Captain Scarlet voice actor Francis Matthews dies

Francis Matthews Francis Matthews starred in numerous dramas and comedies as well as lending his voice to Captain Scarlet

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Actor Francis Matthews, who was the voice of Captain Scarlet in Gerry Anderson's 1960s TV show, has died at the age of 86.

Matthews lent his voice to the indestructible puppet hero, who defended the Earth in Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, in 1967 and '68.

The actor also played private detective Paul Temple in the BBC series of the same name from 1969.

The news was confirmed in a statement on the Gerry Anderson website.

Captain Scarlet Captain Scarlet was created by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson after their success with Thunderbirds

"We are very sorry to report that Francis Matthews, best known to Gerry Anderson fans as the voice of the indestructible puppet hero Captain Scarlet, has died aged 86," it said.

The statement recounted how they chose Matthews for the role of Captain Scarlet because he sounded like Cary Grant.

Matthews also appeared in Hammer horror films including The Revenge of Frankenstein and Dracula: Prince of Darkness plus the Morecambe and Wise movies The Intelligence Men and That Riviera Touch.

Other TV roles included one opposite George Cole in the 1970s BBC sitcom Don't Forget to Write!

But it was Captain Scarlet that continued to inspire devotion among its fans, to Matthews' bemusement.

"They really are anoraks," he told The Independent in 2006. "They dress up and stare at you when you're signing the autograph as if you're some kind of extraordinary God."

Francis Matthews with Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise Matthews appeared with Morecambe and Wise in a string of films and TV specials
Francis Matthews and George Cole in Don't Forget to Write! He starred with George Cole in the BBC comedy Don't Forget to Write!

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