Wednesday, November 04, 2015

RIP Charles Herbert (1948-2015)

Before Billy Mumy came along, Charles Herbert (Saperstein) was the go-to child actor for just about any movie or TV series that might have interested me during the first 10 years of my life. He was prominently featured in THE MONSTER THAT CHALLENGED THE WORLD, THE COLOSSUS OF NEW YORK, MEN INTO SPACE, THE FLY, THE BOY AND THE PIRATES, 13 GHOSTS, SCIENCE FICTION THEATER, ONE STEP BEYOND (two episodes), ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS, THE TWILIGHT ZONE ("I Sing the Body Electric"), THE OUTER LIMITS ("The Inheritors")... he was even cast as Patty's brother Ross in the pilot of THE PATTY DUKE SHOW (later replaced by Paul O'Keefe). Imagine doing all of that before you were 15! His filmography stops in 1968, when he was 20 - and after that, as happens with so many child actors whose futures are not properly cared for by their parents, it's said that he lived a very unhappy life until some friends pulled him out of his tailspin; in his 50s, he made some new friends and began meeting with fans on the movie convention circuit. I was saddened to hear that he died on Halloween night of a heart attack at the age of only 66.

Thank you, Charlie, for helping my generation to feel like a part of all those great stories.

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