Born in Seattle, Washington, on January 8, 1926, Kerwin Mathews relocated to Janesville, Wisconsin, after his parents divorced. Following graduation from Benoit College where he majored in theater, Mathews worked as a teacher for several years but eventually quit and made his way to Hollywood. At 6'1" and 180 lbs., the handsome hopeful snagged a contract with Columbia in 1954. His first film was the Guy Madison film noir vehicle 5 Against the House. Mathews went on to star in several more noir flicks but is probably best remembered for his roles in the swashbucklers The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958), The 3 Worlds of Gulliver (1960), and Jack the Giant Killer (1962).

the films of kerwin mathews

5 Against the House (1955)

Brian Keith, Guy Madison, Kim Novak, Alvy Moore, and Kerwin Mathews

With Brian Keith, Guy Madison, Kim Novak, and Alvy Moore in the Columbia film noir release 5 Against the House, which was Mathews' first film

The Garment Jungle (1957)

Kerwin Mathews and Gia Scala

With Gia Scala in the Columbia film noir release The Garment Jungle

The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958)

Kerwin Mathews and Kathryn Grant

With Kathryn Grant in Columbia's swashbuckler The 7th Voyage of Sinbad. Ray Harryhausen was responsible for the special effects in this movie and also served as associate producer

Tarawa Beachhead (1958)

Kerwin Mathews and Julie Adams

With Julie Adams in Columbia's war film Tarawa Beachhead

Man on a String (1959)

Kerwin Mathews and Ernest BorgnineKerwin Mathews

From Columbia's crime thriller Man on a String. LEFT: With Ernest Borgnine. RIGHT: Mathews as Bob Avery

The Warrior Empress (1960)

Kerwin Mathews and Tina Louise

With Tina Louise in the Italian spectacle The Warrior Empress

The 3 Worlds of Gulliver (1960)

Kerwin MathewsKerwin MathewsKerwin Mathews

From The 3 Worlds of Gulliver. LEFT: Lobby card. CENTER and RIGHT: Mathews as Dr. Lemuel Gulliver. Ray Harryhausen did the special effects in this fantasy adventure

Maniac (1963)

Kerwin Mathews and Nadia Gray

With Nadia Gray in the Hammer horror thriller Maniac

Battle Beneath the Earth (1967)

Vivienne Ventura and Kerwin MathewsKerwin MathewsVivienne Ventura and Kerwin Mathews

Images from the sci-fi thriller Battle Beneath the Earth, released in the US by MGM

The Viscount (1967)

Kerwin MathewsKerwin Mathews

Images from the crime drama The Viscount, released in the US by Warner Bros.

The Boy Who Cried Werewolf (1973)

Kerwin Mathews and Scott SealeyKerwin Mathews and Elaine Devry

From Universal's horror release The Boy Who Cried Werewolf. LEFT: With Scott Sealey. RIGHT: With Elaine Devry

later years

Late in his film career, Mathews acted in a number of horror and science fiction films, including Octaman (1971; with Jeff Morrow and Pier Angeli), The Boy Who Cried Werewolf (1973; with Elaine Devry), and Nightmare in Blood (1978; with Barrie Youngfellow). After the release of Nightmare in Blood, Mathews retired from acting to move to San Francisco and work as an antiques dealer. He passed away on July 5, 2007, in his sleep at age 81. He is survived by his partner of 46 years, Tom Nicoll.

kerwin mathews dvds available from


Nightmare in Blood (1978) with Barrie Youngfellow; directed by John Stanley
The Boy Who Cried Werewolf (1973) with Elaine Devry
Octaman (1971) with Jeff Morrow, Pier Angeli, and Buck Kartalian
Death Takes a Holiday (1971) with Yvette Mimieux, Myrna Loy, and Bert Convy
Barquero (1970) with Lee Van Cleef, Mariette Hartley, Warren Oates, and Forrest Tucker
A Boy... a Girl (1969) with Dean Paul Martin, Peggy Lipton, and Karen Steele; directed by John Derek
A Darkness at Blaisedon (1968) with Louis Edmonds
The Killer Likes Candy (1968) with Gordon Mitchell and Marilu Tolo
Ghostbreakers (1967) with Kevin McCarthy, Diana Van der Vlis, Norman Fell, Larry Blyden, Richard Anderson, Michael Constantine, Margaret Hamilton, and Anne Jeffreys
Battle Beneath the Earth (1967) with Peter Arne and Vivienne Ventura
The Viscount (1967) with Edmond O'Brien and Fernando Rey
Shadow of Evil (1964) with Pier Angeli
OSS 17 (1963) with Nadia Sanders
The Waltz King (1963) with Brian Aherne and Senta Berger
Maniac (1963) with Nadia Gray
The Pirates of Blood River (1962) with Christopher Lee, Glenn Corbett, Peter Arne, Oliver Reed, and Desmond Llewelyn
Jack the Giant Killer (1962) with Anna Lee, Judi Meredith, and Roger Mobley
The Devil at 4 O'Clock (1961) with Spencer Tracy, Frank Sinatra, Jean-Pierre Aumont, and Barbara Luna
The Warrior Empress (1960) with Tina Louise and Elke Sommer
The 3 Worlds of Gulliver (1960) with Lee Patterson and Jo Morrow
Man on a String (1959) with Ernest Borgnine, Colleen Dewhurst, and Glenn Corbett
The Last Blitzkrieg (1958) with Van Johnson, Dick York, and Brett Halsey
The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958) with Kathryn Grant
Tarawa Beachhead (1958) with Julie Adams, Ray Danton, Karen Sharpe, and William Boyett
The Garment Jungle (1957) with Lee J. Cobb, Richard Boone, and Gia Scala
5 Against the House (1955) with Guy Madison, William Conrad, Kim Novak, Brian Keith, and Alvy Moore

Ironside, episode Buddy, Can You Spare a Life?, originally aired November 16, 1972
Ironside, episode Achilles' Heel, originally aired February 17, 1972
Goodyear Theatre, episode The Obenauf Story, originally aired March 30, 1959
Matinee Theatre, episode The Suicide Club, originally aired February 25, 1958
Matinee Theatre, episode Show of Strength, originally aired May 6, 1957
Playhouse 90, episode The Country Husband, originally aired November 1, 1956
The Ford Television Theatre, episode Catch at Straws, originally aired October 3, 1956
The Ford Television Theatre, episode The Lady in the Wind, originally aired October 20, 1955
The Ford Television Theatre, episode Charlie C Company, originally aired December 9, 1954
Space Patrol, episode The Escape of Mr. Proteus, originally aired March 13, 1954

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Watch Kerwin Mathews' 1967 science fiction thriller Battle Beneath the Earth
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This page premiered September 9, 2003.