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'Aliens' actor Al Matthews dead at 75

Real-life Marine who played Sgt. Apone found dead in home in Spain

Al Matthews, who portrayed Sgt. Apone in the 1986 film "Aliens," has died at the age of 75.
Al Matthews, who portrayed Sgt. Apone in the 1986 film "Aliens," has died at the age of 75. (20th Century Fox)

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – Al Matthews, the real-life Marine who portrayed the cigar-chomping Sgt. Apone in the 1986 film "Aliens," has died at the age of 75.

Matthews was found dead Saturday in his home in Spain, the Spanish newspaper El Pais reported.

Matthews was a U.S. Marine-turned-actor who had bit parts in several movies, including 1983's "Superman III" and 1997's "The Fifth Element," but he's probably best known for his performance in director James Cameron's sequel to the 1979 science-fiction film "Alien."

Fans of the movie are quick to quote the fast-talking, no-nonsense sergeant, whose first line is delivered to the crew of the USS Sulaco as he reaches for his cigar soon after they awaken from hyper sleep.

"All right, sweethearts, what are you waiting for? Breakfast in bed? Another glorious day in the Corps," Apone says. "A day in the Marine Corps is like a day on the farm. Every meal's a banquet, every paycheck a fortune, every formation a parade. I love the Corps!"

Another memorable line comes after Sigourney Weaver's character briefs the Marines on her encounter with the xenomorph from the first movie.

"All right, sweethearts, you heard the man and you know the drill, assholes and elbows," Apone says.

Like the character Apone, Matthews himself was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran. He served during Vietnam and won two Purple Hearts.

A cause of death was not revealed.