Richard Matheson

Richard Burton Matheson (February 20, 1926 – June 23, 2013) was an American author and screenwriter, primarily in the fantasy, horror, and science fiction genres. He is best known as the author of I Am Legend, a 1954 science fiction horror vampire novel that has been adapted for the screen four times, as well as the film Somewhere In Time for which he wrote the screenplay based on his novel Bid Time Return. Matheson also wrote 16 television episodes of The Twilight Zone, including "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" and "Steel". He adapted his 1971 short story "Duel" as a screenplay directed by Steven Spielberg for the television film Duel that year. Seven of his novels and short stories have been adapted as motion pictures: The Shrinking Man, Hell House, What Dreams May Come, Bid Time Return (filmed as Somewhere in Time), A Stir of Echoes, Steel (filmed as Real Steel), and Button, Button (filmed as The Box). The movie Cold Sweat was based on his novel Riding the Nightmare, and Les seins de glace (Icy Breasts) was based on his novel Someone is Bleeding.

Richard Matheson
Matheson in 2008
Matheson in 2008
BornRichard Burton Matheson
February 20, 1926
Allendale, New Jersey, U.S.
DiedJune 23, 2013 (aged 87)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Pen nameLogan Swanson[1]
OccupationNovelist, short story writer, screenwriter
Alma materUniversity of Missouri
Period1950–2013
GenreScience fiction, fantasy, horror
Notable works
Notable awardsWorld Fantasy Award for Life Achievement, Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement, Science Fiction Hall of Fame (2010)
Spouse
Ruth Ann Woodson (m. 1952)
Children4

Signature
RichardMatheson

Early life

Matheson was born in Allendale, New Jersey to Norwegian immigrants Bertolf and Fanny Matheson. They divorced when he was 8, and he was raised in Brooklyn, New York by his mother. His early writing influences were the film Dracula, novels by Kenneth Roberts, and a poem which he read in the newspaper Brooklyn Eagle,[2] where he published his first short story at age 8.[3] He entered Brooklyn Technical High School in 1939, graduated in 1943, and served with the Army in Europe during World War II; this formed the basis for his 1960 novel The Beardless Warriors.[2][4] He attended the Missouri School of Journalism at the University of Missouri, earning his BA in 1949, then moved to California.[2][3]

Career

1950s and 1960s

His first-written novel, Hunger and Thirst, was ignored by publishers for several decades before eventually being published in 2010, but his short story "Born of Man and Woman" was published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Summer 1950, the new quarterly's third issue[1] and attracted attention.[3] It is the tale of a monstrous child chained by its parents in the cellar, cast as the creature's diary in poignantly non-idiomatic English. Later that year he placed stories in the first and third numbers of Galaxy Science Fiction, a new monthly.[1] His first anthology of work was published in 1954.[3] Between 1950 and 1971, he produced dozens of stories, frequently blending elements of the science fiction, horror, and fantasy genres.

He was a member of the Southern California Sorcerers in the 1950s and 1960s, which included Charles Beaumont, Ray Bradbury, George Clayton Johnson, William F. Nolan, Jerry Sohl, and others.[5]

Several of his stories, including "Third from the Sun" (1950), "Deadline" (1959), and "Button, Button" (1970) are simple sketches with twist endings; others, like "Trespass" (1953), "Being" (1954), and "Mute" (1962) explore their characters' dilemmas over 20 or 30 pages. Some tales, such as "The Doll that Does Everything" (1954) and "The Funeral" (1955) incorporate satirical humour at the expense of genre clichés, and are written in an overblown prose very different from Matheson's usual pared-down style. Others, like "The Test" (1954) and "Steel" (1956), portray the moral and physical struggles of ordinary people, rather than the then nearly ubiquitous scientists and superheroes, in situations which are at once futuristic and everyday. Still others, such as "Mad House" (1953), "The Curious Child" (1954), and perhaps most of all, "Duel" (1971), are tales of paranoia, in which the everyday environment of the present day becomes inexplicably alien or threatening. "Duel" was adapted into the 1971 TV movie of the same name.

Matheson's first novel to be published, Someone Is Bleeding, appeared from Lion Books in 1953.[1] In 1960, Matheson published The Beardless Warriors, a non-fantastic, autobiographical novel about teenage American soldiers in World War II. It was filmed in 1967 as The Young Warriors though most of Matheson's plot was jettisoned. During the 1950s he published a handful of Western stories (later collected in By the Gun); and during the 1990s he published Western novels such as Journal of the Gun Years, The Gunfight, The Memoirs of Wild Bill Hickok, and Shadow on the Sun.

His other early novels include The Shrinking Man (1956, filmed in 1957 as The Incredible Shrinking Man, again from Matheson's own screenplay) and a science fiction vampire novel, I Am Legend (1954) (filmed as The Last Man on Earth in 1964, The Omega Man in 1971 and I Am Legend in 2007).

Matheson wrote screenplays for several television programs including the Westerns Cheyenne, Have Gun – Will Travel, and Lawman.[6] He is most closely associated with the American TV series The Twilight Zone, for which he wrote more than a dozen episodes,[6] including "Steel" (1963), "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" (1963), "Little Girl Lost" (1962), and "Death Ship" (1963). For all of his Twilight Zone scripts, Matheson wrote the introductory and closing statements spoken by creator Rod Serling.[7] He adapted five works of Edgar Allan Poe for Roger Corman's Poe series, including House of Usher (1960), The Pit and the Pendulum (1961), and The Raven (1963).[3]

He wrote the Star Trek episode "The Enemy Within" (1966).

For Hammer Film Productions he wrote the screenplay for Fanatic (1965; US title: Die! Die! My Darling!) based on the novel Nightmare by Anne Blaisdell, starring Tallulah Bankhead and Stefanie Powers; he also adapted for Hammer Dennis Wheatley's The Devil Rides Out (1968).[3]

1970s and 1980s

In 1973, Matheson earned an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for his teleplay for The Night Stalker, one of two TV movies written by Matheson and directed by Dan Curtis (the other was The Night Strangler, which preceded the TV series Kolchak: The Night Stalker). Matheson worked extensively with Curtis; the 1977 television movie Dead of Night features three stories written for the screen by Matheson — "Second Chance" (based on the story by Jack Finney); "No Such Thing as a Vampire" (based on Matheson's story of the same name); and "Bobby", an original script written for this omnibus movie by Matheson. "Bobby" was later refilmed with different actors as the second segment of Trilogy of Terror II.

Three of his short stories were filmed together as Trilogy of Terror (1975), including "Prey" (initially published in the April 1969 issue of Playboy magazine) with its famous Zuni warrior fetish doll. The Zuni fetish doll reappeared in the final segment of the belated sequel to the first movie, Trilogy of Terror II.

Other Matheson novels turned into notable films in the seventies include Bid Time Return (as Somewhere in Time), and Hell House (as The Legend of Hell House), both adapted and scripted by Matheson himself.

In the 1980s Matheson published the novel Earthbound, wrote several screenplays for the TV series Amazing Stories, and continued to publish short fiction.

1990s

Matheson published four western novels in this decade, plus the suspense novel Seven Steps to Midnight (1993) and the blackly comic locked-room mystery novel, Now You See It ..., aptly dedicated to Robert Bloch (1995).

He also wrote several movies—the offbeat comedy and box-office flop Loose Cannons, the biopic The Dreamer of Oz (about L. Frank Baum), a segment of Rod Serling's Lost Classics, and segments of Trilogy of Terror II. Short stories continued to flow from his pen, and he saw the adaptations by other hands of two more of his novels for the big screen—What Dreams May Come and A Stir of Echoes (as Stir of Echoes). In 1999, Matheson published a non-fiction work The Path, inspired by his interest in psychic phenomena.[3]

21st century

Many previously unpublished novels by Matheson appeared late in his career, as did various collections of his work and previously unpublished screenplays. He also wrote new works, such as the suspense novel Hunted Past Reason (2002).[8] and the children's illustrated fantasy Abu and the Seven Marvels.

Sources of inspiration

Matheson cited specific inspirations for many of his works. Duel was derived from an incident in which he and a friend, Jerry Sohl, were dangerously tailgated by a large truck on the same day as the assassination of John F. Kennedy.[3]

According to film critic Roger Ebert, Matheson's scientific approach to the supernatural in I Am Legend and other novels from the 1950s and early 1960s "anticipated pseudorealistic fantasy novels like Rosemary's Baby and The Exorcist."[9]

Personal life and death

In 1952, Matheson married Ruth Ann Woodson, whom he met in California. They had four children.[2] Bettina Mayberry, Richard Christian Matheson, Chris Matheson and Ali Matheson.

Richard Christian, Chris and Ali became writers of fiction and screenplays.

Matheson died on June 23, 2013 at his home in Los Angeles, California, at the age of 87.[10][11][12]

Awards

Matheson received the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement in 1984 and the Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Horror Writers Association in 1991. The Science Fiction Hall of Fame inducted him in 2010.[13][14]

At the annual World Fantasy Conventions he won two judged, annual literary awards for particular works: World Fantasy Awards for Bid Time Return as the best novel of 1975 and Richard Matheson: Collected Stories as the best collection of 1989.[13][15]

Matheson died just days before he was due to receive the Visionary award at the 39th Saturn Awards ceremony. As a tribute, the ceremony was dedicated to him and the award was presented posthumously. Academy President Robert Holguin said "Richard's accomplishments will live on forever in the imaginations of everyone who read or saw his inspired and inimitable work."[16]

The tribute anthology He is Legend was published by Gauntlet Press in 2009.

Influence

Other writers

Stephen King has listed Matheson as a creative influence and his novel Cell is dedicated to Matheson, along with filmmaker George A. Romero. Romero frequently acknowledged Matheson as an inspiration and listed the shambling vampire creatures that appear in The Last Man on Earth, the first film version of I Am Legend, as the inspiration for the zombie "ghouls" he envisioned in Night of the Living Dead[17]

Anne Rice stated that when she was a child, Matheson's short story "A Dress of White Silk" was an early influence on her interest in vampires and fantasy fiction.[18]

Directors

After his death, several figures offered tributes to his life and work. Director Steven Spielberg said:

Richard Matheson's ironic and iconic imagination created seminal science-fiction stories and gave me my first break when he wrote the short story and screenplay for Duel. His Twilight Zones were among my favorites, and he recently worked with us on Real Steel. For me, he is in the same category as Bradbury and Asimov.[19]

Another frequent collaborator, Roger Corman said:

Richard Matheson was a close friend and the best screenwriter I ever worked with. I always shot his first draft. I will miss him.[20]

On Twitter, director Edgar Wright wrote "If it's true that the great Richard Matheson has passed away, 140 characters can't begin to cover what he has given the sci fi & horror genre." Director Richard Kelly added "I loved Richard Matheson's writing and it was a huge honor getting to adapt his story 'Button, Button' into a film. RIP."[21]

Works

Novels

Short stories

  • "Born of Man and Woman" (1950)
  • "Third from the Sun" (1950); adapted as a Twilight Zone episode (1960)
  • "The Waker Dreams" (a.k.a. "When the Waker Sleeps") (1950)
  • "Blood Son" (1951)
  • "Through Channels" (1951)
  • "Clothes Make the Man" (1951)
  • "Return" (1951)
  • "The Thing" (1951)
  • "Witch War" (1951)
  • "Dress of White Silk" (1951)
  • "F---" (a.k.a. "The Foodlegger") (1952)
  • "Shipshape Home" (1952)
  • "SRL Ad" (1952)
  • "Advance Notice" (a.k.a. "Letter to the Editor") (1952)
  • "Lover, When You're Near Me" (1952)
  • "Brother to the Machine" (1952)
  • "To Fit the Crime" (1952)
  • "The Wedding" (1953)
  • "Wet Straw" (1953)
  • "Long Distance Call" (a.k.a. "Sorry, Right Number") (1953)
  • "Slaughter House" (1953)
  • "Mad House" (1953)
  • "The Last Day" (1953)
  • "Lazarus II" (1953)
  • "Legion of Plotters" (1953)
  • "Death Ship" (1953); adapted as a Twilight Zone episode (1963)
  • "Disappearing Act" (1953); adapted as a Twilight Zone episode (1959)
  • "The Disinheritors" (1953)
  • "Dying Room Only" (1953)
  • "Full Circle" (1953)
  • "Mother by Protest" (a.k.a. "Trespass") (1953)
  • "Little Girl Lost" (1953); adapted as a Twilight Zone episode (1962)
  • "Being" (1954)
  • "The Curious Child" (1954)
  • "When Day Is Dun" (1954)
  • "Dance of the Dead" (1954); adapted as a Masters of Horror episode (2005)
  • "The Man Who Made the World" (1954)
  • "The Traveller" (1954)
  • "The Test" (1954)
  • "The Conqueror" (1954)
  • "Dear Diary" (1954)
  • "The Doll That Does Everything" (1954)
  • "Descent" (1954)
  • "Miss Stardust" (1955)
  • "The Funeral" (1955); adapted as story segment for Rod Serling's Night Gallery
  • "Too Proud to Lose" (1955)
  • "One for the Books" (1955)
  • "Pattern for Survival" (1955)
  • "A Flourish of Strumpets" (1956)
  • "The Splendid Source" (1956); the basis of the Family Guy episode "The Splendid Source".[22]
  • "Steel" (1956); adapted as a Twilight Zone episode (1963); loosely filmed as Real Steel (2011)
  • "The Children of Noah" (1957)
  • "A Visit to Santa Claus" (a.k.a. "I'll Make It Look Good," as Logan Swanson) (1957)
  • "The Holiday Man" (1957)
  • "Old Haunts" (1957)
  • "The Distributor" (1958)
  • "The Edge" (1958)
  • "Lemmings" (1958)
  • "Now Die in It" (1958)
  • "Mantage" (1959)
  • "Deadline" (1959)
  • "The Creeping Terror" (a.k.a. "A Touch of Grapefruit") (1959)
  • "No Such Thing as a Vampire" (1959); adapted as segment of the TV film Dead of Night (1977 film)
  • "Big Surprise" (a.k.a. "What Was in the Box") (1959) Adapted as a Night Gallery short
  • "Crickets" (1960)
  • "Day of Reckoning" (a.k.a. "The Faces," "Graveyard Shift") (1960)
  • "First Anniversary" (1960); adapted as an Outer Limits episode (1996)
  • "From Shadowed Places" (1960)
  • "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" (1961); adapted as The Twilight Zone episode in 1963 and as segment four of Twilight Zone: The Movie in 1983
  • "Finger Prints" (1962)
  • "Mute" (1962); adapted as a Twilight Zone episode (1963)
  • "The Likeness of Julie" (as Logan Swanson) (1962); adapted into "Julie" in the 1975 TV film Trilogy of Terror
  • "The Jazz Machine" (1963)
  • "Crescendo" (a.k.a. "Shock Wave") (1963)
  • "Girl of My Dreams" (1963); adapted by Robert Bloch and Michael J. Bird as an episode of the 1968 Hammer TV series Journey to the Unknown
  • "'Tis the Season to Be Jelly" (1963)
  • "Deus Ex Machina" (1963)
  • "Interest" (1965)
  • "A Drink of Water" (1967)
  • "Needle in the Heart" (a.k.a. "Therese") (1969); adapted into "Millicent and Therese" in the 1975 TV film Trilogy of Terror
  • "Prey" (1969); adapted into "Ameilia" in the 1975 TV film Trilogy of Terror
  • "Button, Button" (1970); filmed as a The Twilight Zone episode in 1986; filmed as The Box (2009)
  • "'Til Death Do Us Part" (1970)
  • "By Appointment Only" (1970)
  • "The Finishing Touches" (1970)
  • "Duel" (1971); filmed as Duel (1971)
  • "Big Surprise" (1971); adapted as story segment for Rod Serling's Night Gallery
  • "Leo Rising" (1972)
  • "Where There's a Will" (with Richard Christian Matheson) (1980)
  • "And Now I'm Waiting" (1983)
  • "Blunder Buss" (1984)
  • "Getting Together" (1986)
  • "Buried Talents" (1987)
  • "The Near Departed" (1987)
  • "Shoo Fly" (1988)
  • "Person to Person" (1989)
  • "CU: Mannix" (1991)
  • "Two O'Clock Session" (1991)
  • "The Doll" (as Amazing Stories in 1986)
  • "Go West, Young Man" (1993)
  • "Gunsight" (1993)
  • "Little Jack Cornered" (1993)
  • "Of Death and Thirty Minutes" (1993)
  • "Always Before Your Voice" (1999)
  • "Relics" (1999)
  • "And in Sorrow" (2000)
  • "The Prisoner" (2001)
  • "Purge Among Peanuts" (2001)
  • "He Wanted to Live" (2002)
  • "The Last Blah in the Etc." (a.k.a. "All and Only Silence") (2002)
  • "Life Size" (2002)
  • "Maybe You Remember Him" (2002)
  • "Mirror, Mirror..." (2002)
  • "Phone Call From Across The Street" (2002)
  • "Professor Fritz and the Runaway House" (2002)
  • "That Was Yesterday" (2002)
  • "Man With a Club" (2003)
  • "Haircut" (2006)
  • "Life Size" (2008)
  • "An Element Never Forgets" (2010)
  • "Backteria" (2011)

Short story collections

  • Born of Man and Woman (1954)
  • The Shores of Space (1957)
  • Shock! (1961)
  • Shock 2 (1964)
  • Shock 3 (1966)
  • Shock Waves (1970) Published as Shock 4 in the UK (1980)
  • Button, Button (1970) basis for the movie, "The Box" (2009)
  • Richard Matheson: Collected Stories (1989)
  • By the Gun (1993)
  • Nightmare at 20,000 Feet (2000)
  • Pride with Richard Christian Matheson (2002)
  • Duel (2002)
  • Offbeat: Uncollected Stories (2002)
  • Darker Places (2004)
  • Unrealized Dreams (2004)
  • Duel and The Distributor (2005) Previously unpublished screenplays of these two stories
  • Button, Button: Uncanny Stories (2008) (Tor Books)
  • Uncollected Matheson: Volume 1 (2008)
  • Uncollected Matheson: Volume 2 (2010)
  • Steel: And Other Stories (2011)
  • Bakteria and Other Improbable Tales (2011) (e-book exclusive)
  • The Best of Richard Matheson (2017) (Penguin Classics)

Films (for TV movies see Television below)

Television

Nonfiction

  • The Path: Metaphysics for the 90s (1993)
  • The Path: A New Look at Reality (1999)

Further reading

  • California Sorcery, edited by William F. Nolan and William Schafer
  • Jad Hatem, Charité de l'infinitésimal, Paris, L'Harmattan, 2007

References

  1. ^ a b c d e Richard Matheson at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database (ISFDB). Retrieved April 13, 2013. Select a title to see its linked publication history and general information. Select a particular edition (title) for more data at that level, such as a front cover image or linked contents.
  2. ^ a b c d "Richard Matheson Biography: Author, Screenwriter (1926–2013)". Biography.com (FYI and A&E Networks). Archived from the original on September 13, 2015. Retrieved September 29, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Hawtree, Christopher (June 25, 2013). "Richard Matheson obituary". London: Guardian.co.uk. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  4. ^ Sammon, Paul M. (October 1979). "Richard Matheson: Master of Fantasy". Fangoria (2): 26–29, 52 – via Internet Archive.
  5. ^ Conlon, Christopher "Southern California Sorcerers", [1], October 1999. Retrieved October 31, 2012.
  6. ^ a b Weber, Bruce (June 25, 2013). "Richard matheson, Writer of Haunted Science Fictionand Horror, Dies at 87". New York Times. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  7. ^ Alexander, Chris (March 2011). "The Legend of Richard Matheson". Fangoria. New York City: The Brooklyn Company, Inc. (301): 47. ... the things Serling said at the beginning and the end, in the wraparounds, which I wrote. I wrote all the wraparounds to my Twilight Zone episodes.
  8. ^ What Screams May Come: A Look at the Legendary Richard Matheson.
  9. ^ Roger Ebert. Roger Ebert's Movie Home Companion, 1990 Edition. Andrews and McMeel, 1990, p. 419.
  10. ^ "Richard Matheson (1926–2013". Locus Publications. June 24, 2013. Retrieved June 25, 2013.
  11. ^ Kellogg, Carolyn (June 24, 2013). "'I Am Legend' Author Richard Matheson Has Died at 87". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
  12. ^ "Richard Matheson: Sci-Fi Author Dies Aged 87". Sky News. June 25, 2013. Retrieved June 25, 2013.
  13. ^ a b "Matheson, Richard". The Locus Index to SF Awards: Index of Literary Nominees. Locus Publications. Retrieved April 13, 2013.
  14. ^ "Science Fiction Hall of Fame". Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on March 25, 2010. EMP SFM is proud to announce the 2010 Hall of Fame inductees: ...
  15. ^ "Award Winners and Nominees". World Fantasy Convention. Retrieved February 4, 2011.
  16. ^ "39th annual Saturn Awards to be dedicated to the memory of author Richard Matheson". Hitfix.com. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  17. ^ Deborah Christie, Sarah Juliet Lauro, ed. (2011). Better Off Dead: The Evolution of the Zombie as Post-Human. Fordham Univ Press. p. 169. ISBN 0-8232-3447-9, 9780823234479.
  18. ^ Entertainment Weekly. August 7, 2009. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  19. ^ "I am Legend writer Richard Matheson dies aged 87". LondonEvening Standard. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  20. ^ Olsen, Mark (June 24, 2013). "'I Am Legend' writer Richard Matheson's legacy of smart sci-fi". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  21. ^ Tobin, Christian (June 24, 2013). "Richard Matheson dies:Tributes paid to I am Legend, Twilight Zone Icon". Digital Spy. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  22. ^ Steel: And Other Stories. Product Description.

External links

Bram Stoker's Dracula (1973 film)

Dracula is a 1973 British television film adaptation of Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula written by Richard Matheson and directed by Dark Shadows creator Dan Curtis, with Jack Palance in the title role. It was the second collaboration for Curtis and Palance after the 1968 TV film The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Button, Button (The Twilight Zone)

"Button, Button" is the second segment of the twentieth episode from the first season (1985–86) of the television series The Twilight Zone. The episode is based on the short story of the same name by Richard Matheson; the same short story forms the basis of the 2009 film The Box. In a documentary on the making of the movie The Box, Matheson states the inspiration of the story came from his wife, whose college professor had asked a similar question as a way of promoting a class discussion.

Cold Sweat (1970 film)

Cold Sweat is a 1970 French/ Italian international co-production starring Charles Bronson and directed by Terence Young. It is based on the 1959 novel Ride the Nightmare by Richard Matheson. It was filmed in and around Beaulieu-sur-Mer.

Death Ship (The Twilight Zone)

"Death Ship" is an episode of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone, based on a short story with the same title by Richard Matheson. The story was inspired by the legend of the Flying Dutchman. In this episode, a spaceship crew discovers a wrecked replica of their ship with their own dead bodies inside.

Duel (1971 film)

Duel is a 1971 American television (and later full-length theatrical) road thriller film written by Richard Matheson, which is based on his own short story. The film is the full-length film directing debut of American director, producer, and screenwriter Steven Spielberg.

Duel stars Dennis Weaver who portrays a terrified motorist driving a Plymouth Valiant who is stalked upon remote and lonely California canyon roads by the mostly unseen driver of an unkempt Peterbilt 281.

I Am Legend (novel)

I Am Legend is a 1954 science fiction horror novel by American writer Richard Matheson. It was influential in the development of the zombie-vampire genre and in popularizing the concept of a worldwide apocalypse due to disease. The novel was a success and was adapted into the films The Last Man on Earth (1964), The Omega Man (1971), and I Am Legend (2007). It was also an inspiration behind Night of the Living Dead (1968).

Little Girl Lost (The Twilight Zone)

"Little Girl Lost" is episode 91 of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone. It is about a young girl who has accidentally passed through an opening into another dimension. Her parents and their friend attempt to locate and retrieve her.

Mute (The Twilight Zone)

"Mute" is an episode of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone. It was written by Richard Matheson, based on his own short story of the same name. The episode deals with a young girl (in the Matheson story it was a boy) raised to communicate only through telepathy, and her struggles after the sudden death of her parents forces her to enter mainstream society.

Nick of Time (The Twilight Zone)

"Nick of Time" is episode 43 of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone. It originally aired on November 18, 1960 on CBS.

Night Call

"Night Call" is episode 139 of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone. The story follows an elderly woman, played by Gladys Cooper, who receives persistent disturbing phone calls from an anonymous caller. It is based on Richard Matheson's short story, "Long Distance Call", although it ends much differently.

Nightmare at 20,000 Feet

"Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" is episode 123 of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone, based on the short story of the same name by Richard Matheson, first published in Alone by Night (1961). It originally aired on October 11, 1963 and is one of the most well-known and frequently referenced episodes of the series. The story follows the only passenger on an airline flight to notice a hideous creature lurking outside the plane.

Steel (The Twilight Zone)

"Steel" is an episode of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone. Set in the near future, its premise is that human boxing has been banned and replaced by android boxing. The story follows a once-famous human boxer who works as a manager for an antiquated android while struggling to come to grips with his career having been taken over by machines.

The Incredible Shrinking Man

The Incredible Shrinking Man is a 1957 American black-and-white science-fiction horror film from Universal-International, produced by Albert Zugsmith, directed by Jack Arnold, and starring Grant Williams and Randy Stuart. The film was adapted for the screen by Richard Matheson from his novel The Shrinking Man. The opening credits music theme (uncredited) is by Irving Gertz, with a trumpet solo performed by Ray Anthony.

The film won the first Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation (at the time called "Outstanding Movie") presented by Solacon, the 16th World Science Fiction Convention in Los Angeles. By coincidence, Richard Matheson was the convention's guest of honor that year. The film was named in 2009 to the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant.Additionally, the cover variant to the third issue of IDW Comics' The Shrinking Man miniseries, adapted from Matheson's novel, includes "Incredible" in the comic's title as a direct reference to the film.

The Invaders (The Twilight Zone)

"The Invaders" is episode 15 of season 2 (and episode 51 overall) of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone. The episode, which originally aired January 27, 1961, starred Agnes Moorehead. It was written by Richard Matheson, directed by Douglas Heyes, and scored by Jerry Goldsmith. Distinctive features of this episode include a near-solo performance by one character (interacting with miniature puppet "characters"), and an almost complete lack of dialogue. The protagonist portrayed by Moorehead often cries out in pain, terror, etc., but never speaks.

The Last Flight (The Twilight Zone)

"The Last Flight" is episode 18 of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone. Part of the production was filmed on location at Norton Air Force Base in San Bernardino, California. The vintage 1918 Nieuport 28 biplane was both owned and flown by Frank Gifford Tallman, and had previously appeared in many World War I motion pictures.

The Last Man on Earth (1964 film)

The Last Man on Earth is a 1964 black-and-white science fiction horror film based on the 1954 novel I Am Legend by Richard Matheson. The film was produced by Robert L. Lippert, directed by Ubaldo Ragona and Sidney Salkow, and stars Vincent Price. The screenplay was written in part by Matheson, but he was dissatisfied with the result and chose to be credited as "Logan Swanson". William Leicester, Furio M. Monetti, and Ubaldo Ragona finished the script.

The Last Man on Earth was filmed in Rome, with scenes being completed at Esposizione Universale Roma. It was released in the US and the UK by American International Pictures. In the 1980s the film entered the public domain. MGM Home Video, the current owners of the AIP film catalog, released a digitally remastered widescreen print of the film on DVD in September 2005.

Third from the Sun

"Third from the Sun" is episode 14 of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone. It is based on a short story of the same name by Richard Matheson which first appeared in the first issue of the magazine Galaxy Science Fiction in October 1950.

Young Man's Fancy (The Twilight Zone)

"Young Man's Fancy" is episode 99 of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone.

Richard Matheson
Novels
Short stories
Screenplays
Adaptations
by others

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