Actor Matthew Cowles

Matthew Cowles (September 28, 1944 – May 22, 2014) was an American actor and playwright.

Early life

The son of actor and theatre producer Chandler Cowles, he was born in New York City.


In 1966 Cowles played the title role in Edward Albee’s short-lived adaptation of James Purdy’s comic novel Malcolm on Broadway at the Shubert Theatre.

In 1968, he appeared with Al Pacino and John Cazale in Israel Horovitz’s The Indian Wants the Bronx.

In 1983, Cowles joined The Mirror Theater Ltd’s Mirror Repertory Company for their first repertory season, performing in Paradise Lost, Rain, Inheritors, and The Hasty Heart.

Cowles’ first television part was Joe Czernak in the series NYPD in 1969. He was nominated for a Daytime Emmy as Outstanding Actor in a Daytime Drama Series in 1978 and as Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Daytime Drama Series in 1981, both for his part as Billy Clyde Tuggle in All My Children, a role that he created and wrote.

Cowles’ first film was the comedy drama Me, Natalie (1969) in which he played Harvey Belman. Al Pacino also made his debut in this film.

In 2010, Cowles played a supporting role in Martin Scorsese’s film Shutter Island.

Cowles also starred in three short plays for the public radio show and podcast Playing on Air.

Personal life

In 1983, he married actress Christine Baranski with whom he had two daughters, Isabel (born 1984) and Lily (born 1987). In a New York Times profile of his wife, he was described as “the black sheep member of a family with ties to Cowles publishing and Drexel banking”. He was an enthusiastic motorcycle rider.

Cowles was a devout Catholic and taught religious education at the Church of the Nativity.


Matthew Cowles died from congestive heart failure on May 22, 2014.



  • Me, Natalie (1969) as Harvey Belman
  • The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973) as Pete
  • Slap Shot (1977) as Charlie
  • The World According to Garp (1982) as O. Fecteau
  • Eddie Macon’s Run (1983) as Ray Banes
  • The Money Pit (1986) as Marty
  • Stars and Bars (1988) as Beckman Gage
  • White Fang 2: Myth of the White Wolf (1994) as Lloyd Halverson
  • The Cowboy Way (1994) as Popfly
  • The Juror (1996) as Rodney
  • Nurse Betty (2000) as Merle
  • Shutter Island (2010) as Ferry Boat Captain
  • Television

  • All My Children (1977–1980, 1984, 1989-1990, 2013 ) as Billy Clyde Tuggle
  • As the World Turns (1983) as Lonnie
  • Love on the Run (1985) as Yancy
  • Loving (1986–1987) as Eban Japes
  • Lonesome Dove (1989) as Monkey John
  • Asylum, a 1991 episode of Law & Order
  • The Bold and the Beautiful (1997) as Curtis Love
  • Oz (2003) as Willy Brandt
  • Life on Mars (2008–2009) as Cowboy Dan
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (2007 Season 9 episode 15) as Cyrus Wert
  • Stage credits

  • Malcolm (1966) Broadway as Malcolm.
  • The Indian Wants the Bronx (1968), Astor Place Theatre
  • The Time of Your Life (1969) as Dudley
  • Sweet Bird of Youth (1975–1976) as Tom Junior
  • Dirty Jokes (1976) at the Academy Festival Theatre in Chicago, Illinois
  • External Links

    Actor Matthew Cowles – Wikipedia

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