Rod Serling said his best critic was his wife

Find someone who talks about you the way Rod Serling talks about Carol Serling.

Image: Everett Collection

When Rod Serling married his wife, you can bet he was sure that he'd found the love of his life. But it turns out that The Twilight Zone creator was lucky enough to have not only found a partner for the rest of his life but also a valuable critic of his work.

According to an article in The Sunday Press, Serling called his wife, Carol, his best critic. He said of his wife, "She's a strong person, very literate, the descendant of college presidents and professors. Her taste is excellent and she has an unerring instinct about whether my work is good or bad." Serling said the exception to this was his teleplay Requiem for a Boxer, though Carol's dislike was mainly due to her disapproval of boxing. 

Carol explained her part in Rod's writing process, adding that she felt her work was less editing and more lending of a hand to her husband. She said, "I'm not his critic. It's just that he works at home and I'm right there when he's excited about a character or story. So he talks to me about it. But I have a logical, small mind. I'm too good at picking up discrepancies."

But when asked by the Press how to criticize a man and make him love it, Carol responded simply, "You don't!" She clarified, "Or if you do, you have to be pretty careful. Sugarcoat your comments with a praise. But frankly, I'm trying to give overall criticism. It burns the heck out of him, especially when I'm right!"

Still, Serling was overall grateful to hear Carol's opinions on his work. He said, "I certainly respect her critical opinions."

This wasn't the first time Carol assisted Rod, who said that Carol helped him with his courses while they were at college. He said, "She's a whiz at the physical sciences and coached me for all science exams." Still, Carol believed that the best thing she could teach her husband was how to relax. She said, "I'd like to see us traveling and have time to enjoy it."

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3 Comments

Adamtwelvia 2 months ago
One of the few movie and tv stars that was married to the same person all their lives. That's really sweet and romantic.
Sway 2 months ago
Very nice marriage partnership
Runeshaper 2 months ago
Sounds like she was a lot of help! I like her comment about relaxing, traveling, and enjoying it. We all need that in our lives now and then 🙂
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