Charles Beaumont

(January 2, 1929 – February 21, 1967)

Charles (“Chuck”) Beaumont was a prolific author of SF, fantasy, and horror stories. He is remembered today primarily as a writer of classic episodes on television's The Twilight Zone and The Hitchcock Hour, such as “The Howling Man,” “Miniature,” “Printer's Devil,” and “Number Twelve Looks Just Like You.” He also wrote the screenplays for several popular genre films, among them The Premature Burial, Queen of Outer Space, The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm, The Masque of the Red Death, and Burn, Witch, Burn.

Beaumont was born Charles Leroy Nutt in Chicago. (Hence his fannish penname Charles McNutt.) According to Beaumont, “Football, baseball, and dimestore cookie thefts filled my early world.” School did not interest him, and his last name exposed him to ridicule; but he found solace as a teenager in SF, and later had his name legally changed to Charles Beaumont.

He published the fanzine Utopia under the McNutt penname.

His first genre publication was “The Devil, You Say?” in the January, 1951, issue of Amazing. His book, Remember? Remember?, collected a baker's dozen of his articles on popular culture. Many of the articles had been published originally in Playboy Magazine, for which Beaumont was a contributing editor.

His screenplays were nominated for the 1963 Best Dramatic Presentation Hugo and the 1965 Best Dramatic Presentation Hugo.

His genre awards included a Bram Stoker Award (Collection) in 1989.

In the early 1950s, in California, he was close friends with other young SF writers, including William Nolan, Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson, and Chad Oliver. He and Oliver authored several SF stories together. Nolan called these friends “The Group.”

Charles Beaumont died at the age of 38. His son Christopher later said that “he looked ninety-five and was, in fact, ninety-five by every calendar except the one on your watch.” Beaumont had been diagnosed in his thirties as having early onset Alzheimer's Disease simultaneously with Pick's Disease, diseases for which there was little treatment and no cure.

His son, Christopher Beaumont, is also a writer.

For more on his career, see http://www.sf-encyclopedia.com/entry/beaumont_charles

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