Forry Ackerman’s massive horror and Sci-Fi collection, highlighted by Bela Lugosi’s Dracula ring and cape, along with Lugosi’s costume from The Raven; a signed, first edition of Brom Stoker’s Dracula signed by Stoker and Lugosi among others, and Fritz Lang’s monocle from Metropolis are among the first confirmed items available at Profiles in History’s 36th auction of Hollywood memorabilia, taking place the last week of April, 2009. This will be the most important sale of horror-related items ever assembled and available for auction. Worldwide bids can be placed either in person, via mail, phone, fax or live on the internet via LiveAuctioneers.com.
“The Bela Lugosi Dracula ring, the cape he wore from the 30’s stage performances of Dracula and the robe he wore in The Raven are the most significant Universal horror items to ever come to public auction,” said Joe Maddalena, President and CEO of Profiles in History.
Forrest J Ackerman, who recently passed away, was an American collector of science fiction books and movie memorabilia and a science fiction fan. Ackerman, known as “Forry” or “The Ackermonster” or “4e” or “4SJ” or “Forj^ak” was influential in the formation, organization, and spread of science fiction fandom in its early years, and served as a key figure in the wider cultural perception of science fiction as a literary, art and film genre. Ackerman is also remembered as the editor-writer of the magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland, as well as for being an occasional author, actor, producer (Vampirella), and literary agent.
Ackerman was noted for having amassed an extremely large and complete collection of science fiction, fantasy and horror film memorabilia, which was, until 2002, maintained in a remarkable home/museum known as the 18-room “Ackermansion” in the Los Feliz district of Los Angeles, filled with 300,000 books and pieces of movie memorabilia. He was credited with nurturing and even inspiring the careers of several early contemporaries such as Ray Bradbury, Ray Harryhausen, Charles Beaumont, Marion Zimmer Bradley and L. Ron Hubbard. He was Ed Wood’s “illiterary” agent and represented over 200 authors of science fiction and fantasy.
Through his magazine, Famous Monsters of Filmland (1958–1983), Ackerman introduced the history of the science fiction, fantasy and horror film genres to a generation of young readers. At a time when most movie-related publications glorified the stars in front of the camera, “Uncle Forry”, as he was referred to by many of his fans, promoted the behind-the-scenes artists involved in the magic of movies. In this way Ackerman provided inspiration to many who would later become successful artists, including Peter Jackson, Steven Spielberg, Tim Burton, Stephen King, Penn & Teller, Billy Bob Thornton, Gene Simmons (of the band Kiss), Rick Baker, George Lucas, Danny Elfman, Frank Darabont, John Landis and countless other writers, directors, artists and craftsmen.
A life-long fan of science fiction “B-movies”, Ackerman had cameos in over 210 films, including bit parts in many monster movies including The Howling, Innocent Blood, Return of the Living Dead Part II, Amazon Women on the Moon, as well as an appearance in Michael Jackson’s Thriller video.
Details of highlighted items along with estimated sale prices:
- Dracula ring worn by Bela Lugosi as Count Dracula. It’s the single most important Lugosi/Dracula screen worn piece to ever come to auction. ($20,000-$30,000).
- Bela Lugosi’s robe from The Raven is the most important 1930’s horror costume to ever come to auction. ($15,000-$20,000)
- A cape made for Bela Lugosi in 1932 and used many times for his stage portrayal of Dracula. Lugosi then wore the costume in Plan 9 From Outer Space. ($15,000-$20,000).
- A first edition of the book, Dracula signed by Bram Stoker and inscribed by Bela Lugosi to Forry Ackerman (also signed by a host of other Dracula-related personalities). ($6,000-8,000).
- Fritz Lang’s monocle, which he wore when he directed Metropolis. This was given to Forry by Lang: ($3,000-$5,000)