Matthew Cowles

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Matthew Cowles
Matthew Cowles Jennifer West.jpg
Cowles and Jennifer West in the play Malcolm in 1966.
Born (1944-09-28)September 28, 1944
New York City, New York, U.S.
Died May 22, 2014(2014-05-22) (aged 69)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1969–2014
Spouse(s) Kathleen Dezina
(m. 1980; div. ????)
Christine Baranski
(m. 1983; his death 2014)
Children 2
Parent(s) Chandler Cowles (father)

Matthew Cowles (September 28, 1944 – May 22, 2014) was an American actor and playwright.

Personal life[edit]

The son of actor and theatre producer Chandler Cowles, he was born in New York City.

In 1980, he married actress Kathleen Dezina, his All My Children co-star.

In 1983 he married actress Christine Baranski with whom he had two daughters, Isabel (born 1984) and Lily (born 1987). In a New York Times profile of his wife, he was described as “the black sheep member of a family with ties" to Drexel banking and the Cowles Publishing Company.[1] He was an enthusiastic motorcycle rider.[2] Matthew Cowles died from congestive heart failure on May 22, 2014.[3]

Cowles taught religious education at the Church of the Nativity.[4]


In 1966 Cowles played the title role in Edward Albee's short-lived adaptation of James Purdy's comic novel Malcolm on Broadway at the Shubert Theatre.[5]

In 1968, he appeared with Al Pacino and John Cazale in Israel Horovitz's The Indian Wants the Bronx.[6]

In 1983, Cowles joined The Mirror Theater Ltd's Mirror Repertory Company for their first repertory season, performing in Paradise Lost, Rain, Inheritors, and The Hasty Heart.[7]

Cowles' first television part was Joe Czernak in the series NYPD in 1969. He was nominated for a Daytime Emmy as Outstanding Actor in a Daytime Drama Series in 1978 and as Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Daytime Drama Series in 1981, both for his part as Billy Clyde Tuggle in All My Children, a role that he created and wrote.[2]

Cowles' first film was the comedy drama Me, Natalie (1969) in which he played Harvey Belman. Al Pacino also made his debut in this film.

In 2010, Cowles played a supporting role in Martin Scorsese's film Shutter Island.

Cowles also starred in three short plays for the public radio show and podcast, Playing On Air.[8][9][10][11]






  • Mexican Standoff at Fat Squaw Springs[2]
  • Our Daily Bread[2]
  • Noblesse Oblige[2]


  1. ^ Horyn, Cathy. "Main Course -Christine Baranski -'I Was Never Beautiful' ", New York Times, April 17, 2011
  2. ^ a b c d e '2004 Speaker Biographies'. Samuel Dorsky Symposium on Public Monuments (2004)
  3. ^ "Actor Matthew Cowles Passes Away". Broadway World. Retrieved May 24, 2014. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b c d "Matthew Cowles Listing" Internet Broadway Database
  6. ^ Lortel Archives
  7. ^ Gussow, Mel. "THEATER: MIRROR REP, IN A REVIVAL OF 'RAIN'." The New York Times. The New York Times, 10 Mar. 1984. Web. 10 Jan. 2017. <>.
  8. ^ PlayingOnAir (2014-12-08). "Matthew Cowles". Playing On Air. Retrieved 2016-08-04. 
  9. ^ PlayingOnAir (2015-09-28). "New Podcast! GETTING IN by Frank Gilroy". Playing On Air. Retrieved 2016-08-04. 
  10. ^ "Page not found – Playing On Air". Retrieved 2016-08-04. 
  11. ^ PlayingOnAir (2016-02-21). "New Podcast! The Strangest Kind of Romance by Tennessee Williams". Playing On Air. Retrieved 2016-08-04. 

External links[edit]