Kerwin Mathews (January 8, 1926 – July 5, 2007) was an American actor. He is best known for playing Sinbad in the 1958 Ray Harryhausen stop-motion animation feature The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad, where he engaged in a sword fight with animated skeletons.
He died in his sleep in San Francisco on July 5, 2007 at the age of 81.
Mathews was born in Seattle, Washington, USA. He attended Janesville High School in Janesville, Wisconsin, where he had moved with his mother after his parents divorced. Mathews said that "a kind high school teacher put me in a play, and that changed my life." According to a classmate, he was a "handsome rascal" even then.After serving in the Army Air Forces, he attended and performed at nearby Milton College for two years before transferring to Beloit College on drama and music scholarships. Before acting, he was briefly a high school teacher in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
After moving to Los Angeles in 1954, Mathews acted at the Pasadena Playhouse, where he met the head of casting for Columbia Pictures, leading to a seven-year studio contract.
Mathews was best known for his roles in fantasy movies in the 1950s and 1960s, particularly Jack the Giant Killer and The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad. He also notably played Lemuel Gulliver in Harryhausen’s 1960 The 3 Worlds of Gulliver. He retired from acting in 1978.
Although he felt typecast, he "looked fondly" on his Hollywood career, with his favorite role Johann Strauss II in the Disney two-part telefilm The Waltz King.
After retirement, he moved to San Francisco, where he ran a clothing and antiques shop. He died in his sleep in San Francisco on July 5, 2007 at the age of 81. He leaves behind his partner of 46 years, Tom Nicoll.
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