William K. Everson
Born Apr. 8th, 1929 – Died Apr. 14th, 1996
While Everson never actually made or appeared in the movies, he helped the film business more than most. He was a lifelong fan of movies and spent most of his life writing and teaching about, and collecting films, working very hard to get other people to see some of the more rare titles. Leonard Maltin called him “a movie missionary” since he would travel the world to teach people about this movies. Everson had a knack for finding lost or rare pictures. But just finding them wasn’t the real fun part, it was being able to share and show other fans these rare and interesting titles. In the ’50s, he had formed a film society where he would show these films on a regular basis. At one point, he even got into a little trouble with the FBI, as did a few of the bigger film collectors since the studios were not happy with these private collectors having prints of “their” movies. But Everson’s reasoning and dedication to keep these great movies alive and for people to see them outweighed any wrong doing.
Horror fans might recognize his name from his books Classics of the Horror Film and More Classics of the Horror Film. The first book was one of the first of its kind, showing and teaching fans everywhere about all of these great films, through plenty of stills and his praise. He worked very hard in his lifetime to make sure that these films were going to be around for years to come and that other fans could see them. He knew the not only the importance of the classics, but also the importance of spreading one’s knowledge of them as well to like minded fans. That is one thing that Everson has instilled in me to this very day.