'I Am Legend' and 'Twilight Zone' Writer Richard Matheson Has Died

June 24, 2013
Source: THR

I Am Legend / Richard Matheson

Following last week's tragic news that James Gandolfini had passed away suddenly after suffering a heart attack in Italy, another influential talent in cinema is gone. THR reports author Richard Matheson, known for writing the source material behind films like I Am Legend, The Incredible Shrinking Man and What Dreams May Come has passed away at age 87. Though the cause of death was not disclosed, Mateson died in his home in California. The author excelled in short stories, selling his first to The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in 1950. But that was just the start of an influential sci-fi career.

Here's Richard Matheson's most famous contribution to The Twilight Zone:

Aside from writing the stories which inspired films like Stir of Echoes, Somewhere in Time and Richard Kelly's The Box, Matheson also made waves by way of The Twilight Zone. One of the most iconic segments, Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, has seen several segment adaptations. William Shatner starred in the 1963 version and John Lithgow brought it to life in Twilight Zone: The Movie. Another segment called Steel served as the inspiration for the Hugh Jackman film Real Steel. The 16 episodes on which Matheson worked have been sited as a big influence for talents like Stephen King and more.

In an interesting turn, Matheson adapted his short story Duel into the 1971 TV film directed by Steven Spielberg, and the writer would later go on to script the screenplay for Jaws 3D. Contiuing on the TV side of things, Matheson wrote for some of the most iconic programming for the small screen including Star Trek, Combat!, Kolchak: The Night Stalker and The Alfred Hitckcock Hour. Matheson has dozens more short stories in his career that spanned over 40 years, and his legacy will live on through film and television, not to mention generations of writers touched by his stories. Rest in peace.

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Reader Feedback - 8 Comments



Xerxexx on Jun 24, 2013


This is very sad. RIP Richard Matheson.

Guest on Jun 24, 2013


We have lost a Legend. Goodbye Richard Matheson.

DAVIDPD on Jun 24, 2013


The modern version of that same episode posted above has stuck in my head forever, maybe I was just at the right age, but I found it frightening, funny and frustrating that no-one else knew what was going on inside the plane. When I think of the Twighlight Zone that story is the first that comes to mind. 87 is a great age for anyone to reach, but still a loss, rest up some mister.

Carpola on Jun 24, 2013


He was truly a legend--perhaps the most influential writer of SF, horror and fantasy. He will be sorely missed, but his work will live on.

Scopedog on Jun 24, 2013


Wow...I randomly introduced my boys to I am Legend tonight and they loved it. Such sad news...

MattPeloquin on Jun 24, 2013


Now this sucks

ff on Jun 24, 2013


He had a good, long life. Only thing I think that bothered him was that not more of his work was adapted into movies, but I get the feeling that will change the next decade. R.I.P and thanks for all the wonder and scares

David Banner on Jun 25, 2013

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