Like my illustrious writing partner I mourn the loss of Richard Matheson — the one man who had more influence on us than any other writer of our generation.
I remember discovering Matheson upon a reading of Shock — a paperback collection of short stories – when I was a kid. I was immediately taken by his creativity, his love for the horror genre, and his uncanny talent of telling a good tale. He made writing look easy and effortless, which Chris Leppek and I know all too well is far from the truth.
When talking about Matheson I always have and always will refer to him as perhaps the most famous writer most people never knew. But his immense workmanlike slate of accomplishments will surely live on. Here’s a man who successfully maneuvered between novels, short stories, teleplays and screenplays, an incredibly difficult fete.
He can be traced back as one of the original writers on the groundbreaking television show “The Twilight Zone”. He wrote episodes of the original “Star Trek” and was a favorite of independent film guru Roger Corman who hired Matheson to pen “The Pit And The Pendulum”, “The Raven” and other classics. My favorite novel and screenplay by him will always be “The Legend of Hell House.”
Perhaps the public will best remember him for having a total of three remakes of films based on a novel — “I Am Legend”, and for writing the television movie “Duel” which gave Steven Spielberg his first directing job. Spielberg’s success with “Duel” led him to “Jaws”.
As writers we thank Mr. Matheson for providing us with inspiration.
As fans, we thank Mr. Matheson for giving us countless hours of pure entertainment.
We will all miss him terribly.