Reviews, articles, rants & ramblings on the darker side of the media fringe

Richard Matheson R.I.P.

richard_matheson_movie_bannerInfluential science fiction and fantasy author Richard Matheson died yesterday from natural causes at his home, surrounded by friends and family. He was 87. “For having such a fantastic imagination, he passed very peacefully,” son Richard Matheson Jr. told Deadline. “He was not only a monumental talent, he was also every bit a father, friend, and husband.” Friend and fellow author Harlan Ellison wrote today, “I am downsmashed.”

richard-matheson-authorThe celebrated writer began his 6-decade-plus career in 1950 with the story “Born of Man and Woman,” published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. Matheson’s best-known and oft-adapted works ranged from short stories like “Button, Button” (which Richard Kelly adapted into The Box) to novels including I Am Legend (adapted four times into features The Last Man On EarthThe Omega ManI Am Omega and I Am Legend). Matheson wrote more than a dozen episodes of Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone — including “Nightmare At 20,000 Feet,” starring William Shatner, which was remade as a segment of 1983’s Twilight Zone: The Movie — and penned the “evil Kirk “Enemy Within” episode of Star Trek: The Original Series.

Over the decades Hollywood turned frequently to his writing for its twisty but humanist genre storytelling. Films adapted from his works include The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957), The Pit and the Pendulum (1961), Steven Spielberg’s Duel(1971), Somewhere in Time (1980), the Will Smith-starrer I Am Legend (2007), and Real Steel (2011).

richard_matheson_book_bannerDuring his career Matheson earned a Writers Guild Association nomination for 1985′s Amazing Stories and won the Hugo Award, The Edgar Allen Poe Award, the Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Horror Writers Association, and a Lifetime Achievement award from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films. Earlier this year Matheson signed on to adapt his own The Incredible Shrinking Man for MGM with Richard Jr. The pair completed a draft prior to Matheson’s passing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s