Richard Matheson, author of several iconic sci-fi stories including “The Shrinking Man” and “I Am Legend,” has passed away. He was 87.
THR reports that Matheson died in his home in Calabasas, CA on Sunday (June 23). The cause of death was not immediately disclosed.
Several of Matheson’s works were adapted into films during his career. In 1956, he wrote “The Shrinking Man,” which was turned into the film “The Incredible Shrinking Man,” giving him his first feature screenwriter credit. His vampire novel “I Am Legend” was the basis for an astonishing three different adaptation: 1964’s “The Last Man on Earth,” 1971’s “Omega Man” and 2007’s “I Am Legend,” starring Will Smith. His 1971 short story “Duel” was adapted into a telefilm that shone a spotlight on young director Steven Spielberg.
In the late ’50s, Matheson began writing for TV series like “Star Trek” “Kolchak: The Night Stalker” and “Twilight Zone,” which he wrote 16 episodes for. In fact, one of his 16 is the legendary 1963 episode “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” starring William Shatner.
News of Matheson’s passing came from his daughter, Ali Marie Matheson, who announced her father’s death on Facebook on Monday, writing, “”My beloved father passed away yesterday at home surrounded by the people and things he loved … he was funny, brilliant, loving, generous, kind, creative, and the most wonderful father ever … I miss you and love you forever, Pop, and I know you are now happy and healthy in a beautiful place full of love and joy you always knew was there…”