Detailed view for the Author: Forrest J. Ackerman

Full Name:
Forrest J. Ackerman
Los Angeles, California USA
Birth date:
Los Angeles, California, USA
Death date:


Author Biography: 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 has 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. Until ill health forced him to stop, he conducted tours of his sci-fi-stuffed home, which was open to the public every Saturday morning.

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

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