Acting in Hollywood seems a far-flung alternative to becoming a Roman Catholic priest, but at one time Dakin Matthews seriously considered both. The man who portrayed a dismayed shopkeeper in the Coen brothers' 2010 version of "True Grit" studied theology at Gregorian University in his early years. But his inseparable fascination with the dramatic arts ultimately propelled him toward more secular successes. As a teacher at New York's Juilliard School, Matthews instructed actor Kevin Kline and singer Patti LuPone. It wasn't until the mid '80s however, when Matthews was well into his 40s, that he achieved stardom in his own right, having had experience only as a Shakespearean actor and scholar. He appeared in guest roles on dozens of popular televisions series, and popped up in several films, including the Oscar-nominated "Fabulous Baker Boys" in 1989, where he played a sleazy hotel manager. Matthews's most distinctive parts continued to come from television, a short-form medium that allowed him to pursue his many other interests, including writing and directing theater. He has memorably appeared as Headmaster Charleston in many episodes of "Gilmore Girls" and played Kevin James's father in the sitcom "The King of Queens." Matthews displayed a proclivity for portraying religious figures as well, and he memorably played a reverend on the quirky drama series "Desperate Housewives."