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DEFENDANTS IN THE ‘TWILIGHT ZONE’ CASE

JOHN LANDIS

Film director Landis, 36, rose to fame in 1978 with the box office success of his first studio film, the anarchic “Animal House.”

A 10th-grade dropout from a Los Angeles alternative high school, Landis had worked as a studio “gofer” and a stunt man on European-made films before making his first independent movie at age 21, the low-budget “Schlock.” His later efforts include “The Blues Brothers” and “Kentucky Fried Movie,” two comedies released before the “Twilight Zone,” and “Trading Places,” the Michael Jackson “Thriller” video, “Spies Like Us,” “Into The Night” and “Three Amigos.” He is known for freewheeling comedy and elaborate special effects.

In the courtroom, Landis has exuded a professorial-like air, but on the film set, according to many witnesses, he was an intimidating presence, often yelling out his directions. The father of two children, Landis was accompanied to court each day by his wife, Deborah Nadoolman, a costume designer.

Landis was charged with five counts of involuntary manslaughter, stemming both from alleged criminal negligence and child endangerment.

PAUL STEWART

Stewart, 49, born in Hollywood and reared in Burbank, served as special-effects coordinator on the “Twilight Zone” film, overseeing a four-man crew responsible for the mortars and other simulated war effects.

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The round-faced, taciturn Stewart entered the film industry in 1961 as a welder in the prop manufacturing shop at MGM. His father, George, was also a prop man, who started in the film business as a driver for Jack Warner. Over the years, Stewart has worked on a wide range of TV shows and films, serving as head of special effects on the Monkees TV series and on movies that included “The Exterminator” and “Heaven’s Gate.”

Ironically, Stewart’s credits also include “Combat,” the hit TV series starring Vic Morrow, and “Stand Up and Be Counted,” the only feature film ever directed by Jackie Cooper, who testified as a prosecution witness in the “Twilight Zone” trial.

Twice divorced, Stewart lives in Grenada Hills.

He was charged with three counts of involuntary manslaughter for his role in the accident.

GEORGE FOLSEY JR.

The son of a well-known Hollywood camera operator, Folsey, 48, launched his own film career in 1961 as an apprentice film editor at KABC-TV. He later co-founded a production company that shot short films for the “Laugh-In” TV series.

In 1970, the personable West Los Angeles resident met Landis and assisted him in making “Schlock.” Since then, Folsey has worked on every Landis feature film, graduating from the post of film editor on “Animal House” and “Blues Brothers” to producer of “An American Werewolf in London” and co-producer of “Three Amigos.”

Folsey, as associate producer on the “Twilight Zone,” was responsible for hiring the two children who were killed on the set. He acknowledged illegally hiring the children without a state permit but denied having any idea the filming sequence would prove dangerous.

The father of two children, he was accompanied to court each day by his wife, Belinda.

He was charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter stemming from his role in hiring the children.

DAN ALLINGHAM

Allingham, a native of Long Beach, is a former actor who says he moved to the production end of the film business because “I like eating.”

The low-key one-time student body president at Banning High School in Wilmington began acting at the Pasadena Playhouse in the mid-1960s and later starred in several Chicago theater productions.

Eventually, he took jobs as an assistant director and producer on TV ads. “Twilight Zone” was the first of several films on which he has worked with Landis. The Los Angeles resident, who is single, has also served as associate producer on the films “Reuben, Reuben” and “A Breed Apart.” On the “Twilight Zone,” Allingham, 42, served as unit production manager.

He was charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter for his part in hiring the child actors.

DORSEY WINGO

Wingo, 40, is a former Army combat helicopter pilot who serves as director of operations for Western Helicopters Inc. in Rialto. Wingo piloted the helicopter that was struck by the fireball of a special-effects explosive, plummeted out of control and killed the three actors. By all accounts a highly skilled pilot, Wingo flew 900 hours in Vietnam and has since done commercial work ranging from transporting oil drilling equipment up the Amazon to carrying pyrotechnics displays at Disneyland. The “Twilight Zone” was his first feature film, although he had previous credits on a Matt Houston TV pilot and several other TV and film productions.

Wingo and his wife, Lourdes, have two children, including a son who was born during the trial last December.

He was charged with three counts of involuntary manslaughter for his role in the accident.


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