George Mathews (actor)

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George Mathews
The Last Wagon 11 George Mathews.jpg
Mathews in the 1956 film The Last Wagon
Born(1911-10-10)October 10, 1911
DiedNovember 7, 1984(1984-11-07) (aged 73)
Years active1933–1972
Spouse(s)Mary Hayneworth

George Mathews (October 10, 1911 – November 7, 1984) was an American actor whose career stretched from an uncredited appearance in Stage Door Canteen in 1943 to Going Home in 1971.[1] Burly, heavy-featured, and tall (6' 1.5") he had an extensive career on stage which began in the early 1930s, when he failed to get a job with the U.S. Mail. He joined the W.P.A. Theatre, and landed a key role in the play Processional (1937) as Dynamite Jim.

With his broad face, strong eyebrows, pug nose, and jutting lower lip, Mathews was often cast as heavies or hardened military types. He appeared in both the stage (1942–43) and film version (1944) of The Eve of St. Mark, as Sergeant Ruby. He also succeeded in effectively portraying comic thugs, which he did in Pat and Mike (1952), starring Katharine Hepburn, and in the Garson Kanin-directed musical comedy Do Re Mi (1960–62), as Fatso O'Rear, starring Phil Silvers. In 1962 he played Stryker in Have Gun - Will Travel, Season 6, Episode 6.[2] He also demonstrated his comedic talent in the short-lived television comedy series Glynis (1963), playing ex-cop Chick Rogers, who assists a mystery writer and amateur sleuth, played by Glynis Johns, in solving "whodunnits", He was also in the Broadway play Catch Me If You Can in 1965. Perhaps his most memorable role was as Harvey in The Bensonhurst Bomber episode of The Honeymooners. He also played the bar owner, John Shanssey, who helped Doc Holiday from hanging in "Gunfight At The OK Corral".

Mathews retired from the screen in 1972 and died from heart disease in Caesars Head, South Carolina in November 1984.[3] He was married to stage actress Mary (Haynsworth) Mathews from 1951 until his death in 1984.[4]


Year Title Role Notes
1943 Stage Door Canteen Marine Sergeant with Ray Bolger Uncredited
1944 Up in Arms Blackie
1944 The Eve of St. Mark Sgt. Ruby
1944 Wing and a Prayer Dooley
1944 Wilson Army Sergeant Uncredited
1945 The Corn Is Green Trap Driver Uncredited
1945 The Great John L. John Flood
1952 Pat and Mike Spec Cauley
1952 Sally and Saint Anne Father Kennedy
1952 Yankee Buccaneer Chief Petty Officer Link
1953 Last of the Comanches Romany O'Rattigan
1953 City Beneath the Sea Capt. Meade aka Ralph Sorensen
1953 Act of Love Henderson
1954 The Great Diamond Robbery Duke Fargoh
1955 The Man with the Golden Arm Williams
1956 The Proud Ones Dillon
1956 The Last Wagon Sheriff Bull Harper
1957 Gunfight at the O.K. Corral John Shanssey
1958 The Buccaneer Pyke
1960 Heller in Pink Tights Sam Pierce
1971 Going Home Malloy (final film role)


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