Sunday, December 7, 2008

Forrest J. Ackerman Remembered

By now most folks know that Forrest J. Ackerman, the ultimate science fiction fan, publisher, author and agent passed away this past Thursday at the grand age of 92. I don’t have a lot of personal anecdotes about Forrest J. Ackerman, but I did have the pleasure of meeting him quite a few years ago at a convention in Kentucky (the photo at the right was taken there). I remember having an animated discussion with him in the hotel lobby about science fiction films, Alien as I recall. He was friendly, approachable and very passionate about movies.

I have compiled a list of links to the many tributes and stories about Forrest for those that want to know more. But here I offer up my list of Twelve Fascinating Things You Should Know About Forrest J. Ackerman.
  1. Amassed the world's largest personal collection of science fiction and fantasy memorabilia (over 300,000 pieces)
  2. Coined the term “sci-fi”
  3. Was editor of Famous Monsters of Filmland
  4. He attended Bela Lugosi's funeral and the first World Science Fiction Convention in New York City in 1939
  5. He was a founding member of LASFS (Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society)
  6. Published author with over 50 stories
  7. Literary agent to over 200 authors of SF&F
  8. Created and wrote the comic book character Vampirella
  9. Highlights of his Ackermansion collection included: the ring worn by Lugosi in "Dracula," the giant-winged pterodactyl that swooped down for Fay Wray in "King Kong," Lon Chaney's cape from "The Phantom of the Opera" and "Metropolis" director Fritz Lang's monocle.
  10. Ackerman had cameos in over 210 films, including bit parts in many monster movies (The Howling, Innocent Blood, Return of the Living Dead Part II), more traditional "imagi-movies" (The Power, The Time Travelers, Future War), spoofs (Amazon Women on the Moon, Attack of the 60 Foot Centerfold), and at least one major music video (Michael Jackson's Thriller). Thus, his Bacon number was 2.
  11. Was a Hugo and Bram Stoker Award winner
  12. He has his hand prints and autograph in the sidewalk outside the Vista Theatre in Hollywood


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