Shepard, Leslie (Alan) 1917-2004
SHEPARD, Leslie (Alan) 1917-2004
See index for CA sketch: Born June 21, 1917, in West Ham, London, England; died August 20, 2004, in Blackrock, Ireland. Filmmaker, editor, and author. Shepard, who was the founder of the Bram Stoker Society, was well known for his lifelong interest in the cinema, which resulted in his collecting a huge library of rare books and films, as well as his expertise on the occult, folklore, the history of printing, and Eastern religions. One of his first loves was filmmaking, and after attending school in London, his first job was in the cutting room at Paul Rotha Productions. During World War II, Shepard was a conscientious objector and consequently worked in the Ministry of Information as a script writer and assistant on newsreel production. With the war over, Shepard founded his own company, Data Film Productions, in London. Here he produced documentary and educational films until 1958. In the early 1960s, he also was involved in making films for the British Broadcasting Corp. and for Independent Television. By the 1960s, publishing began to overtake film in Shepard's career, and he became involved with University Books in New York City as that company's London editor in 1965 and 1966; he also started editing books for the Gale Research Co. (now the Gale Group) in Detroit, Michigan, which he continued through 1990. Drawing on his interest in the occult and Eastern cultures—he had spent time living in India studying yoga and Hindu mysticism—Shepard edited such books as Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology (1978) and The Dracula Book of Great Horror Stories (1981). Shepard, who lived in Dublin despite continuing work for American publishers, was renowned for his film collection, which included film from as far back as the 1920s; his generosity in lending these rare works to others was also well known and appreciated by researchers and writers.
OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:
Independent (London, England), September 14, 2004, p. 33.
Times (London, England), September 27, 2004, p. 55; October 8, 2004, p. 68.