The loss of Al Matthews is being mourned all across the Alien fandom. I heard the news just as I sat down to watch James Cameron’s Aliens (1986) again to take notes, his character Apone is best described as a no-nonsense Sargent who’s real-life six years in the Vietnam Marine Corps, 13 combat awards and two Purple Hearts added to his on-screen performance. He later re-visited the role in the video game Aliens: Colonial Marines (2013) and inspired the character of Avery Johnson in Halo.
Matthews was found dead in his home in Alicante on Spain’s Mediterranean coast Saturday at 10 p.m. by a neighbor, the Spanish international news agency EFE and the El Pais newspaper confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter.
Matthews also had bit parts in Rough Cut (1980), Ragtime (1981), Superman III (1983), The Fifth Element (1997) and Tomorrow Never Dies (1997).
But it’s his performance in James Cameron’s 1986 sci-fi horror film that endeared him to audiences.
As well as being a decorated marine and talented actor he also performed his own music.
Here’s a fantastic interview with him from July 10th this year.
Rest in peace and thank you for bringing your personality to such unforgettable characters.