Al Matthews, Marine Vet And Actor Who Played Apone In ‘Aliens’ Dead At 75

Entertainment
Aliens

Al Matthews, the actor best known for his role as the grizzled platoon sergeant Apone in the 1986 sci-fi blockbuster Aliens, died at age 75 in Alicante, Spain, El Pais reports.


Matthews, who retired to Spain in 2005 after a lengthy film and music career, was found dead in his home on Sunday, according to El Pais. An autopsy is underway to determine the cause of death.

A Marine Corps veteran, Matthews’ resume included roles in Superman III, Fifth Element, and Tomorrow Never Dies, as well as the 1975 hit song, Fool. But it’s his role as Gunnery Sgt. Apone, the stogie-smoking, hardass platoon sergeant in charge of the ill-fated Colonial Marines, that Matthews will forever be remembered for, especially among fans who’ve served in the military.

In interviews, Matthews said his time in the Corps, which reportedly included multiple tours in Vietnam, had prepared him for playing Apone — and it also apparently made him an asset on set.

“Everyone’s instinct is automatically to put their fingers on the trigger, and they stopped doing that on set with me,” Matthews said in Superior Firepower: The Making of Aliens, a behind-the-scenes documentary about the film. “That’s the way I was trained. Thank you very much America. If you put your finger on the trigger when you’re talking or waving your weapon around, I’m gonna jam it down your throat. I’m gonna do that.”

As Apone, Matthews’ salty swagger — from his knack for delivering lightning-quick ass-chewings, to his his hip-pocket classes and moto-speeches — brought a level of military authenticity to an otherwise over-the-top science fiction thriller.

“All right, sweethearts, what are you waiting for?” Apone says as the Marines awaken from cryo sleep. “Breakfast in bed? Another glorious day in the Corps. A day in the Marine Corps is like a day on the farm. Every meal's a banquet. Every paycheck a fortune. Every formation a parade. I love the Corps!"

And that wasn't just Apone talking. Matthews himself appeared to love the Corps — and remained a proud Marine till the end, bristling in one interview, when the host, Bailey Ritz, asked: “Did you come out of the Army a different person?”

To which Matthews replied: “I wasn’t in the Army. I was in the Marines, thank you very much.”

An Oregon Air National Guard F-15C Eagle that made an emergency landing on Wednesday ditched its entire arsenal of live air-to-air missiles before touching down at Portland International Airport, The War Zone reports.

Read More Show Less

Several hundred U.S. troops will remain in Syria after allied forces clear ISIS fighters out of their last stronghold in the country, officials said on Friday.

President Donald Trump announced in December that he would withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria, but Sen. Lindsey Graham has since made a strong push to keep a small residual force along the Turkish border along with troops from European allies.

Read More Show Less
Chris Osman (Photo: _chris_osman_designs/Instagram)

The former Navy SEAL among a group of eight men arrested earlier this week in Port-au-Prince on weapons charges says he was providing security work "for people who are directly connected to the current President" of Haiti.

"We were being used as pawns in a public fight between him and the current Prime Minister of Haiti," said Chris Osman, 44, in a post on Instagram Friday. "We were not released we were in fact rescued."

Read More Show Less
Former Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis (DoD photo)

A Richland, Washington city councilman thinks native son Jim Mattis would make a terrific governor or even president.

Read More Show Less

It's a photo for the ages: a Marine NCO, a Greek god in his dress blues, catches the eye of a lovely young woman as her boyfriend urges her on in distress. It's the photographic ancestor of the much-loved "distracted boyfriend" stock photo meme, made even sweeter by the fact that this is clearly a sailor about to lose his girl to a Devil Dog.

Well, this photo and the Marine in it, which hopscotched around Marine Corps Facebook and Instagram pages before skyrocketing to the front page of Reddit on Thursday, are very real.

The photo shows then-Staff Sgt. Louis A. Capozzoli — and he is absolutely not on his way to steal your girl.

Read More Show Less