Episode 17 Guest Star: Murray Matheson

Bornin Casterton, Victoria, Australia
Diedin Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA
Birth NameSidney Murray Matheson
Height5' 10" (1,78 m)

Urbane, grey-eyed, silver-haired Australian-born character actor, notable for his smooth manner and clipped upper-class English diction. A grazier's son, Matheson first worked as a clerk in a bank in Geelong, Victoria. However, his overriding ambition to become an actor caused him to abscond to Melbourne, where he eventually joined the Little Theatre and spent two years being trained by the celebrated actress Ada Reeve. He made his theatrical debut at His Majesty's Theatre in Melbourne in 1934 and then spent a year with touring companies, afterwards making the inevitable move to England. Matheson's first appearance on the London stage was in the 1937 revue "And On We Go", followed by performances in "Oscar Wilde" and "Candida". In the course of many years, he became a prolific interpreter of roles in plays by Noël Coward. In 1940, Matheson's acting career was put on hold by wartime service as an intelligence officer in the RAF, attached to the British Embassy in Moscow.
His screen career took off after a post-war move to Canada. Initially cast in radio and TV productions, Matheson was signed by Paramount to play a convict clergyman in the 18th century seafaring drama A Náu dos Condenados (1952). In between the numerous TV assignments which followed, Matheson had featured billing in several other Hollywood pictures, including Rebelião na Índia (1953), Suplício de uma Saudade (1955) and Marcado para o Crime (1964). However, he became most familiar to 1960's and 70's TV audiences as a regular guest star, equally versed in playing civilised, benevolent authority figures or crooks of the 'polite, yet deadly' variety. His most cherished performances may well include the evil KAOS mastermind Cedric Devonshire of Agente 86 (1965); the alien Dr. Reynard, heading an indoctrination facility for Os Invasores (1967); a discarded clown, one of "Five Characters in Search of an Exit" from Além da Imaginação (1959); and the antiquarian Felix Mulholland, owner of Mulholland's Rare Books & Prints and purveyor of information to Banacek (1972) (a recurring role for which he had signed a six-months contract).
Matheson also remained true to his roots in legitimate theatre, occasionally appearing in modern plays at the Pasadena Playhouse and other West Coast venues. He died in April 1985 at the age of seventy-two in Los Angeles.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: I.S.Mowis

Much more about the Man From UNCLE in the Open Channel D book:

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