'Twilight Zone' Actress Christine White Dies Aged 86

D.C. native starred alongside William Shater in "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet"

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    NEWSLETTERS

    CBS/Getty
    Christine White (left) alongside William Shatner in the "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" episode of "The Twilight Zone"

    Christine Lamson White, a D.C. native best remembered for her acting role in one of the most famous episodes of "The Twilight Zone" TV series, passed away in April at Brinton Woods Nursing Home. A death notice was first published May 11 in the Carroll County Times

    White was born in Washington D.C., graduated from Wilson High School, and pursued a Masters degree in speech and drama at Catholic University before moving to New York to pursue her acting career. After moving to Los Angeles, White appeared in such television shows as "Father Knows Best," "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," "Perry Mason," "Bonanza," and "The Fugitive."

    But her most famous performance was as Julia Wilson in the "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" episode of "The Twilight Zone," which aired in October 1963. In the episode, White's husband, played by William Shatner, claims to see a gremlin tampering with an airplane engine in the middle of a stormy flight. However, when White and others on the plane try to see for themselves, the gremlin moves out of sight.  Shatner's character is not believed due to the fact that he had recently suffered a nervous breakdown while flying on an airplane.

    The episode became one of the most famous in the history of the series and was remade as a segment of the 1983 film Twilight Zone: The Movie. It has been referenced and parodied in various TV shows and movies. White returned to the D.C. area in later years to care for her aging mother. According to IMDB.com, her last screen credit was playing a secretary in a 1976 TV movie about the life of actor James Dean.