Yours truly with Ted Newsom in August 2010.
Word has been circulating online that writer-director Ted Newsom has passed away at age 67. No details seem to be available, but he's had a myriad of health problems in recent years, so news of his passing isn't all that surprising. But the world of Monster Kid fandom will be a lot less interesting without his unique voice.
A day at Don Glut's house, with Ted Newsom, Bill Warren, and others. Photo by Brett Homenick.
I met Ted only once -- in August 2010. When I went to visit Donald F. Glut at his home in Burbank, Don took it upon himself to invite several fandom luminaries to join us. Naturally, Ted Newsom was among them. I was especially pleased to meet him, as I always enjoyed reading his perspective on things, even when I disagreed with him.
Actually, out of all of the folks who attended that day, I'd have to say that I gravitated toward Ted the most. I appreciated his wit (which was just as quick and amusing in person), and he was a friendly fellow. I had a great time picking his brain about a variety of topics.
From left to right: Ted Newsom, me, William Winckler, Sid Terror, Don Glut, and Tim Smyth.
UPDATE (7/9): Given the general theme of this blog, I thought this story that Ted shared on Facebook on May 4, 2019, ought to be preserved for posterity.
I had a CSUN teacher named Al C. Ward. He had been writing for films and TV since the early 1950s, first for the Brian Donlevy series Dangerous Assignment (Bela Lugosi's wife Lillian worked on that; she married Donlevy 10 years later) then shows like Ben Casey and The Fugitive and finally as writer-producer of UMC Medical Center. I had a potential gig writing a dubbed comedy version of the two Steve Reeves Hercules films ("Hercules Recycled"), and I asked Al about it. He said "When I first started out, I had a job like that. They had this Japanese film with a lot of special effects and they needed an American version. I wrote the thing, and they said 'Y'know, if you take a little less money, you can have a piece of this.' I said 'Oh, no, give me the cash.' That was a movie called 'Godzilla.' Brilliant."
He won have been 100 this year. Poor laddie passed away in the prime of his youth ten years ago.