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Forrest J. Ackerman

AKA Forrest James Ackerman

Born: 24-Nov-1916
Birthplace: Los Angeles, CA
Died: 4-Dec-2008
Location of death: Los Angeles, CA
Cause of death: Heart Failure
Remains: Buried, Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery, Glendale, CA

Gender: Male
Religion: Atheist
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Author, Editor

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Mr. Science Fiction

Forrest J. "Forry" Ackerman was the world's most famous science fiction fan, and was widely credited as the first to shorten the term to "sci-fi". He saw his first genre film when he was six years old (the silent One Glorious Day starring Will Rogers), and became a fan for life. In 1930 he co-founded one of the first science fiction fan clubs, and in 1939 he loaned Ray Bradbury the funds he needed to publish his fanzine Futuria Fantasia.

Through the 1940s and '50s Ackerman was one of the foremost science fiction fanzine publishers, and from 1958 to 1983 he edited Famous Monsters of Filmland, a magazine dedicated to classic and upcoming horror and science fiction. FMoF's first issue was laid out on the kitchen table in the home of publisher Jim Warren, and in its long run the magazine provided insightful commentary on genre movies while such films were otherwise generally dismissed as schlock, unavailable for home viewing, and rarely screened in theaters after their first runs. Ackerman also worked as Ed Wood's agent, and created the barely-clothed comic book character Vampirella.

Several early subscribers to FMoF went on to their own successful careers in Hollywood, leading to dozens of Ackerman cameos in films from Dracula vs. Frankenstein to Kentucky Fried Movie to Michael Jackson's Thriller. He appeared as a character in Philip Jose Farmer's novel Blown. For decades he welcomed tens of thousands of fans at his home, a veritable museum of such science fiction memorabilia as Bela Lugosi's Dracula cape, and miniatures used in films like War of the Worlds and Earth vs. Flying Saucers. Ackerman was peripherally involved in a 1993 revival of FMoF which soon dissolved into a bitter lawsuit, and legal bills from that farce forced him to sell much of his huge collection of props.

Wife: Wendayne Ackerman (translator, b. 1912, d. 1990, no children)

    Bram Stoker Award (1997)
    Hugo Fan Personality (1953)
    Hugo Best Fanzine, Voice of the Imagi-nation (1946)
    Hugo Best Fan Writer (1946)
    Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society (co-founder)
    Esperanto speakers

    The Dead Undead (13-May-2010) · Wheelchair Zombie
    Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story (8-Nov-2007) · Himself
    Skinned Deep (14-Feb-2004)
    Universal Horror (8-Oct-1998) · Himself
    Future War (28-Jan-1997)
    Bikini Drive-In (11-Oct-1995)
    Attack of the 60 Foot Centerfold (1995)
    Innocent Blood (25-Sep-1992)
    Braindead (17-Sep-1992) · Forry
    Hard to Die (1990)
    Transylvania Twist (Oct-1989)
    The Wizard of Speed and Time (13-May-1988)
    Return of the Living Dead Part II (8-Jan-1988) · Special Zombie
    Curse of the Queerwolf (1988)
    Amazon Women on the Moon (18-Sep-1987)
    Evil Spawn (Sep-1987)
    Scalps (Dec-1983)
    The Aftermath (1982)
    The Kentucky Fried Movie (10-Aug-1977)
    Schlock (Mar-1973)
    Dracula vs. Frankenstein (7-Aug-1972) · Dr. Beaumont
    Queen of Blood (Mar-1966)
    The Time Travelers (29-Oct-1964)

Author of books:
The Best from Famous Monsters of Filmland (1960, non-fiction from FFoM magazine)
Son of Famous Monsters of Filmland (1962, non-fiction from FFoM magazine)
Strike Back! (1965, non-fiction from FFoM magazine)
Science Fiction Worlds of Forrest J. Ackerman & Friends (1969, non-fiction)
The Frankenscience Monster (1969, biography of Boris Karloff)
Best Science Fiction for 1973 (1973, anthology edited by Ackerman)
Forrest J. Ackerman Presents Mr. Monster's Movie Gold (1981, non-fiction)
A Reference Guide to American Science Fiction Films (1981, non-fiction, with A. W. Strickland)
Gosh! Wow!: Sense of wonder Science Fiction (1982, anthology edited by Ackerman)
Lon of 1000 Faces (1983, biography of Lon Chaney)
Forrest J. Ackerman's Fantastic Movie Memories (1985, non-fiction)
Forrest J. Ackerman: Famous Monster of Filmland (1986, memoir)
New Eves: Science Fiction about Extraordinary Women (1994, anthology edited by Ackerman, Janrae Frank, and Jean Stine)
Reel Future (1994, anthology edited by Ackerman and Jean Stine)
365 Science Fiction Short Short Stories (1995, anthology edited by Ackerman and Jean Stine)
I, Vampire (1995, anthology edited by Ackerman and Jean Stine)
Forrest J. Ackerman's World of Science Fiction (1997, non-fiction)
Ackermanthology!: 65 Astonishing, Rediscovered Sci-Fi Shorts (1997, anthology edited by Ackerman)
Film Future: Twenty Classic Science Fiction Stories which Morphed into Movies (1998, anthology edited by Ackerman)
Science-Fiction Classics: The Stories That Morphed into Movies (1999, anthology edited by Ackerman)
Rainbow Fantasia: 35 Spectrumatic Tales of Wonder (2001, anthology edited by Ackerman)
Sci-Fi Womanthology (2003, anthology edited by Ackerman and Pam Keesey)
Martianthology (2003, anthology edited by Ackerman)
Dr. Acula's Thrilling Tales of the Uncanny (2004, anthology edited by Ackerman)

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