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Biography

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Overview (5)

Date of Birth 24 November 1916Los Angeles, California, USA
Date of Death 4 December 2008Los Angeles, California, USA  (heart failure)
Birth NameForrest James Ackerman
Nicknames Mr. Science Fiction
Mr. Sci-Fi
Forry
FJA
Dr. Acula
4SJ
4E
The Ackermonster
Uncle Forry
Height 6' 1" (1.85 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Forrest J Ackerman was born on November 24, 1916 in Los Angeles, California, USA as Forrest James Ackerman. He was an actor, known for To the Galaxy and Beyond with Mark Hamill (1997), Look, Up in the Sky! The Amazing Story of Superman (2006) and Dead Alive (1992). He was married to Mathilde "Wendayne" Wahrman. He died on December 4, 2008 in Los Angeles.

Spouse (2)

Mathilde "Wendayne" Wahrman (1972 - 5 March 1990) (her death)
Mathilde "Wendayne" Wahrman (1949 - 1958) (divorced)

Trivia (28)

Long-time science-fiction fan, writer, editor, and agent.
Famous for wordplay, he is credited with being the first to abbreviate science fiction to "sci-fi";
He calls his home the "Ackermansion" and a 1997 collection of SF stories he edited was the "Ackermanthology!".
Received a special Hugo award as a Fan Personality in 1953.
Owns a large collection of SF/horror books and film memorabilia. For information about visits see his web site. (1998)
Forced by health and lack of reimbursement from a winning lawsuit, Ackerman held a huge yard sale in September, 2002, that included thousands of pieces of science fiction movie memorabilia. This was part of the process of selling his home, the Ackermansion, and liquidating the bulk of his 300,000-piece collection. Ackerman had tried to find a museum to take the collection without success. Optimistically, he settled in a nearby smaller home with plans to continue to allow tours of the remains of his treasures.
He was (and remains) a member of the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society, Inc. It was there that he started a life long friendship with writer Ray Bradbury and special effects creator Ray Harryhausen. He attended the LASFS' 70th anniversary meeting in October 2004.
His main claim to fame was as the creator and editor of the groundbreaking magazine "Famous Monsters of Filmland" (aka "Famous Monsters" or just "FM") started in 1958. Many highly successful filmmakers who emerged in the 1970s and 80s were former readers who cite the magazine for developing their interest in film.
He was co-editor, with Hank Stine (aka Jean Stine), of the 1994 book "Reel Future," an anthology of 16 stories that were turned into science fiction/horror films.
Proposed an animated film of J.R.R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings", but Tolkien rejected the submitted storyline in 1958.
Cousin of actress Lonnie Blackman.
Biography/bibliography in: "Contemporary Authors". New Revision Series, Volume 155, pages 1-5. Farmington Hills, Michigan, 2007.
As editor of the magazine "Famous Monsters of Filmland", he was an inspiration to horror author Stephen King. King wrote a letter to Ackerman when he was a teenager, and Ackerman had it framed and put on display in his "Ackermansion".
He has an uncredited cameo in The Howling (1981) as a bookstore customer looking at "Famous Monsters of Filmland" (a magazine he founded). The bookstore owner growls at him: "Hey! You gonna buy anything?".
Enlisted as a private in the U.S. Army on 15 August 1942 during World War II.
Described by his friends, including Stephen King, as the World's Greatest Science Fiction Fan.
Noted for his large collection of science-fiction memorabilia.
He died in December 2008, the year that marked the 50th anniversary of the publication of the first issue of "Famous Monsters of Filmland," and less than two weeks after celebrating his 92nd birthday.
His collection at one time included 50,000 books, thousands of science-fiction magazines, and the cape worn by Bela Lugosi in Dracula (1931).
He put up a flyer in a Los Angeles bookstore, announcing a science-fiction club he was starting. A teenager named Ray Bradbury attended the club meetings. Later, Ackerman helped Bradbury start his own sci-fi magazine, "Futuria Fantasia". He also helped pay for a trip to New York that helped launch Bradbury's writing career.
As a literary agent, he represented Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, and many other science-fiction writers.
He once said he fell in love with science fiction when he was nine years old. He saw a magazine called "Amazing Stories", and kept that copy for the rest of his life.
The ring Boris Karloff uses in The Mummy (1932) has been in the possession of Forrest J. Ackerman for many decades (he wears it).
He had a stepson, Michael Porjes, who was born on January 17, 1941 in Palestine (the place is now in Israel). Michael was married with three children. He died in July 2008 at age 67, just 5 months before Forrest.
Wife Wendayne suffered a terrible head injury as a result of a 'smash and grab' in Naples, Italy, while she and Forrest were sitting in their car.
Wife Wendayne died of kidney failure in 1990, after refusing to have any more dialysis treatment.
He met his wife, Mathilde Wahrman (1912-1990), when she worked as a clerk in the book section of the May Company in Los Angeles. It was her first job upon arriving from Germany. He nicknamed her "Wendayne" and always referred to her thereafter as "Wendy".
The Forrest J Ackerman Estate Auction was held April 30-May 1, 2009 and organized by Profiles In History.

Personal Quotes (2)

My wife used to say, "How can you let strangers into our home?" But what's the point of having a collection like this if you can't let people enjoy it? (on giving tours of their mansion, in an interview with the Associated Press on his 85th birthday)
My wife and I were listening to the radio, and when someone said 'hi-fi' the word 'sci-fi' suddenly hit me. If my interest had been soap operas, I guess it would have been 'cry-fi,' or James Bond, 'spy-fi.'

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