News Column

Voice of Captain Scarlet dies at 86

June 16, 2014

Alexandra Topping

Francis Matthews, the voice of Captain Scarlet in the TV series Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, has died after a short illness. He was 86.

He had a varied acting career but will perhaps be best remembered for his clipped, English officer-class delivery in the title role to the 1960s puppet series, a follow-up to Thunderbirds. As the opening credits announced: "This man will be our hero, for fate will make him indestructible - Captain Scarlet."

Matthews later admitted he based the character's voice on a party-piece impression of Cary Grant.

He started his career in repertory theatre in Leeds and, after being demobbed from the Royal Navy, starred in stage productions across the country. While filming alongside Ava Gardner in Bhowani Junction in London in 1956, he introduced the superstar - then married to Frank Sinatra - to suburban life. Said to be bored with demands that she be photographed in London nightspots, Gardner rebelled, taking up Matthews' offer to have tea with his parents in Surbiton.

In 1962, Matthews met fellow actor Angela Browne on the set of the BBC thriller The Dark Island and they married the next year. He went on to star alongside Morecambe and Wise in That Riviera Touch (1966) and Crossplot (1968). In 1969, he took up the role of playboy detective Paul Temple in the eponymous series.

Obituary, page 35 =

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Source: Guardian (UK)

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