Thursday, May 3, 2012

Walter Matthews Dead at 85

Walter Mathews, stage, film, and TV actor, died of natural causes in Mountain Center, Calif., on April 28. He was 85.

Mathews performed in the original cast of "Equus" on Broadway in 1974 and recurred on GENERAL HOSPITAL (Clyde Bingham in 1981) and ANOTHER WORLD (Rachel's father, Gerald Davis, from 1970 to 1974). He was recognizable as the original "You can pay me now or pay me later" mechanic in the Fram Oil Filter commercial.

The actor made guest appearance on dozens of TV shows beginning in the early 1960s, including PERRY MASON, GOMER PYLE, U.S.M.C., MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE, ADAM 12, MANNIX, EMERGENCY!, CHARLIE'S ANGELS, QUINCY and MURDER, SHE WROTE.

Mathews grew up in the Bronx and received his M.A. in drama at Ohio U. He made his Broadway debut in a 1956 production of "King Lear" that starred Orson Welles.

He is survived by four children and five grandchildren.

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