Francis Matthews, the voice of Captain Scarlet in the 1960s TV show Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, has died aged 86 year old following a short illness. Matthews voiced the puppet in the science-fiction television series which ran between 1967 and 1968.

The series, which was set in 2068, followed the story of Captain Scarlet, the primary agent of Spectrum, a worldwide security organisation battling the Mysterons, a race of martians from Mars who have declared war on Earth.

From 1969 Matthews also played Paul Temple in the BBC detective series of the same name.

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Born and raised in York, Matthews began his acting career at the Leeds repertory theatre before serving in the Royal Navy.  His first film roles were for Hammer Studios in The Revenge of Frankenstein, Dracula: Prince of Darkness and Rasputin, the Mad Monk

The news of his death was reported on Captain Scarlet creator Gerry Anderson’s website: “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.”

The statement continued: “Matthews was a successful actor with a long and varied career. In the UK, outside of Captain Scarlet, he is probably best known for playing Francis Durbridges’ amateur detective, Paul Temple.He also appeared in several Hammer Horror films, and played opposite Morcambe and Wise in the films The Intelligence Men and That Riviera Touch. He later made an oft-repeated appearance on Eric and Ernie’s Christmas Show, 1977.”

Matthews married wife Angela Browne in 1963 and she passed away in 2001. He is survived by his three sons Damien, Paul and Dominic, two of whom followed in their father's footsteps to pursue careers in acting.

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