Friday, December 5, 2008

RIP - Forrest J Ackerman

More sad news, though it was not unexpected given his health; legendary genre icon Forrest J Ackerman has passed away. He was 92 years old.

Ackerman created the legendary magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland in 1958, perhaps the first and best publication devoted to genre films. It was hugely influential, counting such future horror and science-fiction luminaries as Stephen King, Steven Spielberg, John Landis and others as fans. During his lifetime he amassed the largest and greatest collection of genre memorabilia in the world, including Bela Lugosi's Dracula cape, Mr. Spock's ears, and Lon Chaney's makeup kit, along with a staggering amount of photos and other items. Perhaps most impressively, he actually coined the phrase "sci-fi".

He interviewed legends like Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff and Vincent Price. He introduced countless youngsters to old genre classics. He was among the first to suggest that these types of films and stories were even worth serious scholarship and appreciation. Here's a wonderful obit.

Rest in peace, Uncle Forry. And hopefully, you'll come back the way you'd want, as a terrifying creature of the night.

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