It’s strange how karma in horror works. Things turn in rhombic ways to coincide to a singularity.
Charles Beaumont (1929 – 1967) was born in Chicago as Charles Leroy Nutt, but reportedly to a sadistic mother. He hated his name, as it was frequently ridiculed by kids, and later changed it. He dropped out of high school in tenth grade to join the army, kicked around at odd and sundry jobs until he sold his first story to Amazing Stories in 1950. His next big break came when Esquire rejected a science-fiction short story by Charles Beaumont that depicted a world where heterosexuals were in the minority. In 1955, Hugh Hefner agreed to publish it in Playboy. It was Charles Beaumont’s science fiction short story, “The Crooked Man”.
A “southern California” group was loosely formed back then, and among the members were Richard Matheson, and Ray Bradbury – who took notice of Beaumont and assisted him. Beaumont went on to do numerous Hollywood scripts. Attracting the attention of Rod Serling he placed a number of scripts in the first few seasons of the Twilight Zone. Perhaps his most notable episode was “The Howling Man”.
Later, Beaumont worked with Roger Corman, adapting in 1963 Lovecraft’s “The Strange Case of Charles Dexter Ward”. As HPL was barely known, it was pawned off as a Poe story. Corman coaxed Vincent Price to star with knockout Debra Paget, and veterans: Lon Chaney, Jr. (Wolfman) and Elisha Cook, Jr (of Maltese Falcon Fame). Beaumont, himself to die young, adapted a script by Lovecraft who died much too young for the world of horror. Each left a great legacy.
Above is a news clipping obituary. Below, a trailer for the 1963 Corman movie.