Francis Matthews who played television's Paul Temple and was the voice of Gerry Anderson's Captain Scarlet has died aged 86. Matthews, who was born in York on 2 September 1927 began his TV career in 1955 with a regular role in the BBC produced series St. Ives which starred William Russell in the lead part. He went on to appear in almost 100 film and TV productions including The World of Tim Frazer and A Little Big Business. A year after he finished work on Captain Scarlet he won the role that made him a household name, as Francis Durbridge's amateur private detective and author of crime fiction, Paul Temple. The series ran for 64 episodes, filmed in colour, 52 of which were co-produced with the West German TV station ZDF, making it the first full-series international co-production on television. Sadly the BBC only retained 11 colour episodes, but unusually, all of St. Ives remain in the vaults. Matthews also appeared in a number of Hammer horror films in the 1960s. He was a great friend of comedian Eric Morecambe and appeared alongside Morecambe and Wise a number of times including the films The Intelligence Men (1965) and That Riviera Touch (1966). Matthews was married to the actress Angela Browne from 1963 until her death in 2001. He died on 15 June 2014 from natural causes.
Francis Matthews was a lovely, very handsome gentleman. I got his autograph after seeing him at a radio recording in London, (I think of "Quote, Unquote"), and he was charming. One of his skills was to do an excellent impression of Cary Grant, and that was what led him to be cast as the voice of "Captain Scarlet". The "Mirror" website quotes Gerry Anderson as saying, "After hearing Matthews’ uncanny impression of Cary Grant, a voice that would have been familiar to all on both sides of the Atlantic, he was cast in 1966."