It is a very sad news for the fans of Aliens franchise by James Cameron. It has been confirmed that Al Matthews has passed away at the age of 75. A neighbour of the actor discovered the actor as unresponsive in his Spanish home where Matthews had been living after he retired in 2005. His death was confirmed soon after he was found and an autopsy will reveal the actual cause of his death.
Aliens has a powerful cast, but, it won’t be wrong to say that some of the best lines from the film went to Matthews. Especially, the way he got his team to get going in the morning, “Alright, sweethearts, what are you waiting for? Breakfast in bed?” In another scene, when a soldier cribbed about his feet getting cold, the sergeant replied, “What do you want me to do, fetch your slippers for you?” There is no doubt that Matthews’ portrayal of Apone happened to be among the most entertaining and unforgettable elements from the film.
Although he will be most fondly remembered for his work in Aliens, Matthews had also appeared in various other movies over the years. He had a crucial scene with Christopher Reeve in Superman III where he played a fire chief. Here also Matthews had delivered an iconic line, “That man is a miracle.” Matthews was also part of movies like The Fifth Element and Tomorrow Never Dies, and fans always recognized him.
Back in 2013, Matthews once again played Sergeant Apone for the video game Aliens: Colonial Marines, that was released after 27 years of the movie’s premiere. It turned out to be a fun trip down the memory lane for the movie’s fans and Matthews himself. The actor had also done voice work in the 2011 video game, Operation Flashpoint: Red River where he portrayed the character of Colonel Shannon Hardaway.
Before his demise, Matthews had been cast to play Williamson in an upcoming movie The Price of Death. It is a Western movie helmed by Chip Baker and is presently in post-production with expected release next year. We don’t have the details of the role that Matthews played in the movie, but, the film is based on a bounty hunter and a denounced criminal, both of whom are being hounded by a gang of savage bandits. The movie would be the only film appearance for Matthews since 1997, and it will be quite an emotional experience to see him in this film.
Playing army men came naturally to Matthews since he happened to be a real-life war veteran too. He had worked in the US Marine Corps for six years and served in Vietnam. During his Marine days, Matthews earned thirteen combat awards, including two purple hearts. Just like his movie character Apone, Matthews went on to become a sergeant in the military, serving with Kilo Battery, Fourth Battalion, 11th Marines, 1st Marine Division. There is no doubt that Al Matthews was a real-life as well as a movie hero and our thoughts go out to his family, friends and fans. This news came to us via El Pais.