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Terry Becker, who starred on TV’s Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and played a condemned man in a memorable episode of The Twilight Zone, has died. He was 93.
Becker, who also directed and produced episodes of the ABC series Room 222, died Dec. 30 in the Los Angeles area, his family announced.
Becker portrayed Chief Petty Officer Francis Ethelbert Sharkey on 71 episodes of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. Starring Richard Basehart and based on Irwin Allen’s 1961 adventure film, it aired on ABC from 1964-68.
He joined the show in the second season after Henry Kulky, who played Chief Petty Officer Curly Jones on the series, died of a heart attack in February 1965.
In the 1964 Twilight Zone episode, “I Am the Night — Color Me Black,” Becker portrayed Jagger, a man found guilty of murder — wrongfully— who is set to be hanged that morning at sunrise. The sun never comes up, but he’s executed anyway; the town later learns that the sky has stayed black in other places of hate around the world.
Becker was an associate producer on Room 222, a high-school set series that starred Lloyd Haynes as a history teacher and Michael Constantine (who also was in Becker’s Twilight Zone episode) as a principal. He directed several episodes as well.
A native of New York, Becker started out as an actor and appeared in Starlight Theatre, Gunsmoke, The Millionaire, The Asphalt Jungle and Combat! and starred in the 1960 crime drama Code of Silence.
He mainly worked behind the camera after Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and directed for such series as Mod Squad, Love, American Style, The Brady Bunch, Mission: Impossible and M*A*S*H and produced telefilms.
He also partnered in a production company with actor Carroll O’Connor in the 1970s.
Survivors include his wife, Erlinda, children Joseph and Anna, grandchildren Savannah, Jack and James and brother Sidney.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that a donation be made to the Weizmann Institute of Science of Rehovot, Israel.
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