Monday, June 16, 2014

Francis Matthews 1927-2014

With Ros Drinkwater in Paul Temple

The Legatus can't let the passing of actor Francis Matthews pass without comment, given that the TV shows of Gerry Anderson were such a large part of my life in the sixties.  Although obituaries make much of the fact that he was the voice of Captain Scarlet I actually remember him best as TV detective Paul Temple; one of my mother's favourite shows and, indeed, he was one of her favourite actors.  In fact I didn't find out that he voiced Captain Scarlet until quite a lot later.

Granger, Matthews and Gardner

It wasn't just my mother who thought he was "dishy"; he had an affair with Ava Gardner (and who wouldn't) while filming Bhowani Junction (1956).  He also appeared in several Hammer films and I also remember him in the entertaining comedy drama serial Don't Forget to Write (1977-79) with George Cole.

Captain Scarlet end titles artwork by Osprey (and Look & Learn) stalwart Ronald Embleton

He based his Captain Scarlet accent on, famously, that of Cary Grant (Anderson offered him the role having heard him do his impression in a radio interview) although as Jack Lemmon said to another Cary Grant impersonator in Some Like it Hot "nobody talks like that!".

There are not many of the original voice cast of Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons left now; other than the actresses who played the Angels and Jeremy (Virgil Tracy) Wilkin who played the far from regular character of Captain Ochre.  I need to finish my Crooked Dice Captain Scarlet figure now!


  1. I remember Thunderbrids Are Go! more than I do Captain Scarlet but its sad to hear of his passing none the less.

  2. Great memorial. Who wouldn't be tempted by the charms of Ava Gardner?