Francis Matthews, the voice of Captain Scarlet, has died at the age of 86, the puppet show's maker said today.
Anderson Entertainment said it was "sad" to announce the passing of the actor who brought the Mysteron-battling sci-fi hero to life in Gerry Anderson's show between 1967 and 1968.
Matthews' voice for Scarlet, which was based on the Transatlantic accent of Hollywood star Cary Grant, became well known to generations of children thanks to countless re-runs over the years.
Matthews also became known for playing Francis Durbridge's amateur detective, Paul Temple, in the BBC TV drama series. He also appeared in several Hammer Horror films.
In a statement on www.gerryanderson.co.uk, the company said: "We are very sorry to report that Francis Matthews, best known to Gerry Anderson fans as the voice of the indestructible puppet hero Captain Scarlet, has died aged 86.
"Having previously had a policy of using American accents in their shows to aid sales to America, Gerry and Sylvia relaxed their casting requirements for Captain Scarlet as it was felt that British accents were now more acceptable Stateside than had previously been the case.
"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."
Matthews's wife, the actress Angela Browne, died in 2001, Anderson Entertainment said. He is survived by his sons Damien, Paul and Dominic.