Al Matthews Dies: Actor Famous for “Aliens” Role Was 75
Actor Al Matthews, best known for his memorable role in the film Aliens, has died.
The iconic actor had retired to Spain, which is where he passed away.
He was 75.
75-year-old Al Matthews passed away at his home, according to Spanish newspaper El Pais.
Matthews’ home was located in Orihuela Costa, in the Spanish Mediterranean province of Alicante.
He had retired to Spain in 2005.
Responders found Matthews when a neighbor called emergency services.
An autopsy is expected for the late actor.
Matthews is, of course, best known for his role as Gunnery Sergeant Apone in James Cameron’s 1986 classic, Aliens.
In the science fiction film, he starred alongside living legend Sigourney Weaver.
He delivered a truly famous line.
“Alright sweethearts, what are you waiting for, breakfast in bed? A day in the Marine Corps is like a day on the farm,” he said on screen.
The quote continues: “Every meal’s a banquet! Every paycheck a fortune! Every formation a parade! I love the corps!”
That may have been Matthews’ most famous role, but was far from the only one. In fact, he appeared in over 30 films.
Matthews portrayed a fire chief in Superman III.
He played General Tudor in the cult classic The Fifth Element.
He also enjoyed success in the United Kingdom, where he had a role on the UK series, Grange Hill.
And speaking of his work across the pond, in 1975, his song, “Fool,” reached #16 on the UK Singles chart.
Despite his retirement, Matthews reprised his legendary role as Sgt. Apone in the 2013 video game, Aliens: Colonial Marines.
Perhaps part of what made Matthews’ role in Aliens so iconic and powerful — aside from his acting skills — was that he had been a real life marine in Vietnam.
“I spent six years in the United States Marine Corps;” Matthews shared on his personal website. “I hold thirteen combat awards and decorations, including two purple hearts.”
He reveals: “I was the first black Marine in the 1st Marine Division in Vietnam to be meritoriously promoted to the rank of sergeant.”
That is one hell of an achievement.
His website blurb concludes: “I served with Kilo Battery, Fourth Battalion, 11th Marines, 1st Marine Division, of that I am very proud.”
Rest in peace, Al Matthews.