We are very sorry to report that Francis Matthews, best known to Gerry Anderson fans as the voice of the indestuctible puppet hero Captain Scarlet, has died aged 86.
Having previously had a policy of using American accents in their shows to aid sales to America, Gerry and Sylvia relaxed their casting requirements for Captain Scarlet as it was felt that British accents were now more acceptable Stateside than had previously been the case. After hearing Matthews’ uncanny impression of Cary Grant, a voice that would have been familiar to all on both sides of the Atlantic, he was cast in 1966.
Matthews was a successful actor with a long and varied career. In the UK, outside of Captain Scarlet, he is probably best known for playing Francis Durbridges’ amateur detective, Paul Temple.He also appeared in several Hammer Horror films, and played opposite Morcambe and Wise in the films The Intelligence Men and That Riviera Touch. He later made an oft-repeated appearance on Eric and Ernie’s Christmas Show, 1977.
Outside of the UK, however, he was hugely famous for narrating and presenting Follow Me!, a BBC educational programme for hopeful learners of the English that was shown around the world.
In 1963 Matthews married actress Angela Browne, who died in 2001. Matthews is survived by his three sons: Damien, Paul and Dominic.
Francis Matthews (1927 – 2014)