Al Matthews (actor)

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Al Matthews
Born Alexander Basil Matthews
(1942-11-21)November 21, 1942
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Died September 22, 2018(2018-09-22) (aged 75)
Orihuela, Alicante, Spain
Occupation Actor
United States Marine Sergeant
Years active 1975–1997, 2011–2018
Known for Aliens (1986)
Awards 13, including 2 Purple Hearts

Alexander Basil Matthews (November 21, 1942 – September 22, 2018) was an American actor and singer,[1] best known for his appearance as Gunnery Sergeant Apone in the James Cameron film Aliens (1986). He reprised his role 27 years later, providing the voice of Apone for the video game Aliens: Colonial Marines (2013). Matthews' portrayal of Apone was the inspiration for Sgt. Avery Johnson of the Halo franchise.[2]

Military career[edit]

Matthews was a member of the United States Marine Corps, and served during the Vietnam War. On his website, he states:

I spent six years in the United States Marine Corps; I hold thirteen combat awards and decorations, including two purple hearts. I was the first black Marine in the 1st Marine Division in Vietnam to be meritoriously promoted to the rank of sergeant; I served with Kilo Battery, Fourth Battalion, 11th Marines, 1st Marine Division, of that I am very proud.

Acting and musical career[edit]

Matthews has played various acting roles, such as Ferguson in Rough Cut (1980), a workman in Omen III: The Final Conflict (1981), a Vietnam veteran in The Sender (1982), a fire chief in Superman III (1983), Benedict in The American Way (1986), General Tudor in The Fifth Element (1997) and Master Sergeant #3 in Tomorrow Never Dies (1997). He has also worked in British television, appearing in Grange Hill as Sam Green, the father of Benny Green, as well as in theater and radio; for the latter, as both an actor (on BBC Radio 4) and a presenter (on BBC Radio 1 and Capital Radio). In 1975, he scored a musical hit in the UK Singles Chart, "Fool", which reached number 16 in the fall of that year.[3]


Matthews was found unresponsive by a neighbour at 10 PM on September 22, 2018, in Orihuela (Alicante, Spain). He was pronounced dead at age 75.[1][4][5]


Year Title Role Notes
1977 The Butterfly Ball Himself
1979 Yanks Black G.I. at Dance
1980 Rough Cut Ferguson
1981 Omen III: The Final Conflict Workman
1981 Ragtime Maitre D'
1982 The Sender Viet Nam Veteran
1983 Superman III Fire Chief
1983 Funny Money 1st Hood
1986 Defense of the Realm First U.S. Controller
1986 The American Way Benedict
1986 Aliens Gunnery Sergeant Apone
1987 Out of Order U.S. DJ
1988 Stormy Monday Radio DJ
1988 American Roulette Morrisey
1997 The Fifth Element General Tudor
1997 Tomorrow Never Dies Master Sergeant 3

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Burgos, Rafa (24 September 2018). "Actor Al Matthews, Apone in 'Aliens,' found dead in Spain". El País. Retrieved 27 September 2018.
  2. ^ Grazier, Kevin. "'Halo' Science 101". Gamasutra. Retrieved 27 September 2018.
  3. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 355. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  4. ^ "Al Matthews, Cigar-Chomping Sgt. Apone in 'Aliens,' Dies at 75". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 27 September 2018.
  5. ^ "Aliens star Al Matthews dies, aged 75". RTÉ. 24 September 2018. Retrieved 27 September 2018.

External links[edit]