Walter Mathews (actor)

Walter Mathews (October 10, 1926 – April 28, 2012) was an American character actor whose credits included roles in television, film and theater.

Walter Mathews
BornOctober 10, 1926
DiedApril 28, 2012 (aged 85)
Alma materOhio University

Mathews was born in New York City on October 10, 1926,[1] and was raised in the Bronx.[2] He earned a master's degree in drama from Ohio University.[2]

Mathews debuted in the Broadway production of King Lear in 1956, which starred Orson Welles.[2] He was a member of the original Broadway cast of Equus, which opened in New York in 1974.[2]

On television, Mathews appeared in a series of commercials for Fram Oil Filters as the original fictional Fram mechanic who promised consumers, "You can pay me now or pay me later."[2] In 1962 Matthews appeared as Mr. Harper on the TV western The Virginian in the episode titled "The Brazen Bell." Mathews also had recurring roles in the Another World and General Hospital soap operas.[2] His additional television credits included Ripcord, Emergency!, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., Murder, She Wrote, Perry Mason, Mannix, Charlie's Angels, Adam-12, Quincy, M.E., Mission: Impossible, Starsky & Hutch, Alice, Medical Center and The FBI.[2]

His film credits included roles in The Naked Kiss (1964), The Lawyer (1970), Beyond Reason (1977), Nighthawks (1981) and Cannery Row (1982).

Mathews made his last on-screen appearance in 1986.[1]

Mathews died of natural causes on April 28, 2012, in Mountain Center, California, at the age of 85.[2]


Year Title Role Notes
1959 Middle of the Night Mickey Hilliard Uncredited
1964 The Naked Kiss Mike
1964 Where Love Has Gone Reporter Uncredited
1966 Boy, Did I Get a Wrong Number! Stagehand, Movie Set Uncredited
1966 Not with My Wife, You Don't! Television Producer Uncredited
1967 A Covenant with Death Appraiser Uncredited
1970 The Lawyer Mr. Andre
1981 Nighthawks Commissioner
1982 Cannery Row Sonny
1984 Racing with the Moon Sailor Voice
1985 Beyond Reason Al
1986 The Check Is in the Mail... Water & Power man #1
1986 Mission Kill Foreman


  1. ^ a b Fulghum, Sherill (2012-05-06). "Actor Walter Matthews Dies". Archived from the original on 2012-05-13. Retrieved 2012-05-12.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Character actor Walter Mathews dies, Appeared on TV shows including 'Murder, She Wrote'". Variety. 2012-05-06. Retrieved 2012-05-12.

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