On this day in 1926, Richard Burton Matheson was born, in Allendale, New Jersey. Although a script writer of some note – including credits on Rod Serling‘s The Twilight Zone and Steven Spielberg‘s Duel (based on his own short story) – Matheson is now primarily remembered for his novels – in particular I Am Legend and The Shrinking Man.
I Am Legend, of course, has been filmed a number of times – as The Last Man on Earth in 1964; as The Omega Man, starring Charlton Heston, in 1971; and under its own title in 2007, with Will Smith in the lead role. The Shrinking Man was filmed in 1957 as The Incredible Shrinking Man. Matheson wrote the screenplay himself, and the film won a Hugo Award in 1958.