Classic Movie Hub (CMH)


Rod Serling

Rod Serling

A news item in TV Guide the week of 7 December 1963 said that Serling would be visiting Hong Kong to film a television pilot called "Jeopardy Run.".

Along with many other famous faces, he was a pie-in-the-face recipient on "The Soupy Sales Show" (1959) (aka The Soupy Sales Show). Serling's turn came in 1962.

Appears on a 44¢ USA commemorative postage stamp, issued 11 August 2009, in the Early TV Memories issue honoring "Twilight Zone" (1959).

Born into a Reform Jewish family, he later became a Unitarian upon his marriage in 1948.

Brother of writer/novelist Robert J. Serling.

Communications professor at Ithaca College.

Graduated from Binghamton High School in 1943.

Had two daughters Julie and Anne.

He is considered to be one of the most influential writers in Television History and is credited with creating many storytelling methods still used today.

He owned a 1937 Cord automobile. During the making of "Liar's Club" (1969) game show, he would go riding with friend and fellow actor and car enthusiast Tommy Bond, who played Butch in the Little Rascals series from the 1940s.

He usually dictated his scripts into a tape recorder and had his secretary type them up.

He wanted Richard Egan to do the narration for "Twilight Zone" (1959) because of his rich, deep voice. However, due to strict studio contracts of the time, Egan was unable to. Serling said "It's Richard Egan or no one. It's Richard Egan, or I'll do the thing myself," which is exactly what happened.

Helen Foley, his schoolteacher, encouraged him in his writing and he always believed he owed his success to her. A teacher in Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983) was named Helen Foley in her honor.

His influences included H.G. Wells, Norman Corwin, Ernst Hemingway, Edgar Allen Poe, Edward R Murrow and H.P. Lovecraft.

Host of the syndicated radio show "The Zero Hour" (1973-1974).

In 1975, Serling had two severe heart attacks before entering Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester for heart bypass surgery. He had a third heart attack during the operation and died the following day, at the age of 50.

In 1994, 19 years after his death, he returned to "host" the pre-show area of "The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror" attraction at The Disney-MGM Studios Theme Park in Orlando, Florida. Through clever use of carefully edited vintage "Twilight Zone" (1959) footage, new footage processed in black & white and special additional dialogue recorded by a Serling soundalike (reportedly selected personally by Serling's widow, Carol), Serling appears in a "Twilight Zone" episode based on the ride's storyline and introduces theme park visitors to the attraction. This brief introduction, which is shown on a special vintage television in the attraction's pre-show area, represents the first "new" introduction of "The Twilight Zone" that he appears in since the series' end in 1964.

Interred at Interlaken Cemetery, Interlaken, New York, USA.

Military decorations from the Second World War include: World War II Victory Medal, American Campaign Service Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (with Arrowhead Device), Good Conduct Medal, Phillippine Liberation Medal (with 1 bronze service star), Purple Heart, Combat Infantryman Badge, Parachutist Badge, and Honorable Service Lapel Pin. Also retroactively authorized the Bronze Star Medal, based on receipt of the Combat Infantryman Badge during the Second World War.

Moved to Binghamton, New York at an early age, where he graduated.