Richard Jay Silverthorn was born Marshall Stuart Goldman in Buffalo, New York in 1952. Silverthorn attended the University of Rochester from 1970-1974, graduating with a BA in English. He then moved to Los Angeles to attend the University of Southern California film school, graduating in 1978 with a Master of Fine Arts (Cinema). As a film student, Silverthorn received accolades at the SPREE Awards for his gay films in 1975 (2nd place for Dichotomy) and in 1977 (1st place for Two Faggots and 2nd place for The Tea Room Scene). It was because Marshall Goldman had received attention for his gay films that his mother asked him to change his name. He also won many awards for his final student film, Who is Richard Jay Silverthorn Anyway? in which he played numerous characters as well as created special effects and animation.
Silverthorn wrote manuscripts, screenplays, and various adaptations of his original work and the work of others, notably Ray Bradbury's Frost and Fire and a trilogy based on Frank LaLoggia's 1981 film Fear No Evil which Silverthorn acted in and created the make-up for. Silverthorn ceaselessly wrote and revised while attempting to land production and actor roles as well as book deals. In 1983 he partnered Maynard T. Smith, staff at USC Cinema, to create Simian Word Processing, a business geared toward providing publishing services for graduate students completing their dissertations. He also dabbled in the management of actor Nick Spittelli from 1984-1985. Silverthorn had one book published, Satan’s Spawn (Avon Books, 1988) which was the third book of his "Satan Trilogy" originally titled Lucifer. Remaining in Los Angeles until his death on March 23, 1987 from AIDS-related complications, Silverthorn's last years were spent creating an exhaustive family tree for the descendants of Rabbi David Zisilis.
Source: Richard Jay Silverthorn Papers, Coll2013.069, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California.