Theatre, Film, and Television Biographies
Arthur Marks to John McEnery
Francis Matthews Biography (1927-)
Addresses: Home: Old Field, New Road, Esher, Surrey, KT10 9PG; Agent:Richard Stone, 18-20, York Buildings, , London, England WC2N6JU.
SIDELIGHTS: "At the age of sixteen I rushed headlong, and untutored, into the only thing I had ever wanted to do by bombarding the local theatre inLeeds to take me on backstage. And so since leaving school, I have known noother life. Back in 1945 my inspirations were Robert Donat, Olivier, Noel Coward, Cary Grant ... the sort of actors who seemed to have a clarity of purpose and a high degree of perfectionism. I also believed deeply that the job should be fun above all. If it was not that, it was not worth doing. That does not mean that an actor should not take his work seriously, but actors who takethemselves seriously are a different matter.
"I also believe that the most important thing an actor should do is work--tobe open to the possibility of trying anything, because no experience at our job, however horrendous, is wasted. Favorite roles, as most actors know, are not necessarily the most important ones, professionally. For me, the film Bhowani Junction and the international television series Paul Temple opened the most doors, but Trinity Tales, Little Big Business and Middlemen on television and Who's Who and Help Stamp Out Marriage, That's No Lady, That's My Husband and My Fair Lady, gave me the sort of satisfaction that makes the role difficult to say goodbye to. I have sung with swing bands, hosted comedy shows on radio, providedthe voice of Captain Scarlet, sung and danced in revues, played high drama and low comedy and kept all my options open, because that is what I believe anactor is, or at least used to be, about. My pastimes are tennis, cricket, trying to write all the time and lending support to the Stars Organization for Crippled Children."
- Birth Details
- September 2, 1927
- York, Enland
- Young Miner, The Corn Is Green, Princes, Bradford, England, 1945.
New York Debut
- Stuart, Help Stamp Out Marriage, Booth, for 40 performances, 1966.
- Martin, The Devil Was Sick, Fortune, 1956.
Principal Stage Appearances
- Guy Stevens, How Say You, Aldwych, London, 1959; Mr. Darcy, First Impressions, Birmingham, England, 1971; Mr. White, Who's Who?, Fortune, London, 1971; Eric, Trinity Tales, Birmingham, England, 1975; Alex Clayborne, Touch of Spring, Comedy, London, 1975; Reg, Middle Age Spread, Lyric, Apollo, London, 1980; Mr. Stone, Business of Murder, Duchess, London, 1981; Willie, Aren't We All?, Hay-market, London, 1984.
- Bob Peasley, No Escape, British Isles; Pat, That's No Lady,That's My Husband, British Isles, 1972-73; Cowardly Custer, O'Keefe, Toronto, Canada, 1974; Andrew, Signs of the Times, BritishIsles; Henry Higgins, My Fair Lady, Holland and Belgium; Noel Coward,Noel and Gertie, Monaco.
- Ranjit, Bhowani Junction, 1955.
Principal Film Appearances
- Dr. Kleve, Revenge of Frankenstein, 1958; Jonathan, Corridors of Blood, 1958; Auclair; Treasure of Monte Cristo, 1960; Charles, Dracula, Prince of Darkness, 1965; Kessnikoff, Rasputin, 1965; Lewis, Just Like a Woman, 1966; Jason, Champagne Rose Is Dead, 1968; Giorgio, Two Eyes of Crystal Water, 1974.
- Ensign Trefusis, Prelude to Glory, 1954.
Principal Television Appearances
- Ken Palmer, My Friend Charles, 1956; Esme, Esme Divided, 1957; Lt. Lamb, Triton, 1961; Grant, Dark Island, 1962; Capt. Tenbro, Last Man Out, 1963; Simon, Little Big Business, 1963-64; Lord Hansford, My Man Joe, 1967; Paul Temple, Paul Temple 1969-71; Eric, Trinity Tales, 1975; Stanley, Middlemen, 1977; Tom, Don't Forget to Write, 1977-78; Noel Coward, Ike--The War Years, 1978; Jack Askew, A Roof Over My Head, 1977; Geoffrey, Tears Before Bedtime, 1983.
Local Time, weekly anthology series, BBC. Numerous humorous articles for magazines.