Matt Frewer, best known for portraying the AI known as Max Headroom, was born January 4, 1958, in Washington, DC, USA. That makes him 65 years old today!
Matt Frewer is the everyman of Science Fiction. He may be found performing almost everywhere in everything. From Disney’s Hercules and Gargoyles, to the violent foul-mouthed cartoon Castlevania to Star Trek: The Next Generation to Chronicles of the Paranormal to Sherlock Holmes to Dr. Seuss. He may be found in a variety of roles.
Matt Frewer studied at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in Bristol, England. Like most Canadian actors, he is a trained Shakespearean actor, but even when he is 84, we’ll remember him for M-m-mmax H-headroom!
Max Headroom is a British fictional artificial intelligence (AI) character, known for his wit, stuttering and pitch-shifting voice. He was introduced in early 1985. The character was created by George Stone, Annabel Jankel, and Rocky Morton. Max was portrayed by Frewer and was called “the first computer-generated TV presenter”, although the “computer-generated” appearance was achieved with an actor in prosthetic make-up and harsh lighting, in front of a blue screen, with other audio and video editing effects.
Max Headroom made his first appearance in the distopian cyberpunk made-for-TV movie Max Headroom: 20 Minutes Into the Future, which first aired on the cable channel Cinemax in 1985. It made the transition to series television on Channel 4 in the UK only two days later, and was an immediate hit. It gained a second season and third season, and spawned a final fourth season called The Original Talking Max Headroom Show, which had only six seasons and which never aired in the UK.
The series pilot won the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) award for graphics in 1986.
Max was so wildly popular in the United States that he became the spokeman of Coca Cola, a role the character played until 1987,
Star Trek: The Next Generation
As prolific an actor as Matt Frewer is, it was only a matter of time before he ended up on Star Trek: The Next Generation, and he appeared as the time-travelling thief Berlinghoff Rasmussen in the fifth season episode “A Matter of Time”, spending a bit less than two weeks on the Paramount lot shooting the episode in September and October of 1991.
The role had originally been written for Jim Carrey, who is a huge Star Trek fan to this day and had wanted to do the role, but scheduling issues ultimately prevented him from taking the job.
Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror Roles
Matt Frewer has been extremely active in genre roles. Check this out:
- Edison Carter and Max Headroom in Max Headroom, Pixels, and Sesame Street
- The bishop in Castlevania
- Roger de Carnac in Robin of Sherwood
- Moloch in The Watchmen
- Panic in Disney’s Hercules, House of Mouse, and Mickey’s House of Villains
- Sid the Squid in Batman: the Animated Series
- Logan in The Walking Dead
- Aldous Leekie in Orphan Black
- Anthony Bruhl in Timeless
- The Binder in Peter Morton in The Order
- Carnage in Altered Carbon
- Albert Kirshner in 12 Monkeys
- Daedalus and Prometheus in Olympus
- General #2 in The BFG
- Dulaque in The Librarians
- ArchibaldStanley in Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
- General Bressler in Falling Skies
- Jim Taggart in Eureka and Eureka: Hide and Seek
- Howard Lindsey in Wushu Warrior
- The White Knight in Alice
- Moloch in Watchmen and Under the Hood
- Wally in Masters of Horror
- Mr. Clarkson in Riding the Bullet
- Frank in Dawn of the Dead
- Dr. Chet Wakeman in Taken
- Sherlock Holmes in The Case of the Whitechapel Vampire, Royal Scandal, The Sign of the Four, and The Hound of the Baskervilles.
- Frazzled in CyberWorld
- Matt Prager in Chronicles of the Paranormal.
- Satan in 6ix.
- Thw Exterminator, The Itsy Bitsy Spider
- Lord Chaos in Disney’s Aladdin
- The Cat in the Hat in In Search of Dr. Seuss
- Trashcan Man in The Stand
- Troy McKinney in The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom.
- Edgar Deadman in Toonsylvania
- The Leader in The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man
- Norbert Datry in Dead Man’s Gun
- Charlie in The Quicksilver Highway
- Pink Panther in The Pink Panther
- Inspector 47 in The Magic School Bus
- Dr. Wally Pretorius in The Mighty Ducks: the Animated Series
- Tasty Paste in Quack Pack
- Jackal in Disney’s Gargoyles
- Norman Glass in Outer Limits
- Jibe Smith in The Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace
- Berlinghoff Rasmussen in Star Trek: The Next Generation
- Bug Russ Thompson in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids
- Eddie in Supergirl
As you can see, the question isn’t what has Matt Frewer been in, but what hasn’t he been in? Did you realize his Geek Cred was this substantial?
Happy Birthday, Matt
His father was a Royal Canadian Naval captain, so Frewer has dual citizenship, Canadian and US. He grew up in Ontario.
Matt Frewer is 64. He is married to English actress Amanda Hillwood, whom we hope will still need him and feed him. They have one daughter.
Happy Birthday, Mr. Frewer!
Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as short stories in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress #30”, “Supernatural Colorado”, “Barbarian Crowns”, “Cat Tails””Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions, Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.