Hey, we’ve all got to start somewhere. But, who knew Hollywood A-lister Matthew McConaughey began his acting career with a role on Unsolved Mysteries? The 48-year-old actor rose to fame starring in romantic-comedies like The Wedding Planner, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Failure to Launch, and Fool’s Gold. So, the irony isn’t lost on us that before Matthew became the heartthrob he is — he was a part a 1970s murder TV reenactment.
The episode aired on Dec. 2, 1992, and included Texas’ Most Wanted. The movie star’s first acting credit was victim Larry Dean Dickens who was murdered in the 1978 crime. Larry was mowing his mother’s lawn when a sexual predator wanted for murder parked in front of the house. The murderer was nude from the waist down, exited his truck, and walked toward a group of kids playing on the street. Clearly not a good situation…
Larry’s mother saw what was happening and immediately dialed 9-1-1 to alert them of the situation. In an act of courage, the ex-marine stole the criminal’s keys in an effort to stop him from getting away. Sadly, he was unsuccessful in his attempts due to the man shooting him with a handgun and later delivering a fatal shot with a rifle.
The crime itself is heartbreaking. Larry put his life at risk in an attempt to keep the man from escaping, and even tried to follow him once he’d been shot. What makes the story even sadder is that his mother was there to witness the entire situation and his sister — who was driving home — saw her brother pass away as well.
Oddly enough, in 1993, Edward Harold Bell was convicted of the murder of Larry Dickens. His arrest happened eleven days after the episode aired. Matthew later discussed his Unsolved Mysteries acting debut during a 2016 interview with IMDB.
“I was the guy who got shot while mowing my mother’s grass,” he reminisced. “Somebody had seen the Unsolved Mysteries [episode] I was in and made a call, and they caught the guy 11 days later.” Now, that‘s acting.
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