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Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

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Famous Monsters of Filmland

Photograph by Jack Carrick /
Los Angeles Times

Forrest J. Ackerman, 1969

Geoff Boucher writes:

This is the 50th anniversary of the founding of "Famous Monsters of Filmland" by Forrest J. Ackerman, a man who almost single-handedly shaped the very essence of horror and science-fiction fandom. Uncle Forry, as he was affectionately known, was not only a fan, he has been an inspiring figure and friend to several generations of creators (he was Ed Wood's literary agent, which is just wonderful to consider).

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Comments (2)

I am sorry to hear about Mr. Ackerman. I worked with him as his assistant for 10 years, and I have to say everyday I discovered something new, or should I say "uncovered" something new in his 300,000 + piece collection. I know he has been an inspiration to many science fiction, fantasy and horror fans, as was evident by the many people that would visit his home everyday. I know that he had no children of his own, but I think that all those fans that grew up with him consider themselves the children of Mr. Science Fiction.

The Ackermonster, as he often referred to himself in third person, is a gentle giant who converted his love for horror into a lifetime vocation.

Had the pleasure of attending a small gathering in his then Fairfax district apartment, long ago. Mr. Ackerman was being made up to look like Vincent Price by a twelve year old amateur Jack Pierce. It was a fun afternoon, and Forey did indeed end up looking like Mr. Price. He enjoyed every minute of it.

An interesting, little known fact about Forrest J., is that he was also L. Ron Hubbard's literary agent.
The sci-fi aspect of Scientology may have interested him, but Forrest Ackerman was having far too much fun to ply with play with a real-life cult. After all, he got to pal around with Karloff, Lugosi, Price and the like in make-believe houses of horror.

I doubt that he would have done much more than tolerate Hubbard's creation.


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