Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone premiered on October 2, 1959, and over the course of its five-year run would churn out 156 episodes and cement itself as a classic of science fiction television. Its influence would be felt in any number of shows and movies that would follow — from The Walking Dead to Stranger Things — and beyond, becoming one of the enduring pop culture staples of its era. This Day in Twilight Zone History presents key commemorative facts about the greatest science fiction/fantasy television series of all time, presented by author Steven Jay Rubin, whose latest book is The Twilight Zone Encyclopedia (arriving this October). Whether it’s a key performer’s birth or death, the date an episode debuted, or any other related fact, This Day in Twilight Zone History presents a unique aspect of the rich history of this television series and the extraordinary team that created it.
Today, August 16th, we wish happy birthday to three extraordinary ladies of The Twilight Zone: Julie Newmar, Ann Blyth, and Lois Nettleton. Julie portrayed the female Devil – Miss Devlin – who torments an obnoxious corporate raider (Albert Salmi) in “Of Late I Think of Cliffordville.” Audiences, of course, also remember her as the sexy Catwoman on the ABC Batman series.
Ann Blyth, meanwhile, played a wicked Hollywood actress who seems obsessed with luring helpless young men to her boudoir in “Queen of the Nile.”
And, finally, Lois Nettleton is a Big Apple painter trying to survive the ultimate global warming moment – the Earth has shifted orbit and is heading towards old Sol - in “The Midnight Sun.” Although, sadly, Lois is no longer with us (she died at 80 in 2008) – Julie and Ann are still thriving in Hollywood circles – perhaps benefiting from their own form of magic Zone dust. Here’s to the ladies!