November 5, 2003 by

Lynn Mathis


Categories: Actors

lmathis.jpgLynn Mathis, a Dallas actor of the stage and screen, died on Oct. 19 from hypertensive cardiovascular disease. He was 49.

After earning a bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech and completing the course load of the MFA Program at the Dallas Theater Center, Mathis delved into the local theatre scene. Equally adept at comedy and drama, he won the 1994 Leon Rabin Award for his performance in “Waiting for Godot,” and a Best Supporting Actor award for his work in the Theatre Three production of “Taking Steps.”

On screen, Mathis appeared in 15 episodes of the PBS series “Wishbone,” and on the TV show, “Walker, Texas Ranger.” He also acted in several movies, including “The Life of David Gale,” starring Kevin Spacey, and the upcoming John Lee Hancock epic, “The Alamo.”

Mathis was scheduled to appear in the play, “Mrs. Warren’s Profession,” at the Theatre Three in Dallas when he died.

18 Responses to Lynn Mathis

  1. Patrick Seaman

    I was saddened to learn of Lynn’s death.
    Lynn played Rogerro and Brunello in Timberwolf’s audiobook dramatization of Ron Miller’s BRADAMANT: THE IRON TEMPEST. This production won a Violet Crown Award for Best Fiction Audiobook. Lynn also appeared in Timberwolf’s production of Ken Carodine’s ALL THE TEA, where he played the character of Dave Ferguson.
    Lynn was a fine actor and he’ll be missed.
    – Patrick Seaman, Publisher
    Timberwolf Press
    Allen, Tx

  2. Jim Drevescraft

    I acted with Lynn over two seasons at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival. He turned in several memorable performances, and we were fast friends during that time. He was both a fine actor and wonderful human being. I mourn his passing.

  3. David Thielen

    Lynn did the voice over for the intro movie in Enemy Nations. The job he did was so outstanding that 10 years later I still hear occasional compliments about it.
    He was also an all around nice person and I enjoyed working with him. He truly put 100% into his work.
    David Thielen

  4. Martin Schultz

    I was compelled to find out more about Mr.Mathis and perhaps this is a tribute worthy of him. I saw his brief appearance in the movie “The Alamo”.The film was not a box office success but extremely well crafted and acted.Mr. Mathis for me took a small part and made it impressionable enough for me to inquire about him.That in itself reveals somthing that involves his pure spirit and excellence of talent

  5. Bill Lengfelder

    Beyond being the consummate professional in the theater, Lynn was one of the most generous, giving men I have ever met anywhere. Students he worked with have stories of Lynn’s generosity with everything from money to humidifiers. My son was only 6 when we acted with Lynn in the Godot that got Lynn the richly-deserved Rabin. Lynn was not just patient, but actually interested in my son’s work in the theater and in garage bands. The theater has lost a great actor……the world has lost a giant spirit. God Bless you, Lynn, wherever you are!

  6. JT McClure

    The first performance I ever encounterd of Mr. Mathis was his voice over for the game Nocturne, in which he brought the character of Stranger to life. Even today, when replaying the game on occasion, that voice is STILL awe inspiring. Now that says a lot of what he accomplished.
    While I never really got to see much of his other work, it’s good that his performances are appreciated. From the words of the people who have met him, he sounds like a genuine person who loved what he did, and was a good man.
    Heres to you Mr. Mathis!

  7. PSB

    Like JT, I too knew him best from his NOCTURNE character The Stranger. I didn’t know he had passed…I’m shocked. Aside from that great voice and going by the comments of others he appeared to be a good bloke.
    “I, am The Stranger”

  8. Rich Malmberg

    Lynn was awesome. All of the above comments are true. He was also hilariously funny in the most wonderfully subtle way. I worked with him way back in 1981 at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival. I’ll miss him.

  9. Joyce Woodley-Barnes

    Hey remember when he played Bacchus in the Wishbone epsidode “The Entre-paw-neur” about King Midas? And he sang that song “King Midas, you’ve pleased me greatly?” That was a masterpiece- anyone know where I can get a copy?

  10. Mark Feltch

    Cyrano, 1980 at The Dallas Theater Center with Lynn. Opening night, he had a twig and a flower in his hand as Montfleury. As the number of performances grew, so did the little gathering in his hand. Closing night, every actor onstage faught to control themselves, most lost that fight. Greatest closing night event I ever looked forward to. Lynn was a great actor, funny as hell, and to this day, one of the greatest stage voices I’ve ever been onstage with. He and Anton are having a good laugh up yonder I bet.

  11. William Charlton

    I was very saddened to learn of Lynn’s passing. I worked with him over a couple of seasons at Colorado Shakespeare Festival, and I have several fond memories of a certain look in his face of severe exasperation at the iniquities of the situation his characters would find themselves in — particularly Falstaff in “Merry Wives of Windsor”/ A great voice, a funny actor, and a deep passionate commitment.

  12. Jeff

    I love this Lynn’s work in Wishbone, he brought such wit to the show proving by example that there are no small parts, just small actors. Lynn bought such life to the characters he played, I love the look on his face when he realized king Midas was going to wish for more wealth, as if he did not have enough already. God bless you Lynn Mathis, thanks for the great and memorable contributions. and makeing the world a little brighter.

  13. Jim McClellan

    When I heard of Lynn’s death, I cried for three days…I’m misty even now, writing this post. We’d bonded during our days in the Grad program at the Dallas Theatre Center. Lynn played lead guitar in our ad-hoc band, the “Pig Dogs”. (I’ll never listen to certain songs again without hearing the echo of his voice, growling out the lyrics.) He was a private person, and you were lucky to be invited into his “inner sanctum”. I think of Lynn anytime someone mentions Lubbock (his hometown), or Gibson hollow-bodied guitars, or playing video golf on the Commodore 64. We lose friends along the way in life, but Lynn’s death was hard for me – like losing a brother.

  14. Judy

    I worked with Lynn once and he was epic. He played my king in Iphigenia at Alpis (hope I got that spelling right)when I was at Texas Tech with him, circa 1978 or therabouts. I was in the chorus, and was constantly amazed by his voice, preparation, and kindness to the cast and crew.

  15. Scott

    He has brilliantly captured The Stranger’s stoic & unmovable attitude with his deep & memorable voice. Nocturne is easily one of the best games I’ve played & he has acted very well. My condolences go out to his family, friends, & fans of Nocturne or any other game or film he has appeared in.

  16. Leslie O’Loughlin

    I went to high school with Lynn in Amarillo, Class of 1972. He was a star even then playing Oedipus and Mother Buffoon in The Nutcracker ballet. He won Best Actor in the Texas high school competition for Oedipus and richly deserved it. I loved him dearly and always hoped he would be able to continue in the theater. I’m so glad to hear that did. We lost touch after high school and I was so sorry to hear of his premature death. I can just imagine his doing old man roles and wish I had seen him in Godot.
    RIP dear boy.

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