Matthew McConaughey cameoed in an Unsolved Mysteries episode

Rather than playing a (true) detective, the Oscar-winning actor played a murder victim in the show's original run.

matthew mcconaughey

What exactly happened to Alonzo Brooks? Just where is Xavier DuPont De Ligonnes? And did residents of a Massachusetts county really see a UFO in 1969? Chances are if you’ve watched Netflix’s Unsolved Mysteries, you’ve probably been pondering over these questions.

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But we’ve got a new one for you: did you know Matthew McConaughey actually appears in Unsolved Mysteries?

Alright (alright alright), he doesn’t actually feature in the new Netflix series. However, the Dallas Buyers Club star did make an appearance in the show’s original run – specifically in a December 1992 episode, in one reconstruction scene (segments common in the old series).

In one of his first screen appearances ever, McConaughey played Larry Dickens, a 26-year-old father and ex-marine who was shot while confronting a man exposing himself to neighbourhood children.

Although the scene focused a fair bit on McConaughey’s topless lawn-mowing instead of the actual crime, the episode actually helped identify the anonymous killer: within 11 days of the episode airing, Edward Harold Bell was arrested for the murder and sentenced to a total of 70 years behind bars. Bell died in prison at age 82 in 2019.

While only playing a minor role in the show, McConaughey himself remembers the early role fondly. “I was the guy who got shot while mowing my mother’s grass!” he previously told IMDB about his time working on the show.

“Somebody had seen the episode I was in and made a call, and they caught the guy eleven days later. I was like, ‘oh my god, somebody saw the show I was in!’”

It was shortly after his Unsolved Mysteries original series appearance the Oscar-winning McConaughey was cast in coming of age drama Dazed and Confused, the star’s breakthrough role.

Although McConaughey is the biggest Hollywood star to appear in the show, many other successful actors featured in the original 1990s series. These include the Emmy-winning Curb Your Enthusiasm star Cheryl Hines and Daniel Dae Kim (Lost, Hawaii Five-0).

The reconstruction elements of the show were dropped for the show’s Netflix revival, with interviews with those close to the case becoming the show’s focus.

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Unsolved Mysteries is available to stream on Netflix. Check out our lists of the best series on Netflix and the best movies on Netflix, or see what else is on with our TV Guide.