Al Matthews, the actor who played Sergeant Apone in the 1986 sci-fi horror classic film Aliens, died at his home in La Zenia last Saturday at the age of age 75. He had earlier been drinking at the Cambridge Pub in La Zenia Village but after complaining of feeling unwell he decided to return home.
Long-time friend Peter Walkden said that fans had lined him up with a number of drinks but he went off on his mobility scooter, leaving most of them on the table.
Matthews, who was also a U.S. Marine and Vietnam veteran, was found dead in his home at around 10 p.m. On their arrival shortly afterwards, paramedics could only confirm his death.
A neighbour, who had known the star since his arrival in La Zenia almost 20 years ago, said that he realised there was a problem as he returned to his home from a party at about 11pm. “There were four police cars and an ambulance outside his house so it was quite evident that something was seriously wrong.”
Aside from his role as the cigar-smoking, no-nonsense Apone in Aliens — the sequel to 1979’s Alien — Brooklyn native Matthews also starred in movies like Superman III (1983), Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) and The Fifth Element (1997).
Matthews’ Facebook page said he had won two Purple Hearts. He worked in television and radio in France in the 1970s. Matthews also briefly released music, like the 1975 hit single “Fool.”
In 2006, one news report falsely claimed Matthews had died, and he later joked about this in an online interview.
Matthews funeral was held at the Pilar de la Horadada tanatoria on Friday afternoon.
The very last photograph of the star, was taken by Peter Walkden in the Cambridge pub, late on Saturday afternoon. According to Peter, “He was always pleased to have his photo taken with his fans. He had a heart of gold and we are all so sorry to see him pass.”