Passage: Two masters of iconic imagery

(CBS News) It happened this week . . . the loss of two masters of imagery.

Novelist and screenwriter Richard Matheson died last Sunday at his California home. His specialty was putting the scary visions that popped into HIS head into OURS.

William Shatner has a right to be nervous, in the classic "Twilight Zone" episode, "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet," written by Richard Matheson. CBS

A bit of airplane daydreaming inspired him to write the classic "Twilight Zone" episode in which William Shatner sees a destructive hobgoblin out on the wing.

In another episode, he showed a lone woman in a farmhouse battling tiny space aliens . . . revealing only at the end that the "aliens" were actually Americans from a very distant Earth.

And though he didn't write the screenplays, his early novels inspired the 1957 film "The Incredible Shrinking Man" . . . and no fewer than three movie versions of "I Am Legend," the most recent with Will Smith in the starring role.

Richard Matheson died just days before he was due to receive an award from the Academy of Science Fiction, Horror, and Fantasy Films.

He was 87 years old.

For more info:

  • Saturn Awards (Academy of Science Fiction, Horror, and Fantasy Films

Photographer Bert Stern captured unforgettable glimpses of real-life people.

One of the 2,500 images taken by photographer Bert Stern of Marilyn Monroe in her "Last Sitting," just weeks before her death in 1962. Bert Stern/Courtesy of Freeman's

He literally turned the advertising world upside-down in 1955 with this image of an Egyptian pyramid shot through a martini glass.

He photographed virtually every major celebrity of his time, including Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, and the fashion model Twiggy.

He's best known perhaps for the evocative photographs he took of Marilyn Monroe in 1962, just six weeks before her headline-making suicide . . . a series that came to be known as "The Last Sitting."

In last year's documentary, "Bert Stern: Original Mad Man," he opened a window into his motivation for taking so many pictures.

"I'm obsessive - that's why I take pictures, I guess," he said. "I take pictures of things I'm looking at and I put them in the camera. And they're mine. They're all mine."

Bert Stern was 83 years old.

For more info: