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Appeared on radio showGeorge Matthews (Oct 10, 1911 - Nov 7, 1984)
 
Height: 6' 1½" (1,87 m)
Marriage:
(1) Mary Hayneworth (1951 - 1984) (his death)
Mary Hayneworth in 1944 in field attire as Red Cross nurse








   

George Joseph Matthew was born in Brooklyn on Oct 10, 1911. He was brought up in Manhattan and educated in Brooklyn. His theatre apprenticeship began by working as usher at the Mercury Theatre. Mathews really entered the theater during the Depression when he found the Post Office had no positions left. He went to work in an Italian-speaking company and then the W.P.A. (Works Progress Administration, a government agency that provided jobs for the unemployed on public works projects during the Depression) Theater program, where he had the lead in Processional (Oct 1937).

(L to R) Mabel Paige as Mrs. Garnet and George Mathews as Joe in "Out of the Frying Pan" (Feb 11, 1941 - May 10, 1941)George Mathews, Constance Dowling part of the cast of Danny Kaye"s "Up in Arms" (1944)

A stocky man with a heavy brow, pug nose and distinctively protruding lower lip, played toughs from a variety of eras. He appeared to great effect on stage in 1942-43 as Sgt. Ruby in The Eve of St. Mark on Broadway, a role he repeated in the film version with the same name (1944).

Not just a one-note "plug ugly", he was equally as effective at portraying comic toughs. After an uncredited appearance in Stage Door Canteen (1943) where he played a Marine Sergeant with Ray Bolger he was also in Danny Kaye's first picture Up in Arms (1944).

Mathews also acted in classical plays. He later played in Candida (1946) with Katharine Cornell and Marlon Brando (in only his third stage production). It opened April 3rd, 1946 at the Cort Theatre in New York City and ran for a limited engagement of only 24 performances before going on the road.

Actress Mary Hayneworth joined the Red Cross during the war (England, France, Germany). After her return to the United States in 1946, she joined the Broadway show The Big People. She played the character of a "little person" who was the wife of a "big person" played by George Mathews. They toured it for a few weeks out of town they closed the show before it even reached New York but the romance was on.

On radio's The Adventures of Ellery Queen George played Sergeant Velie for two episodes in June 1947.  George was heared two weeks on the episodes "The Green Gorillas" and "The Sky Pirates" before Ed Latimer reclaimed the role.

In 1950, Mathews played the role of the captain opposite Tyrone Power in a sell-out London production of Mister Roberts at the Coliseum Theatre. "Yankee Buccaneer" (1952) with (L to R) David Janssen, George Mathews, Scott Brady and Suzan Ball

In 1949 he joined the Broadway cast of A Streetcar Named Desire, playing Mitch in a cast that included Uta Hagen and Anthony Quinn. He stayed with the play on its national tour. This performance garnered some critical accolades from Brooks Atkinson of The New York Times. When the play returned to New York in 1950, Brooks Atkinson not only found the part ''attractively'' but that Mathews ''...thoroughly appreciates the sincerity of this commonplace man who has a wistful dream of refinement and grandeur''.

In 1950, Mathews played the role of the captain opposite Tyrone Power in a sell-out London production of Mister Roberts at the Coliseum Theatre.

Mary Haynsworth and George Mathews were married in 1951 in Greenville, N.C. 

In 1952 he played in the Spencer Tracy- Katharine Hepburn comedy Pat and Mike. Perhaps his most memorable role was as Harvey in "The Bensonhurst Bomber" episode of TV's The Honeymooners (1956).

The Beast (George Mathews) and Ernest G. 'Ernie' Bilko in "The Phil Silvers Show" (1956)Opposite Jackie Gleason (L) perhaps George Mathews (R) most memorable role was as Harvey in "The Bensonhurst Bomber" episode of TV's The Honeymooners. (1956)
George as Abel MacDonald opposite Chuck Connors in "The Riflemen" S01E31 (April 1959)Mathews (R) as Sam Pierce opposite Anthony Quinn & Sophia Loren in Cukor's box office flop "Heller in Pink Tights" (1960)

In the Garson Kanin-directed musical comedy Do Re Mi (1960–62), he was Fatso O'Rear, starring Phil Silvers.

Mathews also had a recurring role in the TV comedy series Glynis (1963), playing ex-cop Chick Rogers who aids and abets mystery writer and amateur sleuth Glynis Johns in solving a string of "whodunits".

Starring Glynis Johns Mathews also had a recurring role in the TV comedy series Glynis (1963), playing ex-cop Chick Rogers who aids and abets mystery writer and amateur sleuth Glynis Johns in solving a string of "whodunits".George Mathews as Amos Fitch in a 1966 TV episode of "Dark Shadows".

Mathews's last role before his retirement was Captain Dan in the 1968 Broadway production of The Great White Hope.

In private life, Mathews was the antithesis of the ruffians he often portrayed on screen: amicable and intelligent. Outside of his profession, he was an avid chess player and often participated in international tournaments.

He retired from the acting profession in 1971 and in 1974 moved from New York City to Caesar's Head where they settled into the mountain community stretching between Caesar's Head and Brevard, N.C.  He died there of heart disease in November 1984. He was 73 years old.

Mary Haynsworth Mathews, 94, died after a brief illness on Friday, May 6, 2011.

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References
(1) Wikipedia
(2)
IMDb
(3) IBDB
(4) RUSC


Additional video & audio sources
(1)
The Bensonhurst Bomber Full episode of The Honeymooners S01E37
(2) Dark Shadows Full episode S01E89 1966
(3) Gunfight at the OK Corrall clip Youtube 1957
(4) Glynis clip tv series 1963

 

Page first published on Sep 16. 2017 
Last updated Sep 16, 2017 
 

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