Sadly, Ben Chapman, who performed as The Creature From The Black Lagoon, has passed away at age 82. For someone who was best known for playing a cold-blooded creature, Mr. Chapman was one of the warmest and most generous persons the staff of this site had the opportunity to get to know, and anyone who had been fortunate to have met Ben at one of his many, many convention appearances would certainly agree. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Chapman family, and his many friends and fans.
In 2005, Icons conducted an extensive interview with Ben, it’s one of the interviews I’m most proud of on this site. Ben let us, at the time a little known horror site, spend nearly two hours on the phone with him talking about his life, his experience on "Creature", and the impact of the film over the years. Ben was a tireless advocate for the preserving the memory of The Gillman. I’ll never forget my time on the phone with this horror legend, and I’ll never forget how gracious he was with his fans:
"My favorite moments are with kids. I’m an education advocate. I’ve met kids at Chiller when they were 7 and they’re 17 now. I’ve watched them grow up because they come to see me every year. I asked them how do they know about this movie made 50 years ago. They’ll tell me they’re parents own a cassette. I’ll put my hand out to shake hands. I ask if they like school, get good grades. I say, "The only thing I want you to do is make me proud. Now point to a picture. I’ll autograph it.". I’ll slide it over and Mom and Dad will ask how much, and I’ll ask the kid when his birthday is, and I’ll say, "Today’s close enough."."