Tuesday, January 1, 2008
The 7th Voyage
Kerwin Mathews was matinee idol handsome. He was a 50's and early 60's movie star who appeared in films with Frank Sinatra, Kim Novak, Ernest Borgnine and Spencer Tracy. But best of all, he was Sinbad in the 1957 cult classic, "The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad."
He grew up in Janesville. Enamored with acting at an early age, he travelled the short distance south to enroll in the theater program at Beloit College. After graduating he spent a few years teaching high school English in Lake Geneva. He then moved to Hollywood and found immediate success. His looks, athletic ability and fencing skills(learned in Beloit)brought him the sword and sandal fantasy film roles for which he is best remembered. Kerwin Mathews died this past summer at his home in San Francisco. He was 81.
I had the pleasure of meeting him. He was kind, generous and very open...still the kid from the upper midwest. I was shocked that he took the time to personally answer every letter from the heavy volume of fan mail that arrived daily in his mail box.
Kerwin was a contemporary of fellow Wisconsin actor and 50's idol, Jeffrey Hunter.
He is pictured above in a scene from the 1959 fantasy film, "The 3 Worlds of Gulliver."