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Ray Bradbury Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (2) | Trivia (36) | Personal Quotes (18)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 22 August 1920Waukegan, Illinois, USA
Date of Death 5 June 2012Los Angeles, California, USA
Birth NameRay Douglas Bradbury

Mini Bio (1)

Ray Bradbury was an American science fiction writer whose works were translated in more than 40 languages and sold millions of copies around the world. Although he created a world of new technical and intellectual ideas, he never obtained a driver's license and had never driven a car.

He was born Ray Douglas Bradbury on August 22, 1920, in Waukegan, Illinois. He was the third son in the family. His father, Leonard Spaulding Bradbury, was a telephone lineman and technician. His mother, Esther Marie Bradbury (nee Moberg), was a Swedish immigrant. His grandfather and great-grandfather were newspaper publishers. In 1934 his family settled in Los Angeles, California. There young Bradbury often roller-skated through Hollywood, trying to spot celebrities. He attended Los Angeles High School, where he was involved in the drama club and planned to become an actor. He graduated from high school in 1938 and had no more formal education. Instead, he learned from reading works of such writers as Leo Tolstoy and Fyodor Dostoevsky, among others.

From 1938-42 he was selling newspapers on the streets of Los Angeles, spending days in the local library and nights at the typewriter. At that time he published his stories in fanzines. In 1941 he became a paid writer when the pulp magazine Science Stories published his short story, titled "Pendulum", and he was a full-time writer by the end of 1942. His first book - "Dark Carnival" - was a collection of stories published in 1947. That same year he married Marguerite McClure (1922-2003), whom he met at a book store a year earlier. Maggie, as she was affectionately called, was the only woman Bradbyru ever dated. They had four daughters and, eventually, eight grandchildren.

Ray Bradbury shot to international fame after publication of "The Martian Chronicles" (1950), a collection of short stories partially based on ideas from ancient Greek and Roman mythology. Then he followed the anti-Utopian writers Yevgeni Zamyatin and Aldous Huxley in his best known work, "Farenheit 451" (1953). The 1966 film adaptation (Fahrenheit 451 (1966)) by director François Truffaut, starring Julie Christie, received several nominations. However, Bradbury was not happy with the 1980 TV adaptation (The Martian Chronicles (1980), starring Rock Hudson) of his story "The Martian Chronicles". His other novels and stories also have been adapted to films and television, as well as for radio, theatre and comic books. Bradbury had written episodes for Alfred Hitchcock's TV series, as well as for many other TV productions. His total literary output is close to 600 short stories, more than 30 books and numerous poems and plays. He was writing daily.

In 2004 Bradbury received a National Medal of Arts. He was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6644 Hollywood Blvd. An asteroid was named in his honor, "9766 Bradbury", and the Apollo astronaut named a crater on the moon "Dandelion Crater", after his novel, "Dandelion Wine". He also received the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement, the Grand Master Award from Science Fiction Writers of America, an Emmy Award for his work as a writer on "The Halloween Tree", and many other awards and honors.

Ray Bradbury died on June 6, 2012, at the age of 91, in Los Angeles, California.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Steve Shelokhonov

Spouse (1)

Maggie Bradbury (27 September 1947 - 24 November 2003) (her death) (4 children)

Trade Mark (2)

Themes of nostalgia
Uses science fiction to explore existential and political ideals and the darker side of humanity

Trivia (36)

Father of four daughters: Susan, Ramona, Bettina, and Alexandra.
Son of Leonard Spaulding Bradbury, linesman with the Waukegan Bureau of Power and Light, and of Esther Marie Moberg.
He wrote the original manuscript of "Fahrenheit 451" on a rented typewriter in a public library, from handwritten notes and outlines. It first appeared in print in a shortened form (of about 25,000 words) in Galaxy magazine and later in its present length but in serial format in the just starting out Playboy magazine.
Though considered by many to be the greatest science-fiction writer of the of the 20th century, he suffers from a fear of flying and driving. He has never learned to drive, and did not fly in an airplane until October 1982.
National Public Radio's "Bradbury 13" (1984) was a 13-episode program based on many of his stories.
Recipient of a 2004 National Medal of Arts, awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts (USA).
There is a noted irony in the names of two characters in his novel "Fahrenheit 451": "Montag" is also the name of a paper mill and "Faber" is a manufacturer of pencils. Ray Bradbury insists that this was unintentional.
His original title for one of his novels was "The Fireman". He called his local fire department and asked them what the temperature at which paper burns at - and was told "451 Fahrenheit". He reversed it to make it the title of his novel "Fahrenheit 451".
He was the great-great-great grandson of Mary Bradbury, a woman who was tried in the Salem Witch Trials in 1692, but saved herself from being hanged for witchcraft.
Had a series of short stories which his publisher said would never sell, so he linked the stories together, while living at a local YMCA, and created the novel "The Martian Chronicles". He was paid just $500 for the story.
He voiced his displeasure at documentary filmmaker Michael Moore for appropriating the title of his book "Fahrenheit 451" for the documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004). However, Bradbury himself is the author of "Beyond 1984" (title appropriated from George Orwell's "1984") and "Another Tale of Two Cities" (title appropriated from Charles Dickens' "A Tale of Two Cities").
As a bedtime story for each of his daughters, he read (in nightly installments) "Hound of the Baskervilles" by Arthur Conan Doyle.
As a young boy, a friend once ridiculed his collection of science fiction and comic books, and heckled him into throwing them away. A day later, Bradbury was heartbroken, feeling that he had trashed his best friends. He immediately rebuilt his collection!.
Inducted into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 1999.
He and famed animator Chuck Jones were close friends for more than 50 years.
In Chaplin's Goliath (1996), a documentary about silent film star Eric Campbell, the Rosedale Cemetary spokeswoman mistakenly claims Ray Bradbury is interred there.
A hero of his was the Italian director Federico Fellini. When they first met, as Bradbury claims, Fellini ran up to Bradbury, embraced him, and said "My twin! My twin". They became great friends but never collaborated on any projects. Bradbury claimed that his life-long love of Halloween was soured after Fellini died on October 31, 1993.
Paid tribute to in the music video "F**k Me, Ray Bradbury" by Rachel Bloom.
When his wife started having children, he stated, "It literally scared the hell out of me".
Had never enjoyed driving, and had always used either public transportation, or a bicycle.
Despite the anti-censorship message of "Farenheit 451", Bradbury has continually had to fight his publisher's censors who want to tamper or alter the language and tone of the book. He says that the irony is obviously lost on them.
As a young man, he once sold newspapers on a Los Angeles street corner.
In 1950, he discovered that comic book publisher William M. Gaines (later famous for producing Mad magazine) had published several of his stories without his permission. Bradbury wrote Gaines a letter praising the artwork and treatment of his story, and politely asked for his royalty payment. He got it.
Life-long friends of Ray Harryhausen and Forrest J Ackerman, ever since they were teenagers and members of the same Los Angeles Science Fiction Club.
Ray Bradbury was well-known and much-beloved in science fiction and fantasy circles for writing stories of nostalgia, much like Jack Finney and, to a lesser extent, Alfred Bester.
He once visited the set of Star Trek (1966) as a potential writer for the series. Crew members remembered him as being being very polite and courteous, thinking he was already making himself at home. It later turned out that he never had any intention to join the writing team, but wanted to come anyway. He remained friends with series creator Gene Roddenberry until Gene's death.
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6644 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on April 1, 2002.
He was awarded Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters by French culture minister Frederic Mitterrand in 2007.
Had a nod in Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) with the ship named the USS Bradbury.
He is currently working on a screenplay for a new film version of "The Martian Chronicles". [August 2006]
He is also working on a new film interpretation of one of his most famous novels Fahrenheit 451. [June 2008]
The inspiration for his short story "The Pedestrian" came after he and a friend were out walking one night, and a policemen stopped them and questioned them because he deemed their behavior suspicious. The policemen let them go with a warning not to do it again.
When he was a baby, his mother tied him to an apple tree so she could keep an eye on him while she hung up the laundry.
Didn't eat a regular meal with his family until he was 6 years old. His father got tired of him drinking a baby bottle every day and smashed it in the sink.
After finishing high school, he didn't have the money to go to college so instead went down to his local library to read 3 nights a week. In 10 years' time, he read all the books in the library and considered that to be his higher education instead.
In the 1920s his mother took him with her when she went to see silent films. He first saw Lon Chaney's "The Phantom of the Opera" when he was only 3 years old, and it had a lifelong impact on him.

Personal Quotes (18)

The best scientist is open to experience and begins with romance - the idea that anything is possible.
Touch a scientist and you touch a child.
[on writing 'Fahrenheit 451'] - "I wasn't trying to predict the future. I was trying to prevent it."
I am one of those fortunate people who were born to be joyful writers discovered the fact early on.
Sense of humor is everything. You can do anything in this world if you have a sense of humor. Many directors, producers, people haven't learned that -- that if you just salt people down a little and put a bit of butter on them and make them happy, then we can all work together.
There are two races of people - men and women - no matter what what women's libbers would have you pretend. Men are born with no purpose in the universe except to procreate. There is lots of time to kill beyond that.
Once you hear a metaphor of mine, you won't forget it. A dinosaur falling in love with a lighthouse, boom, there's your metaphor. Once you hear that, you say, "Gee, I gotta read that, I wonder what happened?" All the great stories of the world are metaphorical, so they can be remembered. That's why so much stage writing and film writing today can't be remembered, because there are no metaphors. You can't tell the story when you come out of the theater. That's what's wrong with most modern fiction. Realism is what we already know. My job is to interpret realism, to turn it into metaphors, so you can swallow it.
I'm the most cinematic writer around -- all of my short stories can be shot right off the page.
I don't need to be vindicated, and I don't want attention. I never question. I never ask anyone else's opinion. They don't count.
[on Ray Harryhausen] Long after we are all gone, his shadow shows will live through a thousand years in this world.
[on Lon Chaney] He was someone who acted out our psyches. He got into the shadows inside our bodies. The history of Lon Chaney is the history of unrequited love.
I have fun with ideas. I play with them. I'm not a serious person and I don't like serious people. I don't see myself as a philosopher. That's awfully boring.
I don't believe in being serious about anything. I think life is too serious to be taken seriously.
I don't try to describe the future. I try to prevent it.
Without libraries what have we? We have no past and no future.
After 9/11, Hollywood promised they were going to make more family films, less violence, and things of that sort, well it's never happened. Films have gotten more violent. The "Bond" films are unwatchable now; I was around 45 years ago when the "Bond" films began. They were nice quiet little films, every 5 minutes a little bit of action perhaps. But now there's an explosion every 5 minutes and they set off 10 billion gallons of gasoline, and there are more macho selves being made today, in which people settle things with guns, and with machine guns. So things have not improved. They've gotten worse.
If you were to ask me what I think of Hollywood today, it's more of the same, except worse. I grew up in Hollywood, I roller skated around here, and got autographs and photographs when I was 14 years old, so I know the community very well. But things have gotten worse, because we're making more money today out of doing lousy films. A good example is "The Mummy", it came out when I was 12 years old, I loved the film with Boris Karloff, a very minor film with a minor amount of money, probably cost $100,000 or less. But it's a beautiful film, with a nice script. They made a new version here at Universal 5 years ago, it was a terrible film. They thought 'if one mummy's scares you, 2 dozen mummies, a chorus line of mummies has got to be very scary'. So the film came out, dreadful film, and it made $500 million. So they were encouraged into believing that doing lousy films is profitable; but even worse than the old days. So they did another film called "The Mummy Returns", and it was even worse than the first one, and it made a billion dollars, so they were encouraged in going ahead to making lousy films instead of quality films. So things haven't changed, they've just gotten bigger, and lousier.
People say to me, 'what is Hollywood's responsibility?' The responsibility of Hollywood is to prove that we are human. Not with happy endings, but with moments we take away and remember.

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