Forrest J. Ackerman
THE GRAND OLD MAN OF SCI-FI PASSES ON
By JOHN ROGER
S – 12/5/2008
ES (AP)— Forre st J "Forry" Acker man, the somet ime actor , liter ary agent , magaz ine edito r and full- time bon vivan t who disco vered autho r Ray Bradb ury and was widel y credi ted with coini ng the term " sci- fi," has died. He was 92.
man died Thurs day of heart failu re at his Los Angel es home, said Kevin Burns , head of Prome theus Enter tainm ent and a trust ee of Acker man' s estat e.
ugh only margi nally known to reade rs of mains tream liter ature , Acker man was legen dary in scien ce- ficti on circl es as the found ing edito r of the pulp magaz ine Famou s Monst ers of Filml and. He was also the owner of a huge priva te colle ction of scien ce- ficti on movie and liter ary memor abili a that for years fille d every nook and crann y of a hills ide mansi on overl ookin g Los Angel es.
e the Pied Piper , the spiri tual leade r, of every thing scien ce ficti on, fanta sy and horro r," Burns said Frida y.
Satur day morni ng that he was home, Acker man would open up the house to anyon e who wante d to view his treas ures. He sold some piece s and gave other s away when he moved to a small er house in 2002, but he conti nued to let peopl e visit him every Satur day for as long as his healt h permi tted.
"My wife used to say, 'How can you let stran
gers into our home? ' But what' s the point of havin g a colle ction like this if you can' t let peopl e enjoy it?" an exube rant Acker man told The Assoc iated Press as he condu cted a spiri ted tour of the mansi on on his 85th birth day.
ction once inclu ded more than 50, 000 books , thous ands of scien ce- ficti on magaz ines and such items as Bela Lugos i's cape from the 1931 film " Dracu la."
est achie vemen t, howev er, was likel y disco verin g Bradb ury, autho r of the liter ary class ics " Fahre nheit 451" and "The Marti an Chron icles ." Acker man had place d a flyer in a Los Angel es books tore for a scien ce- ficti on club he was found ing and a teena ge Bradb ury showe d up.
, Acker man gave Bradb ury the money to start his own scien ce- ficti on magaz ine, Futur ia Fanta sia, and paid the autho r's way to New York for an autho rs meeti ng that Bradb ury said helpe d launc h his caree r.
t publi shed yet, and I met a lot of these peopl e who encou raged me and helpe d me get my caree r start ed, and that was all becau se of Forry Acker man, " the autho r told the AP in 2005.
, as a liter ary agent , Acker man repre sente d Bradb ury, Isaac Asimo v and numer ous other scien ce- ficti on write rs.
He said the term "
sci- fi" came to him in 1954 when he was liste ning to a car radio and heard an annou ncer menti on the word " hi- fi."
"My dear wife said,
' Forge t it, Forry , it will never catch on, '" he recal led.
Soon he was using
it in Famou s Monst ers of Filml and, the magaz ine he helpe d found in 1958 and edite d for 25 years .
man himse lf appea red in numer ous films over the years , usual ly in bit parts . His credi ts inclu de " Queen of Blood ," " Dracu la vs. Frank enste in," " Amazo n Women on the Moon, " " Vampi rella ," " Trans ylvan ia Twist ," "The Howli ng" and the Micha el Jacks on " Thril ler" video . More recen tly, he appea red in 2007' s "The Dead Undea d" and 2006' s "The Boney ard Colle ction ."
man retur ned brief ly to Famou s Monst ers of Filml and in the 1990s , but he quick ly fell out with the publi sher over creat ive diffe rence s. He sued and was award ed a judgm ent of more than $ 375, 000.
st Acker man was born in Los Angel es on Nov. 24, 1916. He fell in love with scien ce- ficti on, he once said, when he was 9 years old and saw a magaz ine calle d Amazi ng Stori es. He would hold onto that publi catio n for the rest of his life.
man, who had no child ren, was prece ded in death by his wife, Wenda yne.
More OBITUARY NEWS (click here)
Forrest J Ackerman on Morning Show, 1986
A Tour of the Ackermansion
Part One | Part Two | Part Three
DJ says: "Forry Ackerman was quite special to me. I was an avid horror-sci-fi buff when I was 13-15 years old. And I've remained a fan of all the movies. Some friends and I put on a Convention in my home town of Long Beach, California back in the 60s. Forry was there, as was Robert Bloch and Bert Gordon (Director of "The Amazing Colossal Man"). It was a blast. I got to be "Master of Scarymonies." A few months later, I visited the Ackermansion in L.A. (see the above You Tubes) What an amazing place! Inspiring, really. Forry was a legend, and will be greatly missed.
I still have a letter from Bela Lugosi, Jr., politely declining my invite to join us at the Convention. And one from Carol Borland, too (Mark of the Vampire). Bela Lugosi was my favorite horror actor back in those days. I still have my scrapbook with all the Convention "Stuff" in it. A really fun time in my life. Rest in Peace, my friend. Or as FORRY would jokingly say: "Rest in Pieces."
HOME | TRANSMISSION ARCHIVE
Copyright, 2011, by Stella Rae. All Rights Reserved.