Matthews was born in Oakland, California. He initially aspired to become a Roman Catholic priest, studying in San Francisco and then at Gregorian University in Rome in the 1960s. His growing interest in drama, however, led him to teach at Juilliard where he taught, among others, Kevin Kline and Patti LuPone. He also acted and taught at American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco where Annette Bening was one of his students. He is also an Emeritus Professor of English at California State University, East Bay in Hayward, California.
In the 1980s, settling permanently in Los Angeles, Matthews began guest starring in television series, and appearing in films. He starred in series such as Down Home, Soul Man and, most successfully, The Jeff Foxworthy Show. He also has made many guest appearances on television, including Remington Steele, Dallas, Murder, She Wrote, L.A. Law, Just Shoot Me!, Star Trek: Voyager, The West Wing, Gilmore Girls, Ally McBeal, The Practice, Charmed, The King of Queens (as Doug Heffernan (Kevin James)'s father, NYPD Blue, Desperate Housewives and Carnivàle.
Matthews has also broadened his career with appearances in more than twenty feature films, including Nuts, Clean and Sober, Thirteen Days and Funny Farm and a number of television movies, including And the Band Played On, Baby M and White Mile. He is also a stage actor, most recently for his portrayals of C.S. Lewis in South Coast Repertory's Shadowlands as "Warwick" in Shakespeare's Henry IV at the Lincoln Center Theater, as "Undershaft" in Major Barbara for South Coast Repertory and as "The Fixer" in Water and Power for the Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles.
He is also a playwright, director, and theater scholar who has published books and articles on Shakespeare and translations of 17th-century Spanish theater. He has been a dramaturg on numerous theatrical productions, including the 2005 Broadway revival of Julius Caesar starring Denzel Washington and the 2003 revival of Henry IV, winning a Drama Desk Award Special Award for his adaptation of the latter.
Matthews was also artistic director of the Berkeley Shakespeare Festival and the California Actors Theatre; an associate artist of the Old Globe Theatre; and a founding member of the John Houseman's Acting Company and the Antaeus Company.
Matthews currently resides with his wife, director Anne McNaughton, in Los Angeles; they have four children.
Patrick Page, Michael Esper, Dakin Matthews, George Morfogen, Michael Siberry and Mary Ann Plunkett are among the thesps joining Frank Langella in the Roundabout's Broadway revival of "A Man for All Seasons.".(LEGIT BITS)
Aug 06, 2008; Patrick Page, Michael Esper, Dakin Matthews, George Morfogen, Michael Siberry and Mary Ann Plunkett are among the thesps joining...