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Al Matthews has passed away

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Al Matthews, best known for playing Gunnery Sergeant Apone in Aliens, has been found dead at his home in Spain. He was 75.

El Pais had the news and reports that a neighbour called the emergency services yesterday, who found him at his home in Orihuela Costa, Alicante. The cause of death is unknown.

Matthews had retired in Spain in 2005. He appeared in Superman III (1983), The Fifth Element (1997) and Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), but we will all remember him from 1986’s Aliens. Nearly 30 years later, he provided the voice for the same character in the video game Aliens: Colonial Marines (2013).

Matthews was a member of the United States Marine Corps, and served during the Vietnam War.

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.

He has also worked in British television, appearing in Grange Hill as 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).

Matthews’ last film role was in The Price of Death, a 2018 western by director Chip Baker that is currently in post-production.

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