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Richard Burton Matheson
Richard Matheson
Birth:February 20, 1926
Place of Birth:Allendale, New Jersey, USA
Place of Death:
Occupation:Writer, Novelist
Marital Status:Married (1952-2013, his death )
Relations:Chris (son), Richard Christian (son), Ali (daughter)

Richard Matheson was an American author and screenwriter, primarily in the Fantasy, Horror, and Science Fiction genres. He is perhaps best known as the author of I Am Legend, which has been adapted three times as a major motion picture.

Biographical information


Matheson was born to Norwegian immigrant parents, Matheson was raised in Brooklyn and graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School in 1943. He then entered the military and spent World War II as an infantry soldier. In 1949 he earned his bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and moved to California in 1951. He married in 1952 and has four children, three of whom Chris, Richard Christian, and Ali Matheson) are writers of fiction and screenplays.


Matheson's first novel, Someone Is Bleeding, was published in 1953.


Other writers

Stephen King has listed Richard Matheson as a creative influence and his novel Cell is dedicated to Matheson, along with filmmaker George A. Romero.

In the August 7, 2009, issue of Entertainment Weekly devoted to vampires, Anne Rice stated that when she was a child Matheson's short story "A Dress Of White Silk" was a prime early influence on her interest in vampires and fantasy fiction.


In books

In Richard Christian Matheson's novel Created By, the hero's father is named Burt, a reference to Matheson senior's middle name.

Richard Christian Matheson re-wrote his father's short story "Dance of the Dead" for the TV series Masters of Horror. It was directed by Tobe Hooper and starred Robert Englund and Ryan McDonald.

In films

Richard's son, Richard Christian Matheson, penned the screenplay for "Battleground" for the first segment of Stephen King's Nightmares & Dreamscapes. He paid homage to his father by including the Zuni fetish doll from the last segment of Trilogy of Terror in a scene.

M. Night Shyamalan's The Happening, about inexplicable mass suicide, has a parallel with Matheson's short story Lemmings, which is also about inexplicable mass suicide.

In television

A character named "Senator Richard Matheson" appeared in several episodes of The X-Files. The series' creator, Chris Carter, was a fan of Matheson's work on two series that influenced The X-Files (The Twilight Zone and Kolchak: The Night Stalker). Also, the TV series adaptation of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids had the Szalinski family relocating to the town of Matheson, Colorado.

In the J. Michael Straczynski's Babylon 5 TV series, the episode "A Spider in the Web" mentions a ship called the Matheson as one of many requesting permission to leave the station. The telepath "John Matheson" in Crusade was named in honour of Matheson.

A villain of the week on Burn Notice was named after Matheson.

In games and rides

Matheson St. in the Konami game Silent Hill, was named in his honour.

Homage to Matheson is paid daily by Disney Imagineers who distinctly included the chalk markings (which marked the portal wall from The Twilight Zone (original series) episode "Little Girl Lost") in the boiler-room area of the famous Disney thrill-ride "The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror."



  • Someone is Bleeding (1953)
  • Fury on Sunday (1953)
  • I Am Legend (1954) filmed as The Last Man on Earth, The Omega Man & I Am Legend
  • The Shrinking Man (1956); filmed as The Incredible Shrinking Man and subsequently reprinted under that title; also the basis of the film The Incredible Shrinking Woman
  • A Stir of Echoes (1958); filmed as Stir of Echoes
  • Ride the Nightmare (1959)
  • The Beardless Warriors (1960)
  • Comedy of Terrors with Elsie Lee (1964); filmed as The Comedy of Terrors
  • Hell House (1971); filmed as The Legend of Hell House
  • The Night Stalker with Jeff Rice (1972)
  • The Night Strangler (1973)
  • Bid Time Return (1975); filmed as Somewhere in Time and subsequently reprinted under that title
  • What Dreams May Come (1978); filmed as What Dreams May Come
  • Earthbound (editorially abridged version published under the pseudonym "Logan Swanson" 1982; restored text published under Matheson's own name 1989)
  • Journal of the Gun Years (1992)
  • The Gunfight (1993)
  • 7 Steps to Midnight (1993)
  • Shadow on the Sun (1994)
  • Now You See It... (1995)
  • The Memoirs of Wild Bill Hickock (1996)
  • Passion Play (2000)
  • Hunger and Thirst (2000)
  • Camp Pleasant (2001)
  • Abu and the 7 Marvels (2002)
  • Hunted Past Reason (2002)
  • Come Fygures, Come Shadowes (2003)
  • Woman (2006)

Short stories

  • "Born of Man and Woman" (1950)
  • "Third from the Sun" (1950); adapted as a Twilight Zone episode (1960)
  • "The Waker Dreams" (AKA "When the Waker Sleeps") (1950)
  • "Blood Son" (1951)
  • "Through Channels" (1951)
  • "Clothes Make the Man" (1951)
  • "Return" (1951)
  • "The Thing" (1951)
  • "Witch War" (1951)
  • "Dress of White Silk" (1951)
  • "F---" (AKA "The Foodlegger") (1952)
  • "Shipshape Home" (1952)
  • "SRL Ad" (1952)
  • "Advance Notice" (AKA "Letter to the Editor") (1952)
  • "Lover, When You're Near Me" (1952)
  • "Brother To The Machine" (1952)
  • "To Fit the Crime" (1952)
  • "The Wedding" (1953)
  • "Wet Straw" (1953)
  • "Long Distance Call" (AKA "Sorry, Right Number") (1953)
  • "Slaughter House" (1953)
  • "Mad House" (1953)
  • "The Last Day" (1953)
  • "Lazarus II" (1953)
  • "Legion of Plotters" (1953)
  • "Death Ship" (1953)
  • "Disappearing Act" (1953)
  • "The Disinheritors" (1953)
  • "Dying Room Only" (1953)
  • "Full Circle" (1953)
  • "Mother by Protest" (AKA "Trespass") (1953)
  • "Little Girl Lost" (1953); adapted as a Twilight Zone episode.
  • "Being" (1954)
  • "The Curious Child" (1954)
  • "When Day Is Dun" (1954)
  • "Dance of the Dead" (1954)
  • "The Man Who Made the World (1954)
  • "The Traveller" (1954)
  • "The Test" (1954)
  • "The Conqueror" (1954)
  • "Dear Diary" (1954)
  • "The Doll That Does Everything" (1954)
  • "Descent" (1954)
  • "Miss Stardust" (1955)
  • "The Funeral" (1955)
  • "Too Proud to Lose" (1955)
  • "One for the Books" (1955)
  • "Pattern for Survival" (1955)
  • "A Flourish of Strumpets (1956)
  • "The Splendid Source" (1956)
  • "Steel" (1956)
  • "The Children of Noah" (1957)
  • "A Visit to Santa Claus" (AKA "I'll Make It Look Good," as Logan Swanson) (1957)
  • "The Holiday Man" (1957)
  • "Old Haunts" (1957)
  • "The Distributor" (1958)
  • "The Edge" (1958)
  • "Lemmings" (1958)
  • "Mantage" (1959)
  • "Deadline" (1959)
  • "The Creeping Terror" (AKA "A Touch of Grapefruit") (1959)
  • "No Such Thing as a Vampire" (1959)
  • "Big Surprise" (AKA "What Was In The Box") (1959)
  • "Crickets" (1960)
  • "Day of Reckoning" (AKA "The Faces," "Graveyard Shift") (1960)
  • "First Anniversary" (1960)
  • "From Shadowed Places" (1960)
  • "Finger Prints" (1962)
  • "Mute" (1962)
  • "The Likeness of Julie" (as Logan Swanson) (1962)
  • "The Jazz Machine" (1963)
  • "Crescendo" (AKA "Shock Wave") (1963)
  • "Girl of My Dreams" (1963)
  • "'Tis the Season to Be Jelly" (1963)
  • "Deus Ex Machina" (1963)
  • "Interest" (1965)
  • "A Drink of Water" (1967)
  • "Needle in the Heart" (AKA "Therese") (1969)
  • "Prey" (1969) (Later adapted to the Zuni Fetish Doll, in the Trilogy of Terror)
  • "Button, Button" (1970); (as The Twilight Zone episode in 1986; filmed as The Box (2009)
  • "'Til Death Do Us Part" (1970)
  • "By Appointment Only" (1970)
  • "The Finishing Touches" (1970)
  • "Duel" (1971); filmed as Duel (1971)
  • "Where There's a Will" (with Richard Christian Matheson) (1980)
  • "And Now I'm Waiting" (1983)
  • "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" (as The Twilight Zone episode in 1963; as segment four of Twilight Zone: The Movie, 1983; first published in 1984)
  • "Getting Together" (1986)
  • "Buried Talents" (1987)
  • "The Near Departed" (1987)
  • "Shoo Fly" (1988)
  • "Person to Person" (1989)
  • "Two O'Clock Session" (1991)
  • "The Doll" (as Twilight Zone episode in 1982, published as story in 1993)
  • "Go West, Young Man" (1993)
  • "Gunsight" (1993)
  • "Little Jack Cornered" (1993)
  • "Of Death and Thirty Minutes" (1993)

Short story collections

  • Born of Man and Woman (1954)
  • The Shores of Space (1957)
  • Shock! (1961)
  • Shock 2 (1964)
  • Shock 3 (1966)
  • Shock Waves (1970) Published as Shock 4 in the UK (1980)
  • Button, Button (1970) being filmed as The Box
  • Richard Matheson: Collected Stories (1989)
  • By the Gun (1993)
  • Nightmare at 20,000 Feet (2000)
  • Pride with Richard Christian Matheson (2002)
  • Duel (2002)
  • Offbeat: Uncollected Stories (2002)
  • Darker Places (2004)
  • Unrealized Dreams (2004)
  • Button, Button: Uncanny Stories (2008) (Tor Books)


  • Star Trek The Original Series: The Enemy Within (1966)


  • The Path: Metaphysics for the 90s (1993)

Additional reading

  • California Sorcery, edited by William F. Nolan and William Schafer

External links

Smallwikipedialogo.png This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Richard Matheson. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with A Fifth Dimension: The Twilight Zone Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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