Today, November 9th, This Day in Twilight Zone History celebrates the birth of two memorable TZ veterans: Ed Wynn ("One for the Angels," "Ninety Years Without Slumbering") and Suzanne Lloyd ("Perchance to Dream").
The same year that Wynn (1886-1966) made his Twilight Zone debut as kindly NYC street peddler Lou Bookman in "One for the Angels," he starred opposite Millie Perkins and Joseph Schildkraut in director George Stevens' celebrated feature film adaptation of The Diary of Anne Frank, playing Dussell the dentist. Because of that performance, I always thought Wynn was a heavy dramatic actor. However, he was a well-known comic long before he recited dramatic lines. as his comedy career dated all the way back to the days of vaudeville.
Rod Serling first gave Wynn a dramatic part in his celebrated boxing drama "Requiem for a Heavyweight," and Wynn was excellent, working with another TZ veteran, his son, Keenan.
Suzanne Lloyd made an equally strong impression as Maya the Cat Girl, a voluptuous she-demon who inhabits the nightmares of Edward Hall (Richard Conte), a traumatized draftsman with a heart affliction, in the haunting "Perchance to Dream." Lloyd reveled in a role that allowed her to gyrate 'round the sleep-deprived Hall, laughing, taunting, cavorting – anything to send him over the proverbial edge.
Here's to two more elegant stitches in the celestial quilt we call The Twilight Zone.
To TZ fans in the New England area, please join me in downtown Boston on Friday, November 10 for a signing at the Barnes & Noble in the Prudential Center from 5:30-7:30PM.