaps Cary Grant and later stabs a U.N. diplomat (Philip Ober, from TZ's "Spur of the Moment"). MGM had a lot of actors under contract in the late 1950s and early '60s, and thus it's not surprising to see significant crossover between film and TV.

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In a classic case of mistaken identity, Valerian (Adam Williams, right) and Licht (Robert Ellenstein, left) inadvertently kidnap Manhattan advertising executive Roger Thornhill (Cary Grant, center) in Alfred Hitchcock's tremendously entertaining North by Northwest.

Although he was typecast as a heavy, Adam Williams could play sympathetic characters, too. In Jack Arnold's The Space Children, he plays a concerned scientist/father figure dealing with an alien creature found by local children.

Let us remember a fine supporting player in a show worth supporting forever: The Twilight Zone.