Al Matthews, 'Aliens' and 'Superman III' Actor, Dies at 75

US Marine, film actor and folk singer Al Matthews has died. He was 75.

Matthews was discovered dead in his Alicante, Spain home on Saturday according to Spanish news agency EFE and the newspaper El Pais (via The Hollywood Reporter).

The real-life military man turned actor is best known for his role as Sgt. Apone in the 1986 sci-fi classic Aliens, where he barked such lines as "All right, sweethearts, what are you waiting for? Breakfast in bed? Another glorious day in the Corps. A day in the Marine Corps is like a day on the farm. Every meal's a banquet. Every paycheck a fortune. Every formation a parade. I LOVE the Corps!"

His other film credits include Rough Cut (1980), Ragtime (1981), Omen III: The Final Conflict (1981), Superman III (1983), The Fifth Element (1997) and Tomorrow Never Dies (1997).

Matthews was a decorated marine, fighting with the 1st Marine Division during the Vietnam War. He earned 13 combat awards and two purple hearts.

"Yes, I was the only person in the movie not pretending to be a Marine, in fact I taught the other actors how to look and act. Mr. Cameron was pleased with my input, in fact he said to me, he had no idea I was that good; had he known, my part would have been bigger." he said of playing Alpone in a 2006 interview.

Matthew was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1942. He once claimed that bandleader Cab Calloway was his great uncle and pursued a musical career of his own. He started by singing in street-corner groups in New York before moving on to folk music in Greenwich Village.

He later moved to the United Kingdom, where he appeared in the television series Grange Hill, and then France, where his song "Fool," written by Pierre Tubbs, proved to be a hit and reached number 16 on the charters.

In 1978 Matthews made history as the first black disc jockey on Britain's Radio 1.

Matthews' legacy touched video games as well. He reprised the role of Sgt. Matthew for the 2013 video game Aliens: Colonel Marines. He was also the inspiration for the Halo series character Avery Johnson.


Matthews' final film, The Price of Death, is currently in post-production.