Rod Serling

TV Personality / Screenwriter / TV Producer

Born: 25 December 1924
Died: 28 June 1975 (heart failure)
Birthplace: Syracuse, New York
Best known as: The creator and host of The Twilight Zone
Rod Serling was a successful television writer of the 1950s and '60s, known especially as the creator and host of the eerie series The Twilight Zone (1959-65). Rod Serling grew up in upstate New York, served as a paratrooper in World War II (1943-46), and then studied literature at Ohio's Antioch College, where he earned a bachelor's degree in 1950. While still in college he began a long and prolific career as a writer of teleplays. During the 1950s he was especially known for serious dramas that tackled sensitive social issues. His hits included Patterns (1955), Requiem for a Heavyweight (1956) and A Town Has Turned to Dust (1958). Weary of network censorship, Serling turned to the world of science fiction for The Twilight Zone, a collection of moralistic tales in supernatural settings. During the show's run Serling wrote more than 90 of the 156 episodes and won two Emmys. His ominous introduction to every episode -- "You're traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind..." -- became the stuff of TV legend. Sterling also wrote feature films, including a remake of Requiem for a Heavyweight ( 1962), Seven Days in May (1964, starring Kirk Douglas), and Planet of the Apes (1968, written with Michael Wilson). A frequent lecturer on college campuses, Serling also held a teaching position at Ithaca College in New York (1970-75) and produced and hosted the occult series Night Gallery (1969-73). He died during heart surgery in 1975, at the age of 50.
Extra credit: Rod Serling also won Emmy awards for the teleplays Patterns, Requiem for a Heavyweight, The Comedian (1957) and It's Mental Work (1964)... During World War II Serling was injured in combat in The Philippines... Serling's first job out of college was at Cincinnati radio station WLW.

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More on Rod Serling from Fact Monster:

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  • Selected Biographies: S - Selected biographies of well-known people and fictional characters

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