In the battle for Leyte — some of the fiercest fighting of the war — many of Serling's comrades were killed, and bomb shrapnel hit his wrist and knee.
The injuries earned him a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star, but would plague him for the rest of his life.
The Parlor City — which escaped the brunt of the Depression thanks to Endicott Johnson and IBM Corp.
— provided an idyllic childhood filled with carefree summer nights and carousel rides, and he would later incorporate his yearning for those days into the autobiographical Twilight Zone classic Walking Distance.
Those of us who knew Rod Serling only through 50 years of Twilight Zone reruns have a definite picture of the man in our minds.
As an episode ends and the last twist of the tale is revealed, the camera pans over to where the show's creator has waited just off-screen. A cigarette is often wedged between his fingers, the smoke curling around him as he delivers the story's epilogue with deep-voiced staccato precision.
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He earned critical acclaim and an Emmy Award, and Kraft Television Theatre restaged the live production three weeks after its initial airing — the first "rerun" of the television era.
You get to interact with the cam girls or cam boys, you get to control the action and you can really feel like it’s happening in front of you.
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Serling faced another blow just as the war ended: the death of his father, Sam, of a heart attack at 52.
The Army did not grant Serling emergency leave, and he could not return to Binghamton for the funeral.