Richard Matheson, author of genre fiction novels that became the source for several blockbuster films, passed away Sunday June 23 at the age of 87.
Richard Matheson authored such famous works as: ‘I Am Legend,’ ‘Stir of Echoes,’ and ‘What Dreams May Come’ in addition to ‘Steel’ (which became the Hugh Jackman film ‘Real Steel’) and ‘Duel’ which was the basis for the television movie that launched Steven Spielberg’s career.
According to Matheson’s daughter Ali, the author “passed away yesterday at home surrounded by the people and the things he loved.” (Source: Comingsoon.net)
As our thoughts of sympathy extend to those who knew Richard Matheson directly, fans of the genre movies he influenced should take a moment of pause as well to remember such an influential writer.
Richard Matheson was one of the most respected living writers of fiction with a career that dates back to the 1950’s where he began a successful career writing for television. Those early television jobs included several episodes of the original ‘Twilight Zone’ series with Rod Serling, ‘The Alfred Hitchcock Hour,’ and an episode of ‘Star Trek’ which still stands as a fan favorite, ‘The Enemy Within.’
Richard Matheson won a Hugo Award in 1958 for ‘The Incredible Shrinking Man’ which he shared with the made-for-tv film’s director Jack Arnold. He also won an Edgar (Edgar Allen Poe Award) for his work on the television show ‘The Night Stalker‘ in 1972.
In 1991 Matheson was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Bram Stoker Awards and won another from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Films in 2013.
The Brooklyn-raised Matheson was known for his dark visions of horror and fantasy as well as for the twist endings that often came as a surprise to his readers.
Without Richard Matheson, we may never have experienced the “Twilight Zone-inspired” surprise endings from heralded authors such as Steven King, who cited Matheson’s work as a source of inspiration for his own novels and stories. (Source: NY Daily News)