March 28, 1994 12:00 PM

The Man Behind the Max

When high-tech wise guy Max Headroom was named one of PEOPLE’S 25 Most Intriguing People of 1986, his alter ego was a bit envious. “It was exciting to be part of this phenom,” says the actor who played Max, “but people weren’t saying, ‘That’s Matt Frewer.’ They were saying, ‘That’s that computer-generated image.’ ”

In fact it was a latex construction, not a computer, that transformed Frewer into Cinemax’s smarmy talk show host. So when ABC’s version of Max Headroom flopped in 1987, the actor bounced back. “The makeup afforded anonymity, so I didn’t have to play Rubber Man all my life,” says Frewer, 36, who lives in L.A. with his wife, documentarian Amanda Hill wood. He starred in the CBS sitcom Doctor, Doctor and will appear in the upcoming Stephen King mini-series The Stand. “But,” he says, “I still run into kids who go, ‘Do Max!’ ”

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