I’m sure some of you have heard of Forrest J “Forry” Ackerman. If not, here is a very brief description.
I’m sure you have heard the term ‘sci-fi’. Well, it was Forrest who first coined the term. He was born in LA in 1916 and a child read and saw lots of what we ow call sci-fi and horror. He was involved in the very first science fiction fanzines and his name was used for a reporter in an early Superman adventure. He probably invented cosplay as he and his girlfriend attended the 1st World Science Fiction Convention in 1939.
He was literary agent to many authors including Ed Wood, Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury. He was also an accomplished writer himself with over 50 stories published including many in comics. He also produced his own magazine, Famous Monsters in Filmland.
He was on the board of many museums, institutions, organisations and clubs. At one time he had his own sci-fi/fantasy/horror museum at his home where he had exhibits from film and tv. He was a big fan of the B-Movie genre.
Forry also appeared in over 200 movies as well as Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ video. Many film directors and actors have said that Forrest was a huge inspiration to them and their careers- directors/actors such as Stephen Spielberg, John Landis, Billy Bob Thornton, Stephen King and Guillermo Del Toro are fans.
Forrest died in 2008 at the age of 92. My friends and I were lucky enough to meet him at a sci-fi con in the Roanoke Valley, Virginia, USA. At the crew party afterwards he regaled us with his stories.
Such a wonderful man!