Tuesday, October 31, 2000

Rod Serling Trivia

He Was A Seasoned WWII Veteran And Was Awarded The Purple Heart
  • Joined the United States Army on January 16th, 1943
  • Was a paratrooper and served in the 511th Parachute Infantry Regiment in the Pacific theater
  • Was disappointed at being sent to the Pacific [Being Jewish, he wanted to fight the Germans instead]
  • Was wounded by a Japanese anti-aircraft artillery weapon while on the ground 
    • The weapon was converted by the enemy for close quarters city fighting 
  • Experienced ghastly and bizarre incidents during combat 
  • Removed thousands of pounds of dynamite from elaborate underground tunnels constructed by the Japanese
  • Saw his best friend decapitated by a food crate dropped by a U.S. re-supply plane
  • Shot and killed a Japanese soldier who was standing on third base in a baseball stadium
    • The incident occurred at the Rizal Baseball Stadium in Manila, Philippines
    • Manila was the 2nd worst city (behind Warsaw, Poland) in all of WWII for civilian mortality 
  • Returned home from active duty January 13th, 1946 with the following decorations 
    • Purple Heart
    • Asiatic Pacific Theater Medal [w/battle star]
    • Philippines Liberation Medal [w/battle star]
    • American Campaign Medal
    • National Defense Medal
    • Overseas Service Bar 
  • After WWII, he tested experimental parachutes for the U.S. Army at $500 per jump!

He Has Been Hailed As The Most Honored And Prolific Writer In The History Of Television
  • (6) Emmy's (1956, 1957, 1958, 1960, 1961 and 1964)
  • (3) Hugo Awards (1960, 1961, and 1962)
  • (2) Sylvania Awards (1955 and 1956)
  • (2) Christopher Awards (1956 and 1971)
  • George Foster Peabody Broadcasting Award (1957)
  • Golden Globe Award (1963)
  • Laurel Award for TV Writing Achievement (1976)
  • Television-Radio Writers' Award (1989)
  • Writers Guild Of America Awards (2001)
  • Look Magazine Television Award
  • Harcourt-Brace Award

Many Famous And 'Soon-To-Be' Famous Actors And Actresses Appeared On The Twilight Zone

Charles Bronson, Lee Marvin, Dennis Hopper, Burt Reynolds, William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, James Doohan, George Takei, Anne Francis, Robert Duvall, Carol Burnett, Elizabeth Montgomery, Agnes Moorhead, Dick York, Jack Klugman, Burgess Merideth, Cliff Robertson, Jack Warden, Jonathan Winters, Martin Landau, Ed Wynn, Martin Balsam, Telly Savalas, Claude Akins, Roddy McDowall, James Coburn, Art Carney, Robert Cummings, Don Rickles, Peter Falk, Cloris Leachman, Donald Pleasance, Albert Salmi, Mickey Rooney, Ted Knight, Rod Taylor, Buddy Ebsen, Inger Stevens, Dennis Weaver, Buster Keaton, and Robert Redford, just to name a few......Whew!!!!

He Was Very Active In Several TV Shows And Movies After The Twilight Zone Series
  • He appeared in several TV shows including:
    • Ichabod And Me [Guest appearance aired on 03/20/1962]
    • Match Game [Guest Star - 05/25-29/1964, 06/10-14/1963, 09/02-06/1963 & 01/13-17/1964]
    • The Jack Benny Program [Cameo appearance in a Twilight Zone Sketch aired on 01/15/1963]
    • Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In [Cameo appearances]
      • Episode #22 aired on 11/11/1968
      • Episode #73 aired on 10/26/1970
      • Episode #79 aired on 12/07/1970
    • Narrator For Several TV Documentaries
      • The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau
      • In Search of Ancient Mysteries
      • UFOs: Past, Present, and Future
      • In Search of Ancient Astronauts
      • The Outer Space Connection
      • UFOs: It Has Begun
      • The Unexplained
      • Deadly Fathoms
      • The Exiles
    • Ironside [Episode: "Bubble, Bubble, Toil and Murder" aired on 02/03/1972] 
      • Guest appearance character was Thyros, the magic shop owner 
      • The episode has been removed from YouTube but if you ever find it, Rod Serling appears at 14:47

He Wrote Several Movie Scripts And Screenplays, Some Of Which Include:
  • Patterns (TV show aired on 1/12/1955) 
    • Serling's first Emmy and was instrumental in launching his career
    • The first television show to ever be broadcast a second time due to popularity 
  • Requiem For A Heavyweight (TV show aired on 10/11/1956) 
    • Serling's second Emmy
    • Serling also received five additional awards for 'Requiem':
      • George Foster Peabody Broadcasting Award (First writer to ever win this award)
      • Sylvania Award
      • Writers Guild of America Award
      • Television-Radio Writers Annual Award
      • Harcourt-Brace Award 
  • The Comedian (TV show aired on 2/14/1957) 
    • Serling's third Emmy 
  • The Twilight Zone (TV series aired from 1959 through 1964) 
    • Serling wrote 92 of The Twilight Zone's 156 episodes 
      • Serling's fourth Emmy (1960) and Serling's fifth Emmy (1961) 
    • Nominated for an Emmy (1962) 
  • It's Mental Work (TV show aired on 11/20/63) 
    • Serling's sixth Emmy 
  • A Storm in Summer 
    • Serling was nominated for an Emmy in 1970 
    • Serling was nominated for an Emmy again in 2001, 26 years after his death!
    • Serling won the Writers Guild of America Award for this script in 2001 
  • Climax! 
    • Serling was nominated for an Emmy in 1956 for this script 
  • A Town Has Turned To Dust 
    • Serling was nominated for an Emmy in 1959 for this script 
  • Seven Days In May 
    • Nominated for the 1965 Writers Guild Association Award 
  • Assault On A Queen 
    • Frank Sinatra was the star of this movie and hired Serling to write the script 
  • Rod Serling's Night Gallery 
    • 2 Shows nominated for an Emmy in 1971
    • At 19 years old, Steven Spielberg's directing debut was "Eyes", an episode in the TV pilot for Night Gallery 
  • The Time Element (TV show aired on 11/24/58) 
    • One of Serling's first science fiction teleplays which helped pitch The Twilight Zone to CBS executives 
  • Planet Of The Apes (Movie - co-written with Michael Wilson)
  • The Velvet Alley (TV show aired on 1/22/1959)
  • The Rank and File (TV show aired on 5/28/1959)
  • The Enemy Within
  • The Man
  • The Doomsday Flight
  • In The Presence Of Mine Enemies
  • Carol For Another Christmas
  • Certain Honorable Men
  • End Of The Road
  • For All Time
  • Incident In An Alley
  • Saddle The Wind
  • The Rack
  • The Loner
  • The Yellow Canary
  • Time Travelers

For More Reading:
  • As I Knew Him: My Dad, Rod Serling by Anne Serling - New York, Citadel Trade, 2013 - ISBN# 0-806-53615-2
  • SERLING: The Rise And Twilight Of Television's Last Angry Man by Gordon F. Sander - New York, Dutton, 1992 - ISBN# 0-525-93550-9
  • ROD SERLING: The Dreams And Nightmares Of Life In The Twilight Zone by Joel Engel - Chicago, Contemporary Books, 1989 - ISBN# 0-8092-4538-8
  • THE TWILIGHT ZONE COMPANION by Marc Scott Zicree - Hollywood, Silman-James Press, 1992 - ISBN# 1-879505-09-6 and New York, Bantam Books, 1982 - ISBN# 0-553-01416-1

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