65 episodes across 3 seasons, did you know that all these famous people guest starred on The Twilight Zone?
The first of three revivals of Rod Serling”s acclaimed 1959–64 television series The Twilight Zone began on September 27th 1985. Across its three seasons and 65 episodes, the anthology series presented 110 tales of fantastical, disturbing and unusual events. Part sci-fi, part horror, part paranormal, and part moral commentary, The Twilight Zone featured a huge amount of guest stars, many of whom were well known at the time but many others appeared as relative unknown actors still early in their career. We”ve rounded up 20 of these guest stars for you, how many did you know had starred in The Twilight Zone?
1. Bruce WillisAppearing in the premiere of The Twilight Zone, broadcast September 27th 1985 and directed by Wes Craven, Shatterday saw Bruce Willis play two versions of his character Peter Jay Novins. An early part for Willis, filmed between Moonlighting season”s one and two, it”s easy to date all his roles from the mid 1980s to the early 1990s by following his receding hairline!
2. Danny KayeStar of the silver screen, Danny Kaye made 17 movies, most notably Wonder Man (1945), The Kid from Brooklyn (1946), The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947), The Inspector General (1949), Hans Christian Andersen (1952), White Christmas (1954), and The Court Jester (1956). Making one of his final screen appearances in The Twilight Zone season one episode Paladin Of the Lost Hour, Kaye played Mr. Gaspar, the protector of a magical timepiece, a pocket watch that holds the Lost Hour.
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3. Morgan FreemanMorgan Freeman won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in Million Dollar Baby and the Golden Globe for Best Actor with Driving Miss Daisy. That latter movie was still four years away when Freeman guest starred in the season one The Twilight Zone episode Dealer”s Choice. The plot seeing a group of friends (inc. Freeman), playing cards together, who soon begin to suspect that their guest is the Devil.
4. Helen MirrenMirren was a big star long before Prime Suspect debuted in 1992, with acclaimed roles on both stage and screen. She still find time to cross over into The Twilight Zone for the 1985 episode Dead Woman”s Shoes (a remake of the original Twilight Zone series episode “Dead Man”s Shoes”). Mirren played a shy woman who tries on a pair of high heels at a thrift store that make her assertive and self-confident. Oh, and then they send her on a murderous mission.
5. Gary ColeThe great Gary Cole had one of his first on-screen roles in The Twilight Zone season one episode Her Pilgrim Soul. As Daniel, one of two scientists, he co-creates a holographic projector which, on its own, displays a human fetus that subsequently grows into a baby, then a young girl, then a woman…
6. Pam DawberOne half of Mork & Mindy (clue: she wasn”t Mork), Pam Dawber played an overworked and underappreciated secretary who, thanks to a malfunctioning Xerox machine, is sent into a parallel reality where secretaries are honored and revered. But Can She Type? being the name of this season one episode.
7. Elliott GouldWith a career including starring roles in the original film version of M*A*S*H, Capricorn One, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, as well as playing Ross and Monica”s dad on Friends, Elliott Gould has quite some resume. Adding to that is his guest starring role in the 1986 The Twilight Zone episode The Misfortune Cookie.
8. Lane SmithYou may well know Lane Smith as The Daily Planet editor Perry White in the TV series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, but here in the 1986 Twilight Zone episode Profile In Silver he played a history professor from the future sent back to observe the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. If that doesn”t make front page of The Planet I don”t know what will.
9. William PetersonBest known for his role as Gil Grissom in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, a young William Peterson had a very early role in the season one episode Need To Know. Peterson plays a government agent who is sent to a small town to help investigate a bizarre outbreak of insanity which is spreading through the town.
10. Victor GarberHe started his career as Jesus in the Broadway production of Godspell and went on to win four Tony Awards for his stage work, Victor Garber then shared his talent with the world on film and screen; from Titanic, Alias, Argo, Legends Of Tomorrow and a whole host of other classic roles, including a guest appearances in the final episode of season one of The Twilight Zone. Titled A Day In Beumont, Garber is one half of a young couple who witness the landing of a flying saucer and subsequently find themselves in the midst of an alien invasion.
11. Jenny AgutterIn the second story of the first season finale of The Twilight Zone, Jenny Agutter of The Railway Children, Logan”s Run and, later, The Avengers fame, guest starred in a fantasy tale set in modern-day England where the last of King Arthur”s knights teams with Morgan le Fay (Agutter) to stop the return of Merlin. The story was called The Last Defender Of Camelot and, fact fans, the teleplay for it was penned by none other than future Game Of Thrones novelist George R.R. Martin.
12. Shelley DuvallShelley Duvall guest starred in the opening episode of season two of The Twilight Zone. You may well have seen her as Olive Oyl in Robert Altman”s Popeye, as Wendy Torrance in Stanley Kubrick”s horror film The Shining, and in Terry Gilliam”s fantasy film Time Bandits. Here in a story titled A Saucer Of Loneliness, Duvall plays a woman who has a close encounter of the flying saucer kind.
13. Fred SavageBefore The Wonder Years and long, long before his very successful directorial career, Fred Savage guest starred on the season two episode What Are Friends For?
14. Terry FarrellThe After Hours was a season two remake of an original 1960 Twilight Zone episode featuring a young woman pursued by mysterious strangers. That young woman was played by Terry Farrell, who is probably best known as Jadzia Dax in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
15. George WendtIn the same episode as Terry Farrell, but in a different story titled The World Next Door, Norm from Cheers, aka George Wendt, finds a door in his basement. Sadly for Norm, it didn”t lead straight into the Boston bar he so loved.
16. Robert KnepperWell looky looky looky, what do we have here? It”s a very young Robert Knepper in one of his first on-screen roles. You”ve likely seen him in Prison Break and Heroes, but back in the 1987 second season episode Joy Ride his character Alonzo took his friends for a joyride in a recently deceased man”s classic car. But this being The Twilight Zone, Alonzo starts to act increasingly irrationally during the ride. Cue the strange shenanigans.
17. Marc SingerThe third season episode Extra Innings saw Mark Singer, best known for his roles in the Beastmaster film series and as Mike Donovan in the original 1980s TV series V, portray ex-baseball player Ed Hamner. Lame from an injury and forced to retire early, Hamner is given a baseball card from the early 1900s that transports him to the past and the player he used to be.
18. Ted ShacklefordAs Gary Ewing, Ted Shackleford was well known for starring on Knots Landing and making the odd cameo in big-brother show Dallas. Here in 1988 he guest starred in The Twilight Zone episode The Crossing. Shackleford plays a stressed-out priest who is haunted by the sight of a station wagon with a young girl inside that keeps crashing.
19. Dean StockwellHaving guest starred in the original The Twilight Zone series, back in the 1960 episode A Quality Of Mercy, Dean Stockwell (of Quantum Leap, Blue Velvet, Long Days Journey Into Night, To Live And Die In L.A., Battlestar Galactica and so, so much more) made a welcome return to the Zone in the season three episode Room 2426. Stockwell plays Martin Decker, who is confined to a special room for acts and thoughts against the state. They want the formula for a weapon he does not want to reveal. Escape for Martin comes from the mind.
20. Janet LeighStar of the silver screen, shower-regreter in the film Psycho, one time wife of Tony Curtis and mother of Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh arranged a Rendezvous In A Dark Place. That rendezvous took place within The Twilight Zone, during season three, where Leigh”s character was obsessed with death to the point that when an injured thief breaks into her home she lets him die and waits for Death to come and collect him.Did you know all those people guest-starred in the 1980s revival of The Twilight Zone? And can you name anymore? Let us know in the comments below and we will update the list.
Tags# Bruce Willis# Dean Stockwell# Feature# Gary Cole# George RR Martin# Helen Mirren# Morgan Freeman# Robert Knepper# The Twilight Zone# Trivia# TV# Victor Garber