About Rod Serling
But it took "The Twilight Zone" to make him a star, in a way few writers ever attained. The darkly handsome Serling hosted the clever, adult series, introducing each episode in his own sly, velvety-voiced style. The high quality of the show not only attracted many old-time guest stars (Ed Wynn, Gladys Cooper, Buster Keaton, Burgess Meredith, Franchot Tone), but introduced several newcomers to the public (Robert Redford, Jean Marsh, Inger Stevens, Elizabeth Montgomery, Burt Reynolds, a very young Ann Jillian). When the show went off the air (still at the height of its popularity), Serling never quite regained his footing.
Serling's dark western series, "The Loner", lasted only one season (1965-66) on CBS, and his movie "The Doomsday Flight" (NBC, 1966) tortured him by inspiring an actual hijacking.
Serling's big-screen career never really took off. He wrote a handful of films, among them "Saddle the Wind" (1958), "Seven Days in May" (1964) and "Assault on a Queen" (1966), but his only big hit was the 1968 sci-fi classic "Planet of the Apes" (written with Michael Wilson). He also hosted a game show, "The Liar's Club" (syndicated, 1969), and lent his distinctive voice and image to many documentaries and advertisements. Serling's next series, "Night Gallery" (NBC, 1971-73), was no "Twilight Zone", but it did occasionally shine--the premiere, directed by neophyte Steven Spielberg, brilliantly showcased Joan Crawford. In his last years, Serling wrote the TV movies "A Storm in Summer" and "A Storm in Winter" (both NBC, 1970), and "Oath: The Sad and Lonely Sundays" (ABC, 1976). A heavy smoker, Serling was only 50 when he died during bypass surgery in 1975.
|Carolyn Louise Serling. married on July 31, 1948; survived him|
|Antioch College, Yellow Springs , Ohio|
|Last writing for TV included the ABC medical anthology drama pilot, "Oath: The Sad and Lonely Sundays"|
|Created and hosted the NBC horror and fantasy anthology series, "Night Gallery/Rod Serling's Night Gallery"|
|Created the short-lived ABC drama series, "The New People"|
|Hosted the syndicated game show, "The Liar's Club"|
|Wrote first TV-movie, "The Doomsday Flight", for NBC|
|Created the CBS Western series, "The Loner"|
|Created, executive produced, hosted and often wrote for the CBS horror and fantasy anthology series, "Twilight Zone"|
|Wrote for the CBS suspense anthology series, "Pursuit"|
|First credit as screenwriter, "Saddle the Wind"|
|First teleplay adapted for film, "The Rack"|
|Wrote for the syndicated anthology series, "Matinee Theater"|
|Wrote for the CBS adventure series, "Appointment with Adventure"|
|Earliest TV writing experience, creating episodes of the anthology drama programs, "Kraft Television Theater" and "Studio One"|
|Worked as manager of Antioch College's radio station|
|Served as paratrooper in Pacific, WWII|