Rod Serling, the mastermind and creator behind the TV series The Twilight Zone, used his insanely popular show to hold up a mirror to the dark side of society while telling the chilling stories including genres of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and the like.
One of my personal favorite episodes of all time is 'The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street,' which tells the story of a witch hunt that occurs in an innocent-looking suburb in Anywhere, U.S.A.
It is this episode in which I first learned about the concept of mob mentality, and the evil that takes over the neighborhood is more horrific to watch than most slasher films.
If you were to watch the series, you would instantly recognize so many famously familiar faces. While some got their start on this mind-opening series, other actors were already known when they appeared in an episode.
Below is a list of phenomenal actors who appeared in this deeply mind-blowing TV show that exposed us to the sometimes terrifying psyche of mankind.
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1. Ron Howard
Ron Howard was just a young one when he appeared in the role of this young boy playing marbles in the street when a man named Martin Sloan visits the town in which he grew up in.
Episode: 'Walking Distance'
2. Robert Redford
What an absolute babe! Redford had made a few appearances in a few different TV shows here and there before he acted in an episode of The Twilight Zone.
He portrayed a young cop who is injured while on duty. He knocks on a older woman's door, hopes that she will help him, but she is instead too afraid to open the door. He ends up changing her life in a dramatic way.
Episode: 'Nothing in the Dark'
3. Burt Reynolds
Reynolds' episode follows a ghostwriter who is visited by William Shakespeare's ghost, who ends up helping him write a script for a famous actor.
Episode: 'The Bard'
4. George Takei
The episode Takei acted in was taken out of syndication, as it contained an incredibly racially charged plot. Takei played a young Japanese-American who gets into it with a World War II veteran named Fenton.
Episode: 'The Encounter'
5. Sydney Pollack
Pollack acted as a recently replaced director for a play that shows no mercy towards his actors, and takes no issue with demanding and pushing the limits of his cast.
Episode: 'Trouble with Templeton'
6. Dennis Hopper
Inspired by the ghost of Hitler, Hopper played the role of an American Neo-Nazi who figures out how to better lead his hate group. This episode's commentary discussed how hate makes people as horrible as Hitler immortal.
Episode: 'He's Alive'
7. Robert Duvall
Duvall had appeared in a few roles on television, as well as his one major role as Boo Radley in To Kill a Mockingbird before he appeared in 'The Miniature.' He appeared as a man who is obsessed with a doll found inside a dollhouse, and he eventually falls in love with it... Yep.
Due to a lawsuit, this episode didn't circulate until nearly 21 years later during the Silver Anniversary.
Episode: 'The Miniature'
It's hard to forget that some of our most favorite actors, as well as the most influential, all had to start somewhere. Most weren't born famous and on the big screen. Who'da thunk.
Whether it be Redford or Duvall, I am sure they are incredibly appreciative to The Twilight Zone for helping them further their career.