Friday 1 December 2017

Matthew Scurfield

Actor Matthew Scurfield plays a detective in 'Tales From The Crypt' episode 'The Kidnapper'

Matthew Scurfield: 

Distinctive beaky character actor who crops up in a lot of popular TV from the '70s onward... That's how I would usually kick off one of these little salutes to a character actor, peppering the entry with references to popular cultural touchstones, perhaps TV favourites such as 'The Sweeney', 'Pie In The Sky' or 'The Bill', or marginal roles in popular movies like '1984' (1984), 'Raiders Of The Lost Ark' (1981).  

I get the feeling, though, that Matthew Scurfield has some more interesting stuff going on. 

Playing a KGB agent in the Michael Caine and Lawrence Olivier
spy thriller, 'The Jigsaw Man' (1983)

He certainly has popped up in a bunch of that stuff, but the more I find out about him, the more interesting he seems. I could list a lot of middling '70s-'90s sitcoms and prime-time dramas from 'C.A.T.S. Eyes', 'Wycliffe'  and 'Boon' to 'Ripping Yarns', 'The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy' and 'Educating Marmalade'. Like some other British character actors, he was also rounded up for 'Game Of Thrones'. 
Brought up in an academic household but encumbered with undiagnosed dyslexia, he has tracked back and forth across high, mid and low-brow culture, from hanging out with Syd Barrett and Steven Berkoff to appearing in 'The Bill' and 'Coronation Street'. 

Waving at West London from a Lincoln Continental with
Pete Townshend in the art school project 'Lone Ranger' (1968)
Perhaps a better idea of the man comes from his pre-professional outing in the art school project 'Lone Ranger' (1968) - Storm Thorgerson and Alfreda Benge were also involved - a slightly rambling affair as you might imagine, but worth having a look at [you can see it here].           

Roughing up Ford Prefect (David Dixon) and Arthur Dent (Simon Jones)
in the BBC TV version of 'The Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy' 

Giving Arthur some grief in the rebooted 'Minder' 

Still acting, but these days he is principally a counsellor based in Malta. His autobiography 'I Could Be Anyone' looks to be well worth investigating.          

Matthew Scurfield-imdb