Net Worth Revealed

Richard Matheson’s Birthday, Family, Bio

Richard Matheson: The Pioneering Screenwriter Who Redefined HorrorRichard Matheson, born on February 20, 1926, in New Jersey, was a screenwriter known for his remarkable contributions to the horror genre. With a knack for storytelling and a deep understanding of human psychology, Matheson captivated audiences around the world with his unique and imaginative tales.

This article will delve into Matheson’s life before fame, tracing his journey from a young aspiring writer to a household name in the world of cinema.


1. A Master of Disturbing Tales

– Richard Matheson, revered for his thought-provoking and spine-chilling stories, holds a special place in the hearts of horror enthusiasts.

– His works, including novels, short stories, and screenplays, continuously pushed the boundaries of the genre, leaving an indelible mark on popular culture forever. 2.

Genres Explored

– While Matheson remains best known for his horror and science fiction works, he also dabbled in other genres, including mystery and western. – His versatility as a writer allowed him to experiment with different storytelling techniques and keep his audiences on the edge of their seats.

3. Influential Screenplays

– Matheson’s talent for translating his written words into unforgettable cinematic experiences cannot be overstated.

– Some of his most famous screenplays include “The Twilight Zone” episodes “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” and “Steel,” as well as the big-screen adaptation of his novel “I Am Legend.”

4. Legacy in Film and Television

– Matheson’s imaginative narratives continue to inspire filmmakers and screenwriters today.

– His work laid the foundation for countless horror movies and TV shows, with adaptations and homages paying homage to his pioneering storytelling techniques.

Before Fame

1. Early Years and Literary Aspirations

– Born and raised in New Jersey, Richard Matheson exhibited a passion for literature from a young age.

– Inspired by the works of Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, and others, Matheson dreamt of one day becoming a writer himself. 2.

The Influence of World War II

– Matheson’s early adulthood was marked by his service in World War II, where he served in the Army Air Corps. – The war had a profound impact on Matheson’s outlook on life and provided fertile ground for his later exploration of fear and the human condition.

3. Breakthrough with Short Stories

– In the 1950s, Matheson gained recognition for his unique approach to short stories, often blurring the lines between reality and the supernatural.

– His short stories, such as “Born of Man and Woman” and “Third From the Sun,” garnered critical acclaim, firmly establishing Matheson as an up-and-coming talent in the genre. 4.

Success on the Silver Screen

– Matheson’s literary success eventually led to opportunities in Hollywood, as his captivating storytelling captured the attention of filmmakers. – In 1957, Matheson’s groundbreaking novel “The Shrinking Man” was adapted into the film “The Incredible Shrinking Man,” solidifying his status as a prominent screenwriter.

5. Collaborations and the Twilight Zone

– Matheson’s involvement with “The Twilight Zone,” a groundbreaking television series, further elevated his career.

– His thought-provoking episodes, which explored themes of isolation, fear, and morality, resonated with viewers and cemented his place in television history.


Richard Matheson’s impact on the horror genre cannot be overstated. With his innovative storytelling and profound understanding of human psychology, Matheson pushed the boundaries of what could be achieved in film and literature.

His works continue to thrill and captivate audiences, ensuring his legacy as a true master of disturbing tales for generations to come.


1. Unconventional Writing Habits

– Richard Matheson had some unique writing habits that contributed to his success as a screenwriter.

– He preferred to work late at night, often staying up until the early hours of the morning to immerse himself in his stories. – Matheson also had a penchant for writing in unusual locations, finding inspiration in places like coffeeshops, parks, and even his car.

2. Uncredited Contributions

– Despite his immense talent, Matheson’s contributions to the film industry were not always recognized.

– He frequently worked on uncredited rewrites and script doctoring, shaping the narratives of films without receiving proper acknowledgment. – One notable example is Matheson’s involvement in the script for “Jaws,” where he made significant contributions but went uncredited.

3. Impact on Future Filmmakers

– Matheson’s innovative storytelling techniques and groundbreaking themes continue to influence aspiring filmmakers and screenwriters today.

– Directors like Steven Spielberg and George A. Romero have acknowledged Matheson’s influence on their own work, with Spielberg citing Matheson as a major inspiration for his film “Duel.”


Literary Recognition

– In addition to his success in the film industry, Matheson was also highly regarded as a writer in the literary world. – He received numerous awards and accolades for his works, including the World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement Award and the Bram Stoker Award for Best Novel.

Family Life

1. Marital Harmony

– Richard Matheson’s personal life was as successful and fulfilling as his professional career.

– He married his wife, Ruth Ann Woodson, in 1952, and the couple enjoyed a long and loving partnership until Matheson’s passing in 2013. – Ruth Ann was a vital source of support and inspiration for Matheson, often serving as a sounding board for his ideas and providing valuable feedback on his work.

2. Creative Collaborations

– The Matheson home was a hub of creativity, as both Richard and Ruth Ann shared a passion for storytelling.

– Ruth Ann, herself a talented writer, frequently collaborated with Matheson on various projects. – Together, they co-wrote several novels, including “Earthbound” and “By the Gun,” showcasing their remarkable ability to blend their individual voices into a unified narrative.

3. The Matheson Legacy

– Richard and Ruth Ann Matheson were blessed with four children, two sons, and two daughters.

– Inheriting their parents’ creative genes, all four children followed creative paths in their own careers. – Chris Matheson, one of Richard’s sons, went on to become a successful screenwriter and author, co-writing the beloved “Bill & Ted” film franchise with his writing partner Ed Solomon.

4. The Importance of Family

– Richard Matheson attributed much of his success to the love and support of his family.

– In interviews, he often spoke about how his family served as a constant source of inspiration and motivation. – The Matheson family’s close-knit bond and shared passion for storytelling undoubtedly influenced Richard’s work, imbuing it with a genuine sense of humanity.

In conclusion, Richard Matheson’s life was filled with interesting trivia and personal happiness. The unconventional writing habits and uncredited contributions of this talented screenwriter added an additional layer of intrigue to his already impressive career.

Furthermore, Matheson’s impact on future filmmakers and his recognition in the literary world solidify his status as a true master of his craft. The love and support of his wife and family provided the foundation for his success, highlighting the importance of personal relationships in life and art.

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