Monday, June 16, 2014

Shaggy and Captain Scarlet Have Passed Away...

Well, not quite.
The characters are alive and well.
But the actors who defined them have passed away.
Francis Matthews, who sounded exactly like Cary Grant, was the voice of Captain Scarlet (whose "look" was based on Grant) on the cult-hit 1960s puppet tv series.

Casey Kasem was Shaggy on the various Scooby Doo tv series...
...Robin on the first Batman animated series (1969) as well as several Super Friends series...
...Mark on Battle of the Planets, the first "Americanization" of Gatchaman...
plus Alex on the several Josie and the Pussycat shows and numerous other one-shot voice-overs.

Though they are gone, their performances will live on...


  1. Personally, I always thought that Paul Metcalfe (Captain Scarlet) was based on Francis Matthews himself. Whenever I look at the puppet, it's Francis I see. Shame about his and Casey's passing.

    1. While Francis Matthews was a good-looking gent (I've seen him in a number of Hammer flicks), the Captain Scarlet puppet was visually-based on Cary Grant.
      not the actor who voiced him.
      Similarly, Stingray's two leads were based on American actors, not their voice counterparts: Troy Tempest (James Garner) and Phones (Kenneth Tobey).

    2. I know about Troy being based on James Garner, but I still see Francis Matthews more than I see Cary Grant in the puppet's face. Sean Connery is supposed to have been the inspiration for Scott Tracy, but I still think he looks more like Shane Rimmer than Big Tam C. (In fact, I'd say that the puppet looks nothing like Connery.) Captain Blue's likeness was supposed to have been based on that of the puppet's sculptor (Terry Curtis), but to me seems a ringer for Ed Bishop who voiced him. I therefore suspect that some of those claims aren't always entirely accurate.

    3. I remember an interview with Gerry Anderson about the various pupppets' likenesses.
      I'll try to find it.

      Note, Matthews later admitted his voice was based on a party-piece impression of Cary Grant.

      "'After hearing Matthews' uncanny impression of Cary Grant, a voice that would have been familiar to all on both sides of the Atlantic, he was cast in 1966.''
      So making Scarlet look like Grant seems obvious in retrospect.

    4. Although it's possible that because he sounded like Grant, it was later assumed (or thought apropos to say) that the puppet's likeness was also based on him. Roger Moore believed it was based on him, and I have to say there are a few photos of Scarlet where I can see a resemblance to him. I'm trying very hard to see a young Cary Grant in that face, but I just can't. I don't necessarily doubt the aspiration of the modellers, just the result.


Thanx for posting!

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