biography

Born in Seattle, Washington, on January 8, 1926, Kerwin Mathews relocated to Janesville, Wisconsin, after his parents divorced. Following graduation from Benoit College where he majored in theater, Mathews worked as a teacher for several years but eventually quit and made his way to Hollywood. At 6'1" and 180 lbs., the handsome hopeful snagged a contract with Columbia in 1954. His first film was the Guy Madison film noir vehicle 5 Against the House. Mathews went on to star in several more noir flicks but is probably best remembered for his roles in the swashbucklers The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958), The 3 Worlds of Gulliver (1960), and Jack the Giant Killer (1962).

the films of kerwin mathews

5 Against the House (1955) Get It Here at Movies Unlimited

Brian Keith, Guy Madison, Kim Novak, Alvy Moore, and Kerwin Mathews

With Brian Keith, Guy Madison, Kim Novak, and Alvy Moore in the Columbia film noir release 5 Against the House, which was Mathews' first film

The Garment Jungle (1957) Get It Here at Movies Unlimited

Kerwin Mathews and Gia Scala

With Gia Scala in the Columbia film noir release The Garment Jungle

The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958) Get It Here at Movies Unlimited

Kerwin Mathews and Kathryn Grant

With Kathryn Grant in Columbia's swashbuckler The 7th Voyage of Sinbad. Ray Harryhausen was responsible for the special effects in this movie and also served as associate producer

Tarawa Beachhead (1958) Get It Here at Movies Unlimited

Kerwin Mathews and Julie Adams

With Julie Adams in Columbia's war film Tarawa Beachhead

Man on a String (1959) Get It Here at Movies Unlimited

Kerwin Mathews and Ernest BorgnineKerwin Mathews

From Columbia's crime thriller Man on a String. LEFT: With Ernest Borgnine. RIGHT: Mathews as Bob Avery

The Warrior Empress (1960)

Kerwin Mathews and Tina Louise

With Tina Louise in the Italian spectacle The Warrior Empress

The 3 Worlds of Gulliver (1960) Get It Here at Movies Unlimited

Kerwin MathewsKerwin MathewsKerwin Mathews

From The 3 Worlds of Gulliver. LEFT: Lobby card. CENTER and RIGHT: Mathews as Dr. Lemuel Gulliver. Ray Harryhausen did the special effects in this fantasy adventure

Maniac (1963)

Kerwin Mathews and Nadia Gray

With Nadia Gray in the Hammer horror thriller Maniac

Battle Beneath the Earth (1967) Get It Here at Movies Unlimited

Vivienne Ventura and Kerwin MathewsKerwin MathewsVivienne Ventura and Kerwin Mathews

Images from the sci-fi thriller Battle Beneath the Earth, released in the US by MGM

The Viscount (1967)

Kerwin MathewsKerwin Mathews

Images from the crime drama The Viscount, released in the US by Warner Bros.

The Boy Who Cried Werewolf (1973)

Kerwin Mathews and Scott SealeyKerwin Mathews and Elaine Devry

From Universal's horror release The Boy Who Cried Werewolf. LEFT: With Scott Sealey. RIGHT: With Elaine Devry

later years

Late in his film career, Mathews acted in a number of horror and science fiction films, including Octaman (1971; with Jeff Morrow and Pier Angeli), The Boy Who Cried Werewolf (1973; with Elaine Devry), and Nightmare in Blood (1978; with Barrie Youngfellow). After the release of Nightmare in Blood, Mathews retired from acting to move to San Francisco and work as an antiques dealer. He passed away on July 5, 2007, in his sleep at age 81. He is survived by his partner of 46 years, Tom Nicoll.

kerwin mathews films available from movies unlimited

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5 Against The House [DVD](1955) DVD
A quartet of G.I. Bill collegians (Guy Madison, Brian Keith, Kerwin Mathews, Alvy Moore) decides, as a lark, to knock over a supposedly theft-proof Reno casino, just to prove it can be done. The idea was to return the cash...but what happens when one of them has no intention of giving it back? Phil Karlson's tight thriller co-stars Kim Novak, William Conrad, Jean Willes. 83 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono.
Columbia Pictures Film Noir Classics I [DVD] DVD
A San Francisco detective traces a series of seemingly random killings to a sharp-eyed loner who uses his rifle to exact deadly revenge on the women who have rejected him, in "The Sniper" (1952). Adolphe Menjou, Arthur Franz, Gerald Mohr star. Four college pals plot to rob a casino in Reno just to prove it can be done, in "5 Against the House" (1955), but their plan to return the money is threatened when one of them intends to keep it for himself. Brian Keith, Guy Madison, Alvy Moore, Kim Novak star. Then, when a mother and her young daughter unknowingly destroy a stash of heroin, a pair of hit men must keep them alive long enough to explain it to their boss, in "The Lineup" (1958). With Eli Wallach, Robert Keith. Finally, "Murder by Contract" (1958) is a gritty, atmospheric drama starring Vince Edwards as a professional hit man hired to kill a woman who is about to turn in evidence against the seedy mobster he works for. Caprice Toriel, Phillip Pine, and Herschel Bernardi co-star. Also includes "The Big Heat" (1953). 7 hrs. total. Soundtrack: English; audio commentary; featurette.
The Garment Jungle [DVD](1957) DVD
Hard-hitting film noir drama stars Kerwin Matthews as a Korean War veteran who tries to convince father Lee J. Cobb, the owner of a woman's dress-making business, to steer clear of shifty union busters. The excellent supporting cast includes tough guys Richard Boone, Robert Loggia and Joseph Wiseman. 88 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtracks: English Dolby Digital mono, French Dolby Digital mono; Subtitles: English, French; theatrical trailer; featurettes.
Tarawa Beachhead [DVD](1958) DVD
A sergeant serving in Guadalcanal witnesses his superior officer murder another soldier in a corrupt bid for glory. Keeping silent for lack of proof, the marine later falls in love with the slain man's widow, only to find her husband's killer seducing her sister. Riveting World War II drama stars Kerwin Matthews, Julie Adams, and Ray Danton. 76 min. Widescreen; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono.
The 7th Voyage Of Sinbad (50th Anniversary Edition) [Blu-ray](1958)
A much-requested film at Movies Unlimited, this spectacular fantasy follows Sinbad's battle against an evil wizard who sends him on a dangerous quest. See the giant Cyclops, the two-headed roc, the snake-woman, and other menaces, courtesy of animator Ray Harryhausen. Kerwin Matthews, Kathryn Grant star. 88 min. Widescreen; Soundtracks: English Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, Thai Dolby Digital 5.1; Subtitles: English (SDH), French, Indonesian, Korean, Mandarin, Spanish, Thai.
The 7th Voyage Of Sinbad (50th Anniversary Edition) [DVD](1958) DVD
A much-requested film at Movies Unlimited, this spectacular fantasy follows Sinbad's battle against an evil wizard who sends him on a dangerous quest. See the giant Cyclops, the two-headed roc, the snake-woman, and other menaces, courtesy of animator Ray Harryhausen. Kerwin Matthews, Kathryn Grant star. 88 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtracks: English Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital mono, French Dolby Digital 5.1; Subtitles: English, French; audio commentary by Harryhausen, others; featurettes; photo gallery; music video; interview.
Man On A String [DVD](1960) DVD
Loosely based on fact, this suspenseful thriller stars Ernest Borgnine as a Moscow-born U.S. citizen in the employ of Soviet spies. When the traitorous Borgnine-working as a Hollywood producer-is caught by the feds, he agrees to put his skills to use on behalf of American interests. Andre De Toth ("House of Wax") directs; Kerwin Matthews, Colleen Dewhurst co-star. 93 min. Widescreen; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono.
The 3 Worlds Of Gulliver [DVD](1960) DVD
Ray Harryhausen's special effects highlight this colorful adaptation of Jonathan Swift's classic. Kerwin Matthews is the English adventurer who finds himself a giant in Lilliput, mouse-sized in Brobdingnag, and in danger wherever he goes. With Jo Morrow, Peter Bull. 98 min. Standard; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital stereo, Spanish Dolby Digital stereo; Subtitles: English, French; filmographies; scene access; featurette; documentary; filmographies; theatrical trailers; interactive menus.
The Devil At 4 O'Clock [DVD](1961) DVD
Cleric Spencer Tracy asks the governor of an exotic South Seas island if he can use a trio of convicts (Frank Sinatra, Gregoire Aslan and Bernie Hamilton) to help construct a chapel for a children's hospital. When a volcano erupts, the cons help rescue the hospital's young patients. Kerwin Matthews and Alexander Scourby also star in this mix of adventure and sentiment. 127 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtracks: English Dolby Digital stereo, Portuguese Dolby Digital stereo; Subtitles: English, French, Portuguese, Spanish; theatrical trailer.
RiffTrax Live!: Jack The Giant Killer [DVD](2012) DVD
The laughs are...well, gigantic when Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett take to the stage in Nashville for a live screening and spoofing of the 1962 fantasy saga "Jack the Giant Killer." Some goofy cartoons and the vintage short "What Is Nothing?" add to the "Rifftrax" fun. 113 min. Widescreen; Soundtrack: English; photo gallery; trivia.
Jack The Giant Killer [DVD](1962) DVD
After rescuing the beautiful Princess Elaine, farmboy-turned-knight Jack is charged by the king to escort her to safety and protect her from the minions of an evil wizard. Great animated creatures--dragons, sea monsters, and, of course, a giant or two--highlight this fine fantasy/adventure in the tradition of the "Sinbad" films. Kerwin Mathews, Judi Meredith, and Torin Thatcher star. 94 min. Standard; Soundtrack: English.
Icons Of Adventure [DVD] DVD
First, the British East India Company sends the wrong man to deal with the murderous members of a Indian cult who are attacking travelers, in "The Stranglers of Bombay" (1960). Guy Rolfe, Jan Holden, George Pastell star. AKA: "Stranglers of Bengal." Next, "The Terror of the Tongs" (1961) is what a ship's captain experiences when he runs afoul of some killers in Hong Kong. Geoffrey Toone, Christopher Lee, Yvonne Monlaur star. AKA: "Terror of the Hatchet Men." Then, in "The Pirates of Blood River" (1962), a young villager who has been exiled to a penal colony is forced to lead some no-good sea dogs back to his home in search of treasure. With Lee, Kerwin Mathews, Andrew Keir. Lastly, "The Devil-Ship Pirates" (1964) cause plenty of trouble for the locals after they arrive in a small British village. Lee, Barry Warren, John Cairney star. Two-disc set.
The Pirates Of Blood River [DVD](1962) DVD
Exiled to a penal colony for adultery, young Huguenot Kerwin Mathews wanted nothing more than to return home. Unfortunately, his wish was granted by invading pirate captain Christopher Lee and his hordes, who want to be led to the village's fabulous stores of treasure. Thrilling seafaring saga from Hammer co-stars Glenn Corbett, Marla Landi, and Oliver Reed. 87 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono.
Icons Of Suspense: Hammer Films [DVD] DVD
Chills and spills abound in this collection of Hammer Films thrillers. A teenage girl (Mandy Miller) suspects her stepfather (Peter Van Eyck) of killing her mother and making it look like a suicide, in "The Snorkel" (1958). "Stop Me Before I Kill" (1960) centers on a race car driver who suffers a head injury and begins having thoughts about strangling his wife. Claude Dauphin stars. AKA: "The Full Treatment," "The Treatment." "Never Take Candy from a Stranger" (1960) is about a family whose young daughter is molested by an elderly man. Gwen Watford stars. AKA: "Never Take Sweets from a Stranger." Peter Cushing is a bank manager whose family is held hostage by a crook who wants access to the vault, in "Cash on Demand" (1961). A drifter (Kerwin Mathews) agrees to help a woman (Nadia Gray) break her murderous husband out of an insne asylum, in "Maniac" (1963). "These Are the Damned" (1963) tells of a group of children being held in isolation by a scientist (Alexander Knox) who's told them their immunity to radiation makes them the future of humanity. With Macdonald Carey, Oliver Reed. AKA: "The Damned." 9hrs. total on three discs. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital stereo; Subtitles: English (SDH); theatrical trailers.
Shadow Of Evil [DVD](1964) DVD
Produced in the wake of the spy phenomenon that swept the world after "Dr. No," this thriller features Kerwin Matthews as secret agent OSS 117, an operative sent to Thailand to stop the maniacal Dr. Sinn from conquering the world using a secret virus. Can he do it? Does James Bond like shaken martinis? With Robert Hossein, Pier Angeli.
Battle Beneath The Earth (1967)/The Ultimate Warrior [DVD](1975) DVD
First, in "Battle Beneath the Earth," an insane Chinese general constructs an elaborate series of tunnels underneath America containing nuclear weapons that would be used to destroy the country. But when the Navy learns of the plan, military forces rush to avert catastrophe. Kerwin Mathews, Vivienne Ventura, Robert Ayres star. AKA: "Battle Beneath the Sea." Then, set in a post-apocalyptic New York City, "The Ultimate Warrior" follows a heroic mercenary as he struggles to save the town's population from the demented plans of a savage warlord. Yul Brenner, Max von Sydow, Joanna Miles star. AKA: "The Barony," "The Last Warrior." 185 min. total. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono; Subtitles: English (SDH), Spanish.
Octaman [DVD](1971) DVD
This revamping of "The Creature from the Black Lagoon" (directed and co-written by "Creature" scripter Harry Essex) features an eight-limbed, aquatic man-beast terrorizing explorers Kerwin Mathews and Pier Angeli in Mexico. Jeff Morrow co-stars; with early makeup work by Rick Baker.

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filmography

FILM
Nightmare in Blood (1978) with Barrie Youngfellow; directed by John Stanley
The Boy Who Cried Werewolf (1973) with Elaine Devry
Octaman (1971) with Jeff Morrow, Pier Angeli, and Buck Kartalian
Death Takes a Holiday (1971) with Yvette Mimieux, Myrna Loy, and Bert Convy
Barquero (1970) with Lee Van Cleef, Mariette Hartley, Warren Oates, and Forrest Tucker
A Boy... a Girl (1969) with Dean Paul Martin, Peggy Lipton, and Karen Steele; directed by John Derek
A Darkness at Blaisedon (1968) with Louis Edmonds
The Killer Likes Candy (1968) with Gordon Mitchell and Marilu Tolo
Ghostbreakers (1967) with Kevin McCarthy, Diana Van der Vlis, Norman Fell, Larry Blyden, Richard Anderson, Michael Constantine, Margaret Hamilton, and Anne Jeffreys
Battle Beneath the Earth (1967) with Peter Arne and Vivienne Ventura
The Viscount (1967) with Edmond O'Brien and Fernando Rey
Shadow of Evil (1966) with Pier Angeli
OSS 17 (1963) with Nadia Sanders
The Waltz King (1963) with Brian Aherne and Senta Berger
Maniac (1963) with Nadia Gray
The Pirates of Blood River (1962) with Christopher Lee, Glenn Corbett, Peter Arne, Oliver Reed, and Desmond Llewelyn
Jack the Giant Killer (1962) with Anna Lee, Judi Meredith, and Roger Mobley
The Devil at 4 O'Clock (1961) with Spencer Tracy, Frank Sinatra, Jean-Pierre Aumont, and Barbara Luna
The Warrior Empress (1960) with Tina Louise and Elke Sommer
The 3 Worlds of Gulliver (1960) with Lee Patterson and Jo Morrow
Man on a String (1959) with Ernest Borgnine, Colleen Dewhurst, and Glenn Corbett
The Last Blitzkrieg (1958) with Van Johnson, Dick York, and Brett Halsey
The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958) with Kathryn Grant
Tarawa Beachhead (1958) with Julie Adams, Ray Danton, Karen Sharpe, and William Boyett
The Garment Jungle (1957) with Lee J. Cobb, Richard Boone, and Gia Scala
5 Against the House (1955) with Guy Madison, William Conrad, Kim Novak, Brian Keith, and Alvy Moore

TELEVISION GUEST APPEARANCES
Ironside, episode Buddy, Can You Spare a Life?, originally aired November 16, 1972
Ironside, episode Achilles' Heel, originally aired February 17, 1972
Goodyear Theatre, episode The Obenauf Story, originally aired March 30, 1959
Matinee Theatre, episode The Suicide Club, originally aired February 25, 1958
Matinee Theatre, episode Show of Strength, originally aired May 6, 1957
Playhouse 90, episode The Country Husband, originally aired November 1, 1956
The Ford Television Theatre, episode Catch at Straws, originally aired October 3, 1956
The Ford Television Theatre, episode The Lady in the Wind, originally aired October 20, 1955
The Ford Television Theatre, episode Charlie C Company, originally aired December 9, 1954
Space Patrol, episode The Escape of Mr. Proteus, originally aired March 13, 1954
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This page premiered September 9, 2003.