Born: 8 October 1970
Where: Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Awards: Won 1 Oscar, 1 Golden Globe
Height: 5' 10"
Filmography: The Complete List
It could be said that Matt Damon, along with his longtime buddy Ben Affleck, was THE surprise cinematic hit of the 1990s. After all, their feel-good smash, Good Will Hunting, seemed to come out of nowhere to win them both Oscars and set them up with starlet girlfriends like Gwyneth Paltrow and Winona Ryder, and regular multi-million-dollar paydays. It's a nice story, rags to riches, a meritocratic dream, with Affleck and Damon's lives mirroring that of their movie's hero.
Damon himself, though, might view his own career path a little differently. Whereas Affleck's parents had connections in the Biz, setting him up with onscreen work before he was 10, Damon had to work that little bit harder. Whereas, before Good Will Hunting, Affleck had appeared only in minor roles and dodgy TV movies, Damon had delivered several excellent performances in several excellent films - each of which had gone painfully unnoticed. Unlike Affleck, Damon had come within inches of fame and fortune. Indeed, he may well have made it even without Good Will Hunting - after all, he had just won the lead in a Francis Ford Coppola adaptation of a John Grisham novel. So Matt's success should, perhaps, not be considered such a shock.
He was born Matthew Paige Damon on October 8th, 1970, in the Cambridge area of Boston, Massachusetts. His father, Kent, was an investment banker and tax preparer, while his mother, Nancy Carlsson-Paige (hence the middle name) was Professor of Education at Lesley College, specialising in early education. Matt has one brother, Kyle, three years his senior and now a sculptor.
For the first two years of his life, Matt lived in the seriously expensive Newton district of Boston. When he was 2, though, his parents divorced and he moved, with Nancy, to nearby Cambridge. This area, where Harvard is situated, was also well-to-do, but not QUITE as rich as Newton. Nancy's plan was for Matt and Kyle to be well-provided-for, but not shut away from the real world. Thus one neighbour was Howard Zinn, author of A People's History Of The United States, while opposite Chez Matt was a halfway house