From the Associated Press: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Forrest J Ackerman, the sometime actor, literary agent, magazine editor and full-time bon vivant who discovered author Ray Bradbury and was widely credited with coining the term “sci-fi,” has died. He was 92.
Ackerman died Thursday of heart failure at his Los Angeles home, said Kevin Burns, head of Prometheus Entertainment and a trustee of Ackerman’s estate.
Ackerman himself appeared in numerous films over the years, usually in bit parts. His credits include “Queen of Blood,” “Dracula vs. Frankenstein,” “Amazon Women on the Moon,” “Vampirella,” “Transylvania Twist,” “The Howling” and the Michael Jackson “Thriller” video. More recently, he appeared in 2007’s “The Dead Undead” and 2006’s “The Boneyard Collection.”
Forry Ackerman was instrumental in my evolution as a horror fan. Coming of age in the early-1980s, I caught the tail end of Ackerman’s groundbreaking publication, Famous Monsters of Filmland (ignoring, of course, the “revival” years largely without FJA). Along with already late-comer, Fangoria and all other printed matter of splatter, my Sunday afternoons (during the junior high years in particular) were spent at the neighborhood Book Corner, squatted on the floor and thumbing through all of the gory details I could get on the movies which, at that time, I could have easily felt alone in loving. Except for Forry, of course. FMoF let me know that there was someone else out there as passionate and dedicated to horror as I was, and that the subject was treated with the respect I knew it deserved. From the Universal years to ’50s creature features to Hammer Films and beyond, Famous Monsters was there. If you write or publish material with horror films as its central premise, you should drop to your knees and thank the old guy for paving the way you’re now effortlessly enjoying. Yes, Ackerman is THAT important.
From one Monster Kid to another, we’ll miss you, Forry. Thank you for drawing us all into your world of enthusiasm, eccentricity, and just plain creepy fun.