The Life of Forrest J Ackerman

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About the Book

Forrest J Ackerman (1916–2008) was an author, archivist, agent, actor, promoter, and editor of the iconic fan magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland; a founder of science fiction fandom; and one of the world’s foremost collectors of sci-fi, horror and fantasy films, literature, and memorabilia.

This biography begins with a foreword by Joe Moe, Ackerman’s caregiver and close friend since 1982. It documents Ackerman’s lifelong dedication to his work in both literature and film; his interests, travels, relationships and associations with famous personalities; and his lasting impact on popular culture. Primary research material includes letters given by Ackerman to the author during their long friendship, and numerous reminiscences from Ackerman’s friends, fans and colleagues.

About the Author(s)

Deborah Painter is an environmental planner and field ecologist. She lives in Norfolk, Virginia.

Bibliographic Details

Deborah Painter
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 224
Bibliographic Info: 88 photos, appendix, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2020 [2011]
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8517-5
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5798-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments viii

Foreword: Marching to the Beast of a Different Dreamer by Joe Moe      1

Preface      5

1. Forry’s Background, Family and Early Years      11

2. “I Couldn’t Sleep with Marlene Dietrich!”      26

3. Sergeant Ack-Ack      41

4. The 1950s—Forry’s Rise to Fame      49

5. The 1960s—Forrest J Ackerman, Movie Actor      64

6. The 1970s—Colleges, Conventions and Creatures      86

7. The 1980s—The Best of Times, the Worst of Times      101

8. The 1990s—Pinnacles of Achievement      117

9. The 2000s—Documentarian and Octogenarian      151

Five Personal Reminiscences (Powell, Knight, Atkins, Hawk, Morrow)      181

Chapter Notes      201

A Brief Bio-Bibliography      203

Bibliography      207

Index      209

Book Reviews & Awards

• “Valuable”—SFRA Review

• “I was thoroughly entertained and informed…this is a good first volume on a very complicated life and well worth purchasing”—Little Shoppe of Horrors

• “[Painter] has accumulated a history of [Forry] that one could not get through simple research…there is a lot of information here…jam packed with trivia, anecdotes and history. Snippets of conversations, letters and insights fill the pages.”—Famous Monsters of Filmland

• “The author has done her homework…delightful…Painter presents a lovely, and generally acurate portrait of an unforgettable life. …[a] must read”—Scary Monsters Yearbook

• “Definitive…you need this book”—Creepy Classics

• “[Painter] has a wealth of personal information to share with fans”—Dred Central

• “Even the most obsessive Forry-fan will find a slew of new information here… There are scads of photos of Ackerman at various points in his life”—Scarlet

• “[Painter’s] biography is full of warmth and affection…Forry led a fascinating life and Painter gives us a good view of it… I recommend this book highly”—Daily Space