OBITUARY: Richard Matheson (1926-2013)

Wil Avitt
Wil Avitt's picture

First and foremost I would like to apologize for the lateness of this notice.

On Sunday, June 23, 2013, the world lost one of the most prolific and influential writers we have ever had the pleasure to read. Richard Matheson died at his home at the age of 87 and the world will forever be a less imaginative place.

We are a science fiction fansite, and Mr. Matheson certainly was a science fiction writer, but he was first and foremost a storyteller who had his hands in many different genres, including writing many episodes for classic western television series as Wanted: Dead or Alive, Have Gun Will Travel, Cheyenne and Lawman as well as writing for the television series Combat! He also adapted the Edgar Allan Poe horror stories The Fall of the House of Usher and The Pit and the Pendulum, among others, for the silver screen. Among his science fiction credits are numerous stories and novels that have been turned into movies like Duel, What Dreams May Come, I Am Legend (which has been adapted three different times as the films The Last Man on Earth, The Omega Man and I Am Legend) and Somewhere in Time, as well as writing the Star Trek episode "The Enemy Within", one of the best episodes of the original series.

Mr. Matheson will probably be best known, if maybe not by name, as a writer for the television series The Twilight Zone, having penned many original stories but also adapting some of his own short stories for episodes such as Steel (later made into the feature film Real Steel) and Button, Button (later made into the feature film The Box). He has also been influential to many famous authors such as Stephen King and Ann Rice.

Mr. Matheson's credits were too numerous to list in their entirety here, so a great many works didn't get the mention they deserve as everything Mr. Matheson put through his typewriter came out gold. He will be greatly missed and we here at the Republibot community will truly mourn his loss.