Lester Matthews

 

Lester Matthews

Born :  June 6, 1900 Nottingham, England 

Died :   June 5, 1975  Los Angeles, California                               

 

Biography 

Lester Matthews was born in Nottingham in 1900 and carved out a moderately successful career as a leading man in British films from 1931 through 1934. As with all aspiring actors he  moved to the U.S. in the company of his then-wife, actress Anne Grey. Though Grey faded from view after a handful of Hollywood pictures (Break of Hearts 1935 and Bonnie Scotland 1935,  Matthews stuck it out and remained  in Tinseltown until his retirement in 1968.

You could say he had a successful Hollywood career or it at least got off to an encouraging start. At first  his roles were notable with his romantic appearances  in the Karloff/Lugosi  classic The Raven (1935) as Jerry Halden and the equally notable  Werewolf of London (1935), as Paul Ames, where he  starred with Henry Hull.  The Raven (1935) and the equally exciting  Werewolf of London (1935) certainly put him in the front of the shop window. The films were however dominated,  in The Raven , by the head to head contest  between Karloff and Lugosi and then a great performance by Henry Hull in Werewolf of London. With such names as Valerie Hobson also appearing,  you can see how difficult it was to be remembered.

Thereafter, Matthews was consigned to supporting roles, often as British travel agents, bankers, solicitors, company clerks and military officers. Examples were Son of Fury (1942) with Tyrone Power, Across the Pacific (1942) and The Pied Piper (1942) with Monty Woolley. He also appeared in Manila Calling (1942). Nearing the end of his career, he continued to act in Captain Pirate  (1952), the action film Operation Secret  (1952) with Cornel Wilde and the Clifton Webb biopic  Stars and Stripes Forever  (1952). He also appeared in  Niagara  (1953) with Marilyn Monroe and the adventure  Savage Mutiny  (1953) with Johnny Weissmuller. Lester Matthews was last seen in the Julie Andrews musical Star (1968).

He died in 1975 aged 75

Filmography

The Man at Six (1931) (also known as The Gables Mystery)

The Wickham Mystery (1931)

Her Night Out (1932)

The Indiscretions of Eve (1932)

Fires of Fate (1932)

The Melody-Maker (1933)

Called Back (1933)

The Song You Gave Me (1933)

Facing the Music (1933)

The Stolen Necklace (1933)

Blossom Time (1934)

Irish Hearts (1934)

Werewolf of London (1935)

The Raven (1935)

15 Maiden Lane (1936)

Lloyd’s of London (1936)

Crack-Up (1936)

The Prince and the Pauper (1937)

Lancer Spy (1937)

There’s Always a Woman (1938)

The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

Three Loves Has Nancy (1938)

Mysterious Mr. Moto (1938)

If I Were King (1938)

The Three Musketeers (1939)

Susannah of the Mounties (1939)

Rulers of the Sea (1939)

Northwest Passage (1940)

The Biscuit Eater (1940)

Women in War (1940)

Man Hunt (1941)

A Yank in the R.A.F. (1941)

Son of Fury: The Story of Benjamin Blake (1942)

The Pied Piper (1942)

Across the Pacific (1942) – Canadian Major

Manila Calling (1942)

Desperate Journey (1942)

Appointment in Berlin (1943) (uncredited)

The Invisible Man’s Revenge (1944)

I Love a Mystery (1945)

Two O’Clock Courage (1945)

Rogues of Sherwood Forest (1950)

The Son of Dr. Jekyll (1951)

Jungle Jim in the Forbidden Land (1952)

Lady in the Iron Mask (1952)

Captain Pirate (1952)

Against All Flags (1952)

Trouble Along the Way (1953)

Jamaica Run (1953)

Young Bess (1953)

Bad for Each Other (1953)

Charge of the Lancers (1954)

King Richard and the Crusaders (1954)

Ten Wanted Men (1955)

The Far Horizons (1955) – John Hancock

Moonfleet (1955)

The Miracle (1959)

The Prize (1963)

Mary Poppins (1964) – Mr. Tomes (uncredited)

Assault on a Queen (1966)