Forrest J Ackerman passed away Thursday Night (December 4, 2008) at 11:58PM of heart failure. There is no one, in my mind, that was more influential in creating a unified fan base for classic horror and "sci-fi" films. We will forever miss you Forrest J Ackerman. -Ron
What an honor it was for me to have met Forrest J. Ackerman at your shows over the years.
I was lucky enough to have my photo in Fang Mail (FM #120), as a Monster of the Month in the Graveyard Examiner (FM #157) and a letter (about the assassination of John Lennon) printed in FM #174.
I even called the man once when I was a kid after finding his number (1-666-Moonfan if I'm not mistaken) printed somewhere and he took my call!!! We talked for a few minutes and I was in monster kid heaven for... well... til this very day.
My love of cinema, art, literature and comics sprung forth from this man's magazine.
The Eerie Horror Film Festival & Expo is a direct result of his influence all those years ago....
To have had the honor of meeting him a few times was the icing on the cake and I could never have done such a thing without you and your great show.
He will be missed.
I'm heart-broken, to just now hear this sad news. God love you, Uncle "Forry"! Your "Fiend", David "The ROCK" Nelson, a.k.a. "ROCK Monsta"! I-"ROCK" just got this message from Universal Monster Army 18 minutes ago. It read: New announcement: Dear God No! R.I.P Uncle Forry!
I saw it here at the radio station at 4pm. We've lost a true legend, and a dear friend.
Hi Mr. Ron Adams,
I just glanced at your Website and read the news about Forest J. Ackerman.
I want to offer my condolence to his Family and Friends. He was a Friend to us all. We all grew up with Uncle Forry. He was Major Voice in our Industry and an inspiration to everyone of us. I met him once in San Jose, California in February 1979 at The San Jose Fantasy Symposium. I was 15 years old at the time. What a nice man!
He will be missed.
God Bless Uncle Forry!!!! -Lou Messina
Here's a video by Monster Bash music video master Charles Henson:
Above: Bill Edwards with a few FM #1s....a magazine edited by Forrest Ackerman.
Someone asked me if Uncle Forry died of natural causes, which I replied, "SCIFI causes". I'm sure it should be recorded somewhere as dying at MIDNIGHT THE WITCHING HOUR! I will always miss his puns. Rest in peace old friend.....-Bill "Drac" Edwards.
Right now I would prefer to dwell on Forry's life and not his death. All our days are numbered......what we do with them is what defines us. Forry enjoyed his life and made a living doing what he loved most. Because of this he was able to take all that love for life and share it with us. Forry's passing is truly sad, but it's his life that in the long run will always inspire me. Ron thanks for giving me the oppurtunity to spend some quality time with this great man. -Michael A.
Click on the image above to get a tour of Forry's AckerMuseum in it's full glory!
ITS A SAD SAD DAY IN MONSTER LAND, AS THE GREATEST MONSTER KID OF ALL HAS LEFT US. I KNEW THIS DAY WAS COMING SOON, BUT IT STILL IS A PAINFULL BLOW. BUT IM SURE ALL OF US WILL ALWAYS HAVE FOND MEMORIES OF MR. MONSTER. AND THE GREAT PUBLICATION HE LEFT FOR US TO ENJOY. THE GREAT OLD PHOTOS, STORIES, AND CORNY PUNS THAT MADE F.M. THE MAGAZINE WE KNOW AND LOVE. R.I.P. F.J.A.
The following is the kind of fun "Forry Storry" that is sooo memorable. Here's one from Monster Bash Convention staffer Mike Adams when he was with staffer Bob Pellegrino...and, of course, Forry Ackerman:
Bob and I were having breakfast with Forry in Ligonier, PA and somehow he got to telling the waitress about his "acting career." What it lead up to was how the parts were becoming few and far between , and the only part he could get last year "was a judge in "Nudist Colony of the Dead." He said it with shame and hung his head low (with tongue planted firmly in cheek) and just held it down like a disgraced man. Bob and I just laughed, but the waitress gave a very faint "oh my God" as her eyes opened wide and she slowly backed away from us, not knowing what to think. I can still see it as it happened and it still brings a smile to my face. -Mike A.
Mike story reminded me of a interesting quiet moment between Forry and I. It was just myself and Forry in the car. I was driving him back to the Pittsburgh Airport. We were talking Famous Monster memories and movies, then we passes a "Wendy's Restarant." You know, the burger chain. He suddlendy stopped talking in mid-sentense...looked from the restaurant back to me and said "Wennnnndy'sssss. I knew a Wendy once." He it with a wistful sigh. Of course, Wendy was his wife who had passed away years before. It was a momentthat hung in the air and I'll never forgot. My heart went out to this lovely man. -Ron Adams
Above: Ron Adams, Forry Ackerman, and Kevin Slick as the London Vampire (make-up by Ron Chamberlain) wearing Lon Chaney Sr.'s hat from the movie LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT.
Hearing about Forry I am reminded that we're only on this earth for a
short time, only "passing through" as Woody Guthrie once put it but isn't
amazing what one person can accomplish while here? When they print
obituaries in the paper it will say "...survived by..." and I believe in
this case that's us. Forry's family, his expansive, amazing, crazy
extended family, his "monster kids" because who else is the father of the
monster kids if not Forry. I am so fortunate to have met Forry at the
Bash over the years, and that picture of the three of us while I was
wearing the London After Midnight hat is something I treasure. And so we
go on, carrying on the love of the fantastic, the thrill of "It's alive!",
the chill of "The children of the night" the pure fun of a Saturday
afternoon movie with popcorn and fifty foot monsters. I'll miss Forry as
we all will and right now the only thing that gives me a little smile is
the thought that whenever I watch Mary Philbin pull that mask of Lon
Chaney again, or see Karloff come through that door as the monster for the
first time, or hear Lugosi intone the classic line "I never drink...wine"
or see the robot of Metropolis come to life Forry will be looking over my
shoulder. That way I can carry a little of him along with me forever.
Hi Ron, and everyone:
At the end of "Good By Mr. Chips", someone says of the old beloved
teacher as his life slowly ends, "it's such a shame he didn't have
any children". And the old man hearing this, speaks up. "No children,
why I had thousands of children, simply thousands."
Forry, you had millions.
Ron here are some pictures I took over the years. Forry was one of 3 people that gave me the love of classic horror films,along with my Mom and Bill Cardille. I remember the first time I met Forry. It was at the very first Monster Bash in 1997. He was sitting in the lobby all by himself and I remember thinking, I can't just go up and talk to him...that's Forry Ackerman. Little did I know that over the next few years we'd become friends, thanks mostly to Joe Moe who would always say. Look Forry there's Barb. At the Winterfest in 2000 I won breakfast with Forry and he regaled me with stories and flirted shamelessly with the waitress. I am proud that I have a FM dedicated to me and that because of the Monster Bash, got to know this wonderful, pun-derful man. He'll be missed and never, never forgotten by all his nieces and nephews. Thanks for the wonderful life "Uncle Forry" -Barb Heiss.
Above: Another photo from Cortladt Hull with Forry and Cortlandt Vincent Price "head!"
Just got home from work and heard about Forry’s passing. Terribly sad news indeed. Probably no one I can think of united and influenced horror fans as much as Forry. I doubt so many of us “Monster Kids” would even know each other without Forry, probably because he was as much if not more of a fan than we are. Leave it to Forry to leave us right at the Witching Hour. I’m sure he’d have it no other way. So glad I got to meet him at the Bash, they are moments I’ll always remember. Thanks Ron.
-Dave Hagan (MonsterMania)
Above: 40 years and friends.....Left: 1966 Forry Ackerman and Cortlandt Hull. Right: 2006 Cortlandt Hull and Forry (Ron Chaney behind) at Monster Bash.
From our dear friend Cortlandt Hull at The Witch's Dungeon:
Dear Ron -
I was away, just heard the sad news about "Uncle Forry". A great
loss to all of us.
To me, I first actually met the "Ackermonster" when I was beginning "The Witch's
Dungeon", he invited me & my folks, to the original Ackermansion on
Drive. I treasure the photos I still have of his vast collection
from that era, eye-popping
to any true horror fan.Forry introduced me to Verne Langdon, Don Post Sr. Sara Karloff,
and others that helped enormously in the early years of my museum.
very supportive of "The Witch's Dungeon", mentioning it in "Famous
which as a young teenager was a thrill for me. I also had the
pleasure of providing
Forry with many film frame blow-ups, which he used in FM. Both FJA & his wife Wendy, stayed at our home in 1970, going through "The Witch's
Dungeon" several times, and watching 16mm film prints I had of silent
horror films &
naturally "Metropolis"! Plus, he and Wendy gave me a present I will
a copy of his Dracula ring, identical to the one he gave Christopher
Lee, which Lee
wore in his Dracula film portrayals, in honor of Bela Lugosi. There are too many wonderful memories to express here. But we can
all be thankful "Dr. Ackula" was with us for these many years, to know how much he
by us "Monster Kids" all over the country, and beyond. He opened a
world of fantasy,
makeup & special effects, which inspired so many of us creatively, in
and film. Long before the internet, he joined fantasy and horror
fans together - to
all of us, especially who grew up with "Famous Monsters", he will
always be our "Uncle Forry". Thank you Ron, for bringing him to us, as often as he
was able to
Heartfelt wishes to Joe Moe -
from Cortlandt & Dennis
I was hoping Forry would enjoy one more Christmas.
Yesterday, I received the reissue of FM #6 in the mail (with the Kong cover) that I won on ebay. I haven't read this issue since 1960. All my memories of that issue and my enjoyment of reading Forry's articles all came back to me. I bought FM from 1958 through the early 70's. I never thought I would meet Forry or see his Ackermansion.
I was lucky to meet him, visit the mansion, and shared several meals with him and my family. I enjoyed seeing him every time he came to the Bash. He even let me try on Bela Lugosi's cape and ring.
I feel as if a member of my own family has died. And in a sense, he was a member of every Monster Kid's family. He was our Uncle Forry.
Just got home and got the News. What a said day in Monster Fandom.He has been reunited with some old friends, Lon, Bela and Boris and to many to be named. Good Bye My Monster Father, You will be sorely Missed. -HHWolfman
We all need to hold the torch a little higher for classic films of wonder thinking of Forry. -Ron
Horror fandom, as we know it today, would exist without the gentle,
guiding hand of Forry Ackerman.
Farewell, old friend. You did well.
Above: Carroll Borland (MARK OF THE VAMPIRE) and Forry Ackerman.
I'm saddened to hear about the passing of one of the king of the monster kids. He was a pioneer, one of the founders of classic monsterdom.
I've attached my own tribute to him. A photo of him, much younger. And yes, that IS Carroll Borland about to put the bite on him.
This is how I'd like to remember him.
-Pat GHOULCHICK Gonzalez
I am so sad to hear Forry's death...and I really don't know what to say....He was a great influence on my life..he was my mentor(he refered to himself as my "TOR-mentor!) and I first met him way back in 1991 when he was in Pgh to shoot his cameo for Innocent Blood this is a sad time for monster kids everywhere... Malcolm Gittins
Above: Ray Harryhausen and Forry in front of GIANT Kong kakes at Monster Bash 1998. That's the Aurora model on the middle cake.
I'm a young (that's 23, folks) Horror and Science Fiction fan who is in love with Vintage cinema and the realms of the Fantastic.It is of great regret that I did not have the pleasure of ever speaking to Mr. Forest J.Ackerman, the man responsible for so many of us being fans of the kind of stuff that we enjoy. Few people in this field,have I had greater respect and admiration for.I shall be a defender of the faith, and continue my allegiance to our beloved genre, holding in my heart the wisdom and warmth of Uncle Forry. We all owe the great man a debt. Thank you, Mr.Ackerman for making it possible to dream in such a dark place.
Above: Scary Monsters magazine Editor Dennis Druktenis and his son.
Well, we all knew it was coming but I actually thought Forry was going to pull through once again after he began to hold on longer than expected. He made it to his 92nd birthday which I thought was nice. Scary Writer Debbie Painter carried my personal Beast Wishes to Forry to his home several weeks ago so that makes me feel a little better. When I found out the sad news yesterday afternoon I just had to stop working on the last 3 pages of our upcoming issue and remember Forry. Today, I will put the next SCARY issue to rest, a magazine that wouldn't have ever been possible without Forry and FAMOUS MONSTERS.
There's a lot more to say and I will say more in my introduction to SCARY MONSTERS #69 but I invite everyone to join in the Tribute to Forrest J Ackerman in SCARY MONSTERS #70. Send in your MONSTER MEMORIES, Tribute articles and photos by early February and I'll try to get in as many as possible into the SCARY 70th TRIBUTE ISSUE FROM THE BLACKY LAGOON! This issue will also feature Ben Chapman's last interview so it will be a double tribute issue!
FM #100 was the first monster mag I ever bought. As a kid it was a thrill to see my letters printed in FM. I remember seeing my name in a feature FM used to run about identifying what movie a photo was from. 4E printed information about my Godzilla fan club in several FM issues (for free!). I met him at a Pittsburgh monster con in 1978. As I was leaving I saw him getting a shoe-shine. He was really a nice gentleman, we had a nice talk and he gave me his autograph (again, for free). Saw him years later at 2 monster bashes and he was always kind. Remember seeing him on 3 TV shows: a Tom Snyder Tomorrow episode (where he broke Peter Cushing up talking about X-rated monster movies!); a Mike Douglas show (with Darren McGavin and Zacherle); and an ABC late-night special called "The Horror Hall Of Fame" (which included Vincent Price, Billy Van, John Astin, John Carradine, etc). I wish these were on DVD. I'll miss him -- as well as Beverly Garland, who I also met at a monster bash; she was a nice lady. I'll never forget talking to her about Robert Horton's old TV show "A Man Called Shenandoah" (she was in the pilot). Best to you Ron - Richard Campbell.
Ron and my Monster Bash family,
Thanks for all of your love and support of Forry over these many years. And thanks for always being there for me too! It has been such a privilege for me to be so close to Forry during some of the most trying times in his life. It has been incredibly rewarding. All of fandom kept our ol' guy going much longer than ever expected. Never long enough, tho. Together we'll have to figure out how to travel a world without Forry.
Memorabilia, magazines and memories aside, the most valuable thing Forrest J Ackerman ever gave us was...each other.
Forry Ackerman shall not die!
ABOVE: Past Saturday's New York Times sent in by Bruce Tinkel.
It is a sad day indeed to know that Forry has passed on. He was truly and influence and inspiration to my life. When I was a kid, I would have to go to bed at 8 PM, but on Friday nights, my brothers would wake me up and we would watch Project Terror together on TV in San Antonio. It was through that show that I learned about Frankenstein, Wolman Dracula et. al.
My first encounter with Famous Monsters (FM) was in a store in Eugene Or. I was seven years old, and FM 86 was out at the time. I will never forget seeing the cover, with a picture from the poster of The House That Dripped Blood. It scared the heck out of me, and I had nightmares for many years to come about that horrific image. It was one of the last issues that I added to my collection later, I was so frightened by that cover.
It was 8 issues later that I purchased my first FM, #94. Its beautifully rendered cover with Karloff's Frankenstein Monster attracted my attention at a newstand, and I asked my aunt to buy it for me. I was hooked. I read it cover to cover and loved it.
Later in elementary school, I met a friend who had FM 5, and we started a club, and when we could, we would buy the issues as they came out. Around the same time in Eugene, Cable TV started and we were able to get Channel 2 from San Francisco, so we were able to enjoy Chiller Theater Saturday afternoons, and Creature Features at night. The rest is history.
I had a chance to meet Forry when I was 14 years old in 1978. My mother had passed away, and my father and I took a road trip from Eugene, down to San Diego and then across the nation to Pennsylvania. My dad spoiled me, taking me to anywhere I wanted to go. I sent a letter to Forry saying I would be in town, and he sent a card back saying I could visit when we were there. My dad and I found our way to the Ackermansion in Hollywood and had a tour. My dad and I will never forget his devilish welcome as he bellowed out "Who dares enter ..."
That same year Forry came to Pittsburgh for a convention in Monroeville. I met him again, and asked if he remembered me. He looked at me and said, "oh yes", looking at my buttons "You are the Harryhausen fan". To tell you the truth I was disapoinnted, as I realized he didn't remember me, but now I know that that happens. He was 62 then, and I am only 44 now, and the same thing happens to me. I forgive you for forgetting Forry, I understand it happens to all of us.
More than the great magazines, great tour and influence in my life as a genre fan, what affected my life most about Forry was the warnings he gave in FM against smoking and drinking for young people. I don't remember exactly when or why, but I do remember that he was responsible for keeping me away from those vices. As I look back and remember, I always credit him for staying clean all of my life. Thank you Forry, for telling us kids about how bad those things are.
One thing that broke my heart about Forry, when I read his biography published years ago, was that he was an atheist. I am a Christian and when I read that it saddened me. I prayed for him, and believe that God in His mercy and love, had a big surprise for Forry the other day. I am not one of those dogmatic folks who will condemn him to hell. I believe God wants all to be saved, and one way or the other He is going to do it. I believe that about Forry too. He'll be surprised, but I think he will enjoy the new eternal fantasy life that awaits him.
Thanks Creepy Classics, for allowing us to share our thoughts and tributes. I join with you in this time of grief, and rejoice in the memories that the Ackermonster gave us over the years.
Forry has been a part of my life since my Mom bought me Famous Monsters #11 in February 1961. I was fortunate to have my request for a picture printed the "You Axed for It" section in issue #26.
I first met Forry in 1974. He was everything I expected - friendly, funny and interested in what I had to say.
My daughter, when she was young, would not let people she did not know come near her. When she met Forry, she walked up to him and held his hand. She said to me that "Forry is nice". This was a tribute to Forry's natural gentleness.
One of the greatest moments of my life was going to the Ackermansion in 2001. I went with Buddy Barnett, the editor of Cult Movies. (See the attached pictures of Forry, Buddy and myself and me among Forry's huge book collection). I had been waiting for almost 40 years to go and to Forry so. He was touched and said, "What took you so long?". It was worth the wait.
Every time I met Forry through the years, he always gave me a big hello and asked about my daughter.
He has influenced my life in ways he never could have imagined. My love of horror films has guided me throughout the years and I have Forry to thank for this.
He was a wonderful man and will be greatly missed.
I have to tell you this story since it really makes me wonder just how connected we all are to each other. I was not aware that Forry had passed away until Sunday night when I finally was able to use my home computer (my teenage kids held it hostage until now) and read the news.
Now, my first store bought FM magazine was the 1968 Yearbook edition (see photo). I must have read that magazine until the cover fell off.
Well flash ahead over 35 years later and I'm at the Monster Bash with Forry as one of the guest. One of the venders had a copy of the '68 magazine which I quickly bought and had Forry sign. The magazine has been kept in plastic since that day.
Now for the weird part. I'm cleaning up some of my personal possessions and I came across the magazine on Saturday afternoon. As I looked at his autograph and remembered Forry's comment that he never took a dime for his signature, I had an odd feeling that he was no longer with us. When I read the news Sunday night at Creepy Classics, I knew I had to tell someone.
The world of Monster Kids is darker today but I am grateful that I had a chance to meet this man. Rest in peace, friend.
Hi Ron -
Above: Forry Ackerman at MONSTER BASH 2006. Click Image to see Cortlandt Hulland Dennis Vincent's great promo film of Forry!
We just put together this sequence we
shot of Forry at "Monster Bash". He
talks about the Lugosi cape coat, the
Dracula Ring, and "The Witch's
Dungeon". He was in a great mood
that day, we did not know what to
expect, totally unrehearsed, he gave
us a wonderful performance! We
miss him already. Hope you enjoy it!
as Forry would say -
"You Axed For It!" - Cortlandt &
Above: Forry talks on TV about sci-fi in the 1970s and, right, our own "Gorespodent" here at Creepy Classics "Count Craigyla: and a kid.
Forrest J Ackerman, Forrey, 4E, Forrest, Dr. Acula, a man with many names, he influenced countless people in oh so many ways, and no matter who (or what) you were, he always was more than generous with his time, if you asked him for it.
He may have been 92 in people years, but if you spent any amount of time with him, you probably would have guessed him to be around 15 years old.
He welcomed both friends and strangers into his Ackermansion and heart without discrimination, and he always made each individual feel unique and special.
There is simply no enough web space on the Internet to describe what a truly outstanding individual Forrest J Ackerman is and was.
Thank you for everything.
We love you Forrest, and we will deeply miss you always.
Sincerely (and with a sad heart),
Above: Forry Ackerman and Boris Karloff.
Uncle Forry, thanks, it's been fifty years since my first FM, and five or six meetings with you at conventions and such...and I assure you that you're not just another picture on my wall. Your passing is sad but gain satifaction in knowing that you will not be forgotten.
Rest in Peace,
Dear Ron ,
I usually click on Your site everyday , This Friday however was a rough day , So I waited until this morning. Boy was I shocked to see
that our dear friend and mentor had left this mortal plain. I can't tell You how sad I am right now. I just had to write You. I hope all is well with You
and Your family.
I have to say that I got a kick out of seeing The nice picture of Forry with Zach from Two years ago , since I was The one who set up
that shot. Although The actual picture is not mine to boast , I have to tell You I sweated it Out all that Saturday afternoon At The bash to get The two
of them together for a photo. When The moment finally arrived Zacherley agreed To help Me out with a little help from Basil Gogos! When The
actual moment came to snap away There were at least fifteen or twenty cameras going off behind Me!! I do remember sending You at least one of
my better shots.
All in all , it was a great time , and some real old fashioned good clean fun! I will miss Uncle Forry dearly and I will cherish The Years I
spent with him in my heart And I will cherish The times I had with in person as well , including The Monster Bash! Another Time That I set Up The shot
for his fans was at The very first Monster Bash in Ligonier ! It was during The cutting of his birthday cake. I noticed that Ron Chamberlain and Frank Rios
were sitting by Themselves eating cake in full costume as The Phantom of The Opera from Man Of A Thousand Faces and The Frankenstein Monster ala Karloff !
So , I asked If They would do me a favor and get up next to Forry and The rest is history! Again It seemed like hundreds of cameras were clicking away!
Well Ron , It was and is an honor and a privelege to say I was able to contribute in some small way to The legend that is Forrest J. Ackerman.
He will be missed!! Take care , Be well , keep in touch and have a great Holiday!
Signing off , Your friend , Uncle Larry
Above: Lifelong friends since teenagers - Forry Ackerman, Ray Harryhausen, and Ray Bradbury. The above appearance at the 2005 ComicCon.
Ron & All of Monsterdom,
So sad to finally hear of 4E's passing but I think I know why The Great One lived so long in the fang! In the mid-80's, fan legend Mario Toland and me where in Monster Mecca (Hollywood) on one of our many FM pilgrimages when we had to pleasure of joining Doc Ack, uber-collector Ron Borst and others for lunch at the local Sizzler in Los Feliz. As two true-blue corn-fed midwesterners, Mario and me, of course enjoyed a platter of steak and french fries. But there was dear Forry munching on a bottomless salad-bar plate of bean sprouts and God-knows what other greenery! Evidently his blood-lust stopped just short of sinking his choppers into a juicy sirloin! I think Nat King Cole sang it best--Uncle Forry, you "are unforgettable, that's what you are." In mourning, - Matt Swanson, the Potentate of Puzzles
I had the privilege of meeting Forry a few times over the years. I spoke to him once over the phone, and I will never forget him. I imagine, in the afterlife, Lon Chaney walking up to Forry and saying..."So......YOU'RE the one....."
-John P. Miami, FL
I was so sorry to hear about Forry's passing. I thought of you and your family immediately and wanted to express my sympathy to you all. I'm sure Forry was like a member of your family and you're feeling the loss more profoundly than most. I know that your memories of a kind and gracious man will see you through.
Above: Forry as Dr. Acula and, right, Richard Sheffield with Dr..acula.
I was so fortunate to have been able to spend some time with Forry during my trip last June to Los Angeles. On that occasion I gave him his copy of Jim's MftV-German Robles issue which German had dedicated to Forry. Robles had always wanted to meet Forry….but wasn't to be.
RIP 4e, my friend of 58 years.
Dear Ron & Dennis,
With Forry's passing it seems in my mind that both of you have inherited the keys to the kingdom. You're now the leaders in keeping the Love alive, not that anyone could replace Forry (just as no one can replace John Lennon, George Harrison...or Santa Claus, seriously). Having said that, please let me express my heartfelt gratitude and appreciation for all you've done for Monsterland.
I am looking forward to your respective tributes to Forry though. I'm sure both of you have projects in motion as we speak, but I think it would be a great idea if the 2 of you collaborated on a book/magazine celebrating the life of Forry Ackerman.
All things aside, I will continue to support both of you whenever and however I can.
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year & God Bless Us Everyone,
SHERMAN PAUL LUNDY
Hi Paul, no one can replace Forrest J Ackerman. He was there, before the Internet....bringing us together through the premier monster magazine (along with presentation by Jim Warren). Dennis is planning a BIG Forry Tribute in his SCARY MONSTERS #70 magazine. I'll also be doing something in the next issue of Monster Bash magazine. For the Monster Bash Conference, I came up with the only thing I think would be truly fitting...something VERY, VERY special that will happen at 11:58PM on Saturday night at this year's Monster Bash Conference. It involves the entire Monster Bash staff (myself, Dennis, Bob Pellegrino, Ursula...the whole staff)....and all attendees. Hopefully, we'll create a little magic in the air with Forry. So, look for Scary Monsters Magazine #70 (I believe due out in March) and we'll see you at Monster Bash June 26-28, 2009 in Pennsylvania...(CLICK here for details at Bash).
After seeing all of the tributes to Uncle Forry I wanted to send you some of the photos from my visit with him at his home in 1989. Back in 1969 (when I was 17) I wrote him a letter and mentioned I would like to visit him some day in California when I became rich enough to travel that far from Iowa. To my surprise he sent me a postcard that said I better hurry up and not wait. Finally in 1989 I rode my Harley out to see him and it was "FANTASTIC". I showed Forry the 20 year old postcard he sent me and then I had him autograph one of his paperback books I had brought along to acknowledge my visit. It's been another 20 years and as I look at these pictures I realize I was one lucky guy!
Thanks for posting Forry's address a month ago. I was glad to get the chance to send him one last note.
Attached is a comical B&W pic taken of Forry cringing from A.E. Van Vogt who is menacing him with a piece of cake (in Calgary, Alberta circa 1971). (SEE PHOTO ABOVE)
I was fortunate to have first met Forry in Toronto at the World Sci-Fi Con in 1973 & kept in touch on & off ever since. He helped with my cookbook project & my biggest thrill was appearing in 3 different Famous Monsters mags in the early 1970's-(letters & stuff-Peter Cushing interview)-thanks to Forry! Yes Forry Ackerman was a wonderful man who always had time for us & will never be forgotten!
& God Bless Beverly Garland (what a sweet, kind lady) & Nina Foch!
With sincere sympathy,
-Gordon Reid, Oakville, ON Canada
By G. M. Goodwin
It is Friday at the Goodwin house
I wait patiently on the couch
Dad walks in, its Pay Day
Wheres my allowance? Im heard to say
Dad is quick to reply, Heres your fifty cents
I grab it gleefully for all my toils and sweats
Now off to the newsstand Dad says while its still light
Off to the newsstand before you have to deal with the night
Get that magazine about the new Beatles band,
or is it the one about the Monster Man?
Famous Monster of Filmland I correct my dad
Our communications wasnt always this bad
I buy the mag for my half a dollar
and rush back home with a hoot and a holler
Now I can explore the Monsters of Filmland
I hold the magazine in my grubby little hand
I watch the movies on our Tee Vee
But its this mag that dots the is and crosses the ts
I read the stories of Karloff, Lugosi and Lon
Theyre as cool to me as agent James Bond
I look at the pictures of Christopher Lee
And of his best friend Mr. Peter Cushing
I love this column You Axed Us
I read it to all my friends on the school bus
The photo captions are funny and silly
The articles are not and filled with history
When Im done with the mag from cover to cover
I hand it off to my own little brother
Whats this name on the cover? Forrest J. Ackerman?
An actor, writer, director? Or just a fan who lives in the land
I know hes the one who keeps the images alive
A collector to who we all look to and to who we all strive
Hes a friend; he is family to the monster nation,
He awakens our often dormant imagination
FJA, Dr. Acula, the Acker Monster, FE, Uncle Forry
All nicknames for this man in all his glory
He opens our eyes and allows us to fly
When Karloff dies, he tells us its okay to cry
On the other side of the world a war is raging
Soldiers, Moms and Dads pray to God for saving.
Riots are raging in our city streets
Homes and buildings burning in the summer heat
The news shows talk of boys coming home dead
But thanks to Uncle Forry I feel safe in my own little bed
Near half a century has passed since those childhood days
Ive grown up, grown old and today Im okay
I just watched Metropolis for the very first time
A hundred viewing for Forry, the first time it only cost him a dime
Forry first saw this classic in 1927
About Fritz Langs views of Hades and heaven
And what is the films tag line
Which causes all of us to sigh ?
Between the head
And the hands
There must be a mediator
It should be the heart
Thank you for being our mediator
Thank you for being our heart.
THIS and photo in from Terry Pace: My son Forrest (then 3) and baby sister Alexandra
(then 2) at Uncle Forry’s side during our children’s
final visit with Forrest’s namesake, February 2008.
A Pillar of Fire Tribute
to Forrest J Ackerman
(Nov. 24, 1916-Dec. 4, 2008)
“The best we can hope is that Forry Ackerman lives forever.”
– Ray Bradbury
“If Forry Ackerman had not existed, it would have been necessary to invent him.”
– Anthony Boucher
“Forry was the best and he is the best.”
– Stephen King
“Up, up and away with FJA!” – Forrest J Ackerman
Above: Forry with a repro of his fantastic catalyst....AMAZING STORIES pulp magazine.....amazing....Forries.
I grew up with Famous Monsters, with Mr. Ackermonster and all of his "Ackernims", but my favorite memory was meeting him at Bash.
After saying hello and introducing myself, it was like we had been friends for years, what a gentlemonster!! As busy as he was, I asked him if he would look at my Bela Lugosi autograph and give me his opinion. He said he would be glad to, and said I a "real" one.
In closing I have to say he is having a great time talking to all the other "Greats" who have gone before him.
I knew that Forry was quite ill. When I hesitantly went into the news section of your site a few days ago, I unfortunately found what I was hoping might not be there; a part of Forry had left us--but not his spirit. In his senior English class, my son has been reading Emile Zola's novel, Germinal, which concerns itself with the plight of nineteenth century miners in France. Just the other day, an exciting thought came to me: "Michael, we have to watch Metropolis (which he'd never seen)--the film and its theme would perfectly complement Zola's novel, and maybe stimulate further class discussion!" When I think back on that moment, I wonder, was that really me talking, or was it was really Forry speaking, continuing to remind his "pupils," young and old alike, about the wonders of the fantastic cinema. Dr. Acula, you've been one of the greatest professors I've ever had. I'm sure you'll be peaking in when Rotwang's robot appears on the screen in Maine later this week.
P. S. A photo of father and son (wearing a vintage 60's mask for Halloween) bonding in a friend's laboratory--definitely another Ackerman-inspired moment! (See above photo right).
Here's a tour of the Ackermuseum:
...and here's a GREAT music video sent in by Vince Rotolo -- CLICK HERE!
Forry with his MONSTER BASH AWARD (The Forry)...it was the very first one given out...to none other than the Ackermonster himself...naturally. Photo from Terry Pace.
Uncle Forry……gone…..I’m at a loss….we all are! Monsterkids everywhere have lost someone who has affected or will affect their “monster lives” in one way or another. I can’t help but credit FJA with everything about the existence of the monsterkid inside me. I had only met him a handful of times and didn’t know him well, but I believe my life was better because of him and FMOF. God’s peace to you. Bill Petko
Thoughts on Forrest Ackerman by Kirk Smith:
It took a while to form my thoughts on the passing of Forrest J. Ackerman. He played such a large part on my childhood. What he imparted to me has carried over into my adulthood.
I grew up in the small town of Grayslake, Il. Its 40 miles north of Chicago. It was the early 70s and Saturday was the brass ring of the merry-go-round week. I grabbed it with both hands every week. I couldnt wait to go uptown with my brother. I spent part of my allowance at the five and dime store buying Sixlets, Smarties, Sweettarts, and other assorted sticks of dental dynamite. The other part of the allowance would go to horror movie magazines specifically Famous Monsters of Filmland. I would read the other magazines, but Famous Monsters was the Cadillac among the Pintos. All the magazines paid reverance to Karloff, Lugosi, and Chaney(both). Famous Monsters were the only ones who bought up Jack Pierce, John P. Fulton, and Willis OBrien. When I had my Famous Monsters, I had ammunition for the onslaught that night. At 8 pm channel 7(WLS-TV) would show Freaky Films. They dealt mostly with Hammer films with the occasional Godzilla movie thrown in. The real threat to my impressionable young mind, however, was Creature Features at 10:30 pm channel 9(WGN-TV). They didnt have a host to try to diffuse the fear of the viewer. They showed clips from Universal horror movies while Henry Mancinis Experiment In Terror played in the background. These were the movies that scared me. Mr. Ackermans corny captions under the wonderful pictures cut through the fear and settled into the wonder. The wonder of the performance, the wonder of the artistry, and the wonder of the film.
Long before I knew they were friends, my life was centered around Forrest Ackerman, Ray Bradbury, and Ray Harryhausen. They discovered a long time ago that the fountain of youth flows from the brain and onto the canvas(magazine, book, and film). From the canvas it flows to the viewer. I had the pleasure of attending the 1998 Monster Bash. The main guest was Ray Harryhausen. Forrest Ackerman was there as well. What struck me, while I was standing in line, was the diversity of people. On the outside, we were young and old. We had long or short hair. We had different ethnic origins. On the inside, we were all twelve years old. We were waiting breathlessly to talk to Mr. Ackerman, The King Of The Twelve Year Olds.
I just recently viewed the F. W. Murnau film Faust. The visual command of the film was astonishing. I always wanted to see this film. I first saw pictures of the film in Famous Monsters. I knew Mr. Ackerman was with me while I watched this film. After it was over, he said, "I told you it was great." Yes it was and so were you. Goodbye Mr. Ackerman and thank you. -Kirk Smith
Hi Ron. I just found this photo! Forry, Ken Anger, Bob Bloch and about a dozen
other nuts came over my house during a convention (maybe Lunacon!) for
a film party! Forry went into my collection room and I gave him a copy
of SPFX #1. I held a copy of Famous Monsters and someone took the
picture. I got the picture developed...yes, developed (no computers
then!) He then signed it.
Wow, around the room I see posters from Day the Earth Stood Still,
The Time Machine, The Thing, It Came from Outer Space..I can only
wonder what was tacked to my ceiling!
I was looking for an item in my picture files, and I found these pictures
of Forrest Ackerman, that I'd like to share with Creepy Classics fans.
Super-fan and monster artist Malcolm Gittens sent in this photo of him with our beloved Ackermonster at one of the Monster Bash conferences.
I don't remember if I ever showed you this pic. Forry came to visit me
at my home, I guess, sometime in the 70's. Also Bob Bloch and Ken
Anger. I was having a film party. (16mm, natch!) I asked Forry to
pose at my desk with a copy of SPFX #1.
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