Richard Matheson's 5 Best <i>Twilight Zone</i> Episodes

06/25/2013 11:45 AM |

Richard Matheson

The science fiction writer Richard Matheson, who was raised in Flatbush and graduated from Brooklyn Tech, died at his home in Los Angeles on Sunday at the age of 87. While a prolific novelist and story writer, he’s best remembered for the effect those works had on multiple generations of Hollywood: I Am Legend (aka The Omega Man), The Shrinking Man, Stir of Echoes, Hell House, What Dreams May Come. Times critic Jason Zinoman wrote on Twitter last night, “If Richard Matheson never wrote I Am Legend, culture would look very different. Night of the Living Dead for instance began with that story.” Indeed, George Romero gave Matheson some credit for inspiring his monsters; can we say then that Matheson invented the modern zombie? Also, his short stories were adapted into episodes of Family Guy and The Outer Limits and the movies Real Steel, Richard Kelly’s The Box and Steven Spielberg’s feature debut, Duel. Many of his stories he also adapted for The Twilight Zone, for which he himself also wrote at least 14 episodes, including some of the series’ most classic. (In fact, he was the first person who wasn’t Rod Serling to get a script into production on the show.) Here are his five best. [photo]