Richard Matheson dies at 87

Richard Matheson dies at 87

Richard Matheson, writer of the Twilight Zone episode "Nick of Time" dies at 87 - A prolific American science fiction author and screenwriter whose stories were made into movies and TV episodes, has died. He was 87. During a career that spanned more than 60 years, Matheson wrote more than 25 novels and nearly 100 short stories, plus screenplays for TV and film. Several of his novels were made into movies.

"I Am Legend," released in 1954, inspired three films, including 2007's movie of the same name that starred Will Smith.  His 1956 novel "The Shrinking Man" was adapted for the big screen, becoming "The Incredible Shrinking Man."

Matheson was a major contributor to Rod Serling's classic TV series "The Twilight Zone," penning more than a dozen scripts from 1959 to 1964, including "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet." He also wrote for "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" and was the creative force behind the classic "Star Trek" episode "The Enemy Within."

Matheson's death comes as he was about to be honored by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films. He was to have received the organization's Visionary Award at Wednesday's annual Saturn Awards.

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