Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Beaumont, Charles

 Icon made by Freepik from www.flaticon.com

Working (later legalized) name of US author and scriptwriter Charles Leroy Nutt (1929-1967), who produced artwork as E T Beaumont and Charles McNutt, and also wrote as C B Lovehill, Michael Phillips and Frank Anmar (the last two pseudonyms were sometimes used jointly with William F Nolan). An early sf enthusiast, CB produced his own fanzine, Utopia, in 1945, and supplied illustrations to sf Magazines. After an abortive stint as an actor at Universal Studios he worked in MGM's art department, then turned to writing with "The Devil, You Say" (1951 Amazing Stories). His output soon shifted from sf to mystery and Horror, often with a vein of the unreal in the style of Ray Bradbury. CB favoured psychological horror over supernatural, although into his best work, which is Slick Fantasy, he often wove the inexplicable. His short fiction was originally collected as The Hunger (coll 1957; vt with title story cut Shadow Play 1964 UK), Yonder (coll 1958), Night Ride (coll 1960) and The Magic Man (coll 1965) – the latter title has become identified with CB himself. His approach was ideally suited to the tv series The Twilight Zone, for which he produced over 20 scripts 1959-1963. Fantasy and sf movies scripted or coscripted by CB include Queen of Outer Space (1958), The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (1962), Burn Witch Burn (1961; ot The Night of the Eagle) – based on Conjure Wife (1953) by Fritz LeiberThe Premature Burial (1961) – one of Roger Corman's Edgar Allan Poe cycle – The Haunted Palace (1963) – loosely based on The Case of Charles Dexter Ward (1952 UK) by H P Lovecraft – and 7 Faces of Dr Lao (1964) – based on The Circus of Dr Lao (1935) by Charles G Finney. One of his last movie scripts, for Brain Dead (1989), written in 1963 about a neurosurgeon who loses his identity, tragically reflects CB's own demise: he succumbed to Alzheimer's disease and died aged only 38. [MA]

other works: The Edge (coll 1966 UK), selected from Yonder and Night Ride; Best of Beaumont (coll 1982) ed Christopher Beaumont; Charles Beaumont: Selected Stories (coll 1988; vt The Howling Man 1992) ed and with biography by Roger Anker, which won the Bram Stoker Award.

as editor: The Fiend in You (anth 1962), mostly psychological horror.

further reading: The Work of Charles Beaumont: An Annotated Bibliography and Guide (1986 chap; rev 1990) by William F Nolan.

Charles Beaumont


This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.