Thursday, June 27, 2013

The World Remembers Richard Matheson

It hasn't been until today that I have read that we have lost a wonderful writer from this world: Richard Matheson aged 87 on Sunday.  This brilliant author and screen-writer was one who could creep out anyone with his 'what-if' premises and a lot of his books and stories were turned into films with front-running actors playing the best parts in them.  He drew a lot of his storylines from real-life events as well as made-up stories.  His best-known story, which was turned into a film, was 'I Am Legend' which was one of his earlier stories.  He also wrote the book to 'What Dreams May Come' and 'A Stir of Echoes' both of which became films with Kevin Bacons and Robin Williams playing the lead roles respectively.  
From boyhood, he was a veracious reader he graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School and he served in the Army in Europe in WWII, where another book came from, 'The Beardless Warriors'.  He also wrote a long list of other books and stories as well to shock and scare, all with the 'what-if' idea imbedded firmly in the plot and outline of them all.
And Mr Matheson was also a busy television writer as well.  He wrote for 'Alfred Hitchcock Presents','Star Trek' and especially for 'The Twilight Zone', for which he wrote more than a dozen episodes, including the classic 'Nightmare at 20,000 Feet', where William Shatner starred as a passenger who spies a gremlin which is on the wing bent on crippling the plan.

In The Telegraph, where I'm getting most of my information for this post, I spotted a quote from Stephen King, where he e-mailed a quick note on Tuesday on Matheson, that he "was a seminal figure in the horror and fantasy genres, as important in his way as Poe or Lovecraft." he continues to say in his statement: "He fired my imagination by not placing his horrors in European castles or Lovecraftian Universes, but in American scenes I knew and could relate to. 'I want to do that' I thought, 'I must do that.' Matheson showed the way." 

Richard Matheson is survived by his wife, who he married in 1952, his two sons, two daughters, seven grand-children and two great-grand-children.

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