Friday, June 1, 2012
From my collection: Mary Webster & The Twilight Zone
“And now for something completely different”: One of the best remembered science fiction television series is, of course, the original Rod Serling Twilight Zone and among the most beloved episodes is the Richard Matheson scripted space travel adventure “Death Ship” (original air date: February 7, 1963). Set in the futuristic 1997, the show featured a group of astronauts arriving on an unknown planet only to find replicas of themselves, dead and encapsulated in their apparently crash-landed spacecraft. Appearing as Astronaut Ross Ford's late wife in a flashback – or is it a hallucination? – is lovely Mary Webster, who was making her second appearance in a Twilight Zone episode. Back in 1960 Webster played jazz trumpeter Jack Klugman's neighbor in “A Passage for Trumpet” (original air date: May 20, 1960), wherein the down-and-out Jack gets a second chance for happiness with Miss Webster by none other than the archangel Gabriel.
From Chicago and a 1951 graduate of the famed Pasadena Playhouse, Mary Webster had been on Broadway opposite Tallulah Bankhead in the comedy “Dear Charles” in 1954-'55 prior to making her screen debut opposite Henry Fonda in Anthony Mann's The Tin Star (1957). Jerry Lewis, who claimed to have “discovered” her, featured her in The Delicate Delinquent (1957) and she appeared in quite a few TV westerns including Buckskin, The Restless Gun, Tombstone Territory, Colt '45, and Tales of Wells Fargo before retiring into private life in the mid 1960s. Confusingly, on the Internet Movie Database the credits for this Mary Webster are mixed with those of a British character actress of the same name (Onedin Line).