Buck Houghton

Archible Ernest "Buck" Houghton (May 4, 1915 – May 14, 1999) was an American television producer and writer best known for producing the first three seasons of The Twilight Zone, as well as many other television programs and independent films from the 1950s through the 1990s. He first entered the film industry as a reader and story editor for David O. Selznick in the 1930s. He moved over to Paramount, working his way up to the casting office and then to the budget department. During World War II, he helped make films for the Office of War Information.[1] Following the war, Houghton assisted executive producers at RKO, and had a two-year stint as a story editor for MGM. He soon became involved in producing early TV dramas such as “China Smith,” “Meet McGraw,” “Yancy Derringer” and “Man with a Camera.” [2]

A.E. "Buck" Houghton
Taken at age 45
Born(1915-05-04)May 4, 1915
Denver, Colorado,
United States
DiedMay 14, 1999(1999-05-14) (aged 84)
Los Angeles, California,
United States

Houghton reached a pinnacle in his career when he was hired by Bill Self at CBS to produce the first 39 episodes of Rod Serling's “The Twilight Zone” in its original half-hour format. When the network insisted the fourth season consist of hour-long shows,[1] Buck decided it was time to move on. His subsequent collaboration with dramatist Clifford Odets, "The Richard Boone Show" (1963–64) was the only repertory company on television, in which a resident cast of actors played different roles in a TV play every week.[2] It was nominated for the Outstanding Dramatic Series Emmy Award in 1964.[3]

Other credits include seasons of “High Chapparal,” “Harry O.,” “Hawaii 5-O” and the American Zoetrope film, "The Escape Artist."

Early lifeEdit

Houghton was born in Denver, CO. His parents moved to Los Angeles because of his mother's ill health; she died when he was eleven years old. He graduated from Los Angeles High School in 1933, where he was known as Arch Houghton.[4] He attended UCLA, where he was a member of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity, majored in Economics and English[5] and lettered in varsity track and field as a high-jumper.[6] While attending high school and college, he helped out backstage on several films by Cecil B. DeMille, along with his close friend and classmate Horace Hahn.[7]


He and Wanda Jackson were married in 1946 and remained so until his death. He was the father of Jim Houghton and Mona Houghton.[citation needed]


Houghton died in Los Angeles at age 84. He was suffering from emphysema and Lou Gehrig's disease.[2]

Filmography, Producer/WriterEdit

Year Title Capacity
1952 China Smith Associate Producer
1954 The New Adventures of China Smith[8] Associate Producer
1955 The Paris Follies of 1956[9] Associate Producer
1956 Wire Service Producer & AP, 4 eps.
1958-59 Man with a Camera Producer
1958-59 Yancy Derringer Producer
1962 General Electric Theater Producer, 1 ep.
1959-62 The Twilight Zone Producer, 102 eps.
1963 The Dick Powell Theater Producer, 1 ep.
1963-64 The Richard Boone Show Producer, 25 eps.
1965 The Long, Hot Summer Producer, pilot ep.
1966 Blue Light Producer, 17 eps.
1966 I Deal in Danger Producer
1967-68 The High Chaparral Producer, 8 eps.
1971 Nichols Writer 1 ep.
1973 Mission: Impossible Writer, 1 ep.
1975 Harry O Producer, 9 eps.
1976-77 Executive Suite Producer, 18 eps.
1981 The Violation of Sarah McDavid Supervising producer
1982 An Innocent Love Producer
1982 The Escape Artist (film) Producer
1985 Eternal Evil Producer
1986 The Wraith Producer
1994 Spring Awakening (TV movie)[10] Producer

Filmography, ActorEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1974 The Godfather II White-haired Senator Uncredited

Published worksEdit

  • What a Producer Does (Samuel French) is a primer for would-be film and television producers. [11]


  1. ^ a b "May 4 in twilight zone history remembering producer buck houghton". Syfy wire. 4 May 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Galloway, Doug; Pesselnick, Jill (26 May 1999). "A.E. 'Buck' Houghton Jr". Variety. Retrieved 27 January 2015.
  3. ^ https://www.emmys.com/awards/nominations/award-search?search_api_views_fulltext=Richard+Boone&submit=Search&field_celebrity_details_field_display_name=&field_show_details_field_nominee_show_nr_title=&field_show_details_field_network=All&field_show_details_field_production_company=All&field_nominations_year%5Bmin%5D=&field_nominations_year%5Bmax%5D=&field_nominations_year_op=%3E%3D&field_nominations_year%5Bvalue%5D=1963-01-01&field_nominations_year_1%5Bmin%5D=&field_nominations_year_1%5Bmax%5D=&field_nominations_year_1_op=%3C%3D&field_nominations_year_1%5Bvalue%5D=1964-01-01&field_award_category=44541
  4. ^ Los Angeles High School - Blue and White Yearbook (Los Angeles, CA) - Class of 1933, [1], website of E-Yearbook.com; retrieved March 11, 2010.
  5. ^ https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/may-4-in-twilight-zone-history-remembering-producer-buck-houghton
  6. ^ University of California at Los Angeles - Bruin Life/Southern Campus Yearbook - Class of 1937, [2], website of E-Yearbook.com; retrieved March 11, 2010.
  7. ^ Birchard, Robert S. (2004), Cecil B. DeMille's Hollywood, Lexington, Kentucky: The University Press of Kentucky, p. 262-263, ISBN 0-8131-2324-0
  8. ^ https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0046629/fullcredits
  9. ^ https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0048094/fullcredits
  10. ^ https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0111270/fullcredits
  11. ^ Houghton, Buck (1992). What a Producer Does. Silman James. ISBN 1-87-950505-3.

External linksEdit