The acclaimed sci-fi author Richard Matheson has passed away aged 87. A spokesman for the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films announced that he had died on Sunday in Los Angeles.
Matheson was regarded as a landmark author in the science-fiction and horror genres, with his 1954 novel I Am Legend having been adapted for the big screen no fewer than three times, the latest of which arrived in 2007.
Hell House , What Dreams May Come and A Stir Of Echoes were also among the author’s other stories to have been converted into feature films, while Matheson was also responsible for the screenplay for Duel , Steven Spielberg’s first directorial outing.
“Richard Matheson's ironic and iconic imagination created seminal science-fiction stories and gave me my first break when he wrote the short story and screenplay for Duel ,” said Spielberg in an official statement.
“His Twilight Zone s were among my favourites, and he recently worked with us on Real Steel ,” continued the director. “For me, he is in the same category as Bradbury and Asimov.”
Matheson had been scheduled to receive the visionary award at the Academy of Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Films' Saturn Awards on Wednesday. The organisation has since announced that the award will be presented posthumously.
The author is survived by his wife and four children. Our thoughts are with them at this sad time.