Richard Matheson was an author and screenwriter who had a tremendous impact on the horror and sci-fi genres. We’re sad to pass on the news that he died yesterday at the age of 87. His daughter recently notified the public of his passing over Facebook and it’s said that he’s been battling illness for some time now:
“My beloved father passed away yesterday at home surrounded by the people and things he loved…he was funny, brilliant, loving, generous, kind, creative, and the most wonderful father ever…I miss you and love you forever Pop and I know you are now happy and healthy in a beautiful place full of love and joy you always knew was there…”
Even if you’re not immediately familiar with his work, it has influenced some of your favorite movies. He’s probably best known for writing I Am Legend, which has seen a number of movie adaptations, including The Last Man on Earth. Starring Vincent Price, The Last Man on Earth was a big influence on George A. Romero and an inspiration for Night of the Living Dead.
For fans of classic horror/sci-fi TV shows and movies, you’ve definitely seen his work. He was a big presence on The Twilight Zone, having written a number of episodes, including Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, The Invaders, And When the Sky Was Opened, Third From The Sun, and Nick of Time. For Star Trek, he wrote The Enemy Within, were a transporter malfunction splits the crew into two halves with different personalities. He also wrote the screenplays for The Comedy of Terrors, Tales of Terror, Pit and the Pendulum, The Incredible Shrinking Man, and more.
If you’re not familiar with his work, definitely take the time to see what contributions he’s made to the sci-fi and horror genres, and pick up his Hell House and I Am Legend novels. If you’re a fan, take some time to revisit his work or share it with a friend. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends. The world of sci-fi and horror won’t be the same without him.