John King Tarpinian was on hand when fans and celebrities honored the late Forry Ackerman at the Egyptian Theater on Sunday, March 8:
The Egyptian Theatre was full to capacity, 700 plus seats. There were no empty seats and there were people who did not get in. The testimonials were very nice, respectful, heartfelt and funny. I am very bad at names but here are a few of interest. Ray Bradbury gave the opening tribute (to the only standing ovation of a guest), followed by John Landis who read tributes from Stephen King and Ray Harryhausen along with his own. Joe Dante and Guillermo Del Toro also gave lovely tributes. Del Toro said he learned English by reading copies of Famous Monsters and Mad Magazine with the help of a dictionary. All four gave the audience their personal stories about how and when they first met Uncle Forry. Del Toro flew in from New Zealand just for the day so he could share his love for Forry.
Since it was known that Forry was going to pass away, they had filmed a final farewell from Forry…as a floating head. His last words were “SCI-FI.” A perfect ending for such a kind and gentle soul.
As an aside, my “job” at the event was to keep the oddballs away from Ray. Never having met Del Toro I almost kept him away from Ray because he looked more like a crazed fan from the general public. Ill-fitting clothing two months past the need for a haircut, etc. Luckily John Landis came up right behind him. Saved me embarrassment. (Del Toro is excused since he had just gotten off a plane from New Zealand: he is directing some silly movie called The Hobbit.)
The lady that spoke the first words from Dracula, now 99 years old, Carla Laemmle was sitting just behind Ray. Also, Ann Robinson from the good version of War of the Worlds, was there.
I did not stay for the movie tributes but am told the documentary was brilliant.
There’ll be pictures posted here in a few days.