Forrest Ackerman - The Sci Fi Legend
Ever since I was a kid I was fascinated by Monsters. From the old black and white classics such as the original Universal Studios film Frankenstein with Boris Karloff to the more classic cult B movies like Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
Some of my favorite monsters are Bela Legosi’s as Dracula and The Gill man himself the Creature from the Black Lagoon. I guess it is really hard to choose a classic vintage horror film to love, but these would come the closest. Not to mention the Bride of Frankenstein and Lon Chaney’s Mummy and phantom of the Opera.
Nothing ever came close to those legendary creations.
When your Monster love runs as deep as mine, you tend become familiar with someone named Forrest Ackerman. Forrest Ackerman was considered
a leading expert on all things science fiction, horror, and fantasy films. He was known as the WORLD'S most avid collector of genre books and movie memorabilia. I obviously had to meet him....and he just so happened to live in my neighborhood, Los Feliz. Some time in my mid 20's I was invited over to his house. It was a dream for so many reasons. I felt like he understood what science fiction meant and how fantasy could transform your world. Well, we actually became pretty good friends.
I remember going to Forry Ackerman’s Mansion, did I mention what a Legend to me and so many others he was? Not only did he have killer style, he also is The Godfather of Science Fiction. He actually coined the phrase Sci Fi. He also published a magazine that started it all called Famous Monsters of Filmland.
Anyways back to his Mansion, he would give tours to people every weekend. But my experience was different, because my friend was living there so I would get to hang one on one with him and listen to all his stories.
He had the most insane collection of art and movie props I’ve ever seen. I can’t even begin to tell you how much stuff he had. I mean he actually had Mary Shelly’s Original Frankenstein book written in pencil. He also had Bela Legosis original Dracula cape and original
Bram Stoker book and Dracula ring which he wore everyday.
I would be blown away by all the things he had I would wonder his house and just marvel at his collection. I guess you can say he got me hooked on collecting.
He also had the original props of King Kong which Peter Jackson bought from him. Forry also was a giant Metropolis fan which got me into that movie. Way ahead of its time by the way.
He had actual death masks of all the Legends of the monster world with their faces casted it was creepy but also fascinating.
He was such a great inspiration to me I can’t even tell you.
I would tell myself I want to be like Forry when I grow up one day!