Matthew Paige Damon (born October 8, 1970) is an Academy Award winning
American film actor and screenwriter.
Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the son of an investment banker and realtor, Kent T. Damon, and an early-childhood education professor, Nancy Carlsson-Paige, who are both American-born but of British, Finnish and German ancestry. He spent his early years growing up in Newton, Massachusetts, living with his mother and brother, Kyle, an accomplished mixed media artist, he remained very close to his father. His family eventually moved back to Cambridge and he attended Cambridge Rindge and Latin, the only public high school in the town. There, he helped the school win many state drama festivals. Damon's first film job was one line in the romantic comedy Mystic Pizza (1988). He went on to attend Harvard University, but dropped out a few credits shy of graduating to pursue his acting career, a move that brought him to Los Angeles.
Matt Damon appeared in small roles in a few movies before landing a big part in
Geronimo: An American Legend with Gene Hackman and Jason Patric. He next
appeared as a heroin-addicted soldier in 1996's Courage Under Fire. The war film
was an opportunity for Damon to show his dedication by undergoing an extensive
weight loss to help portray his character, which almost proved a dangerous move
that put Damon on doctor's orders.
Matt Damon and actor Ben Affleck, close personal friends as well as co-stars in several films, developed a thriller about a young math genius, which they pitched around Hollywood. Receiving advice from writer/director/actor Rob Reiner and screenwriter William Goldman, the two changed the script around to focus on a young math genius trying to make his way in the world. This eventually became Good Will Hunting, which earned both Damon and Affleck Oscars for Best Original Screenplay. Damon was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for the same film (which netted an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for co-star Robin Williams). Much of the credit for getting the film made goes to both executive producer Kevin Smith and Harvey Weinstein, Miramax Films chairman, to whom Smith gave the screenplay.
Matt Damon also founded Project Greenlight with Affleck and Chris Moore to find and fund worthwhile film projects from novice filmmakers.
Matt Damon has been known to stray from the mainstream in his choice of roles, such as his portrayal of the gay murderer Tom Ripley in The Talented Mr. Ripley, a fallen angel who waxes pop culture as intellectual subject matter in Dogma, in which he costarred with Affleck (1999), and the low budget and experimental film Gerry.
Damon also played amnesiac assassin Jason Bourne in the successful action movies The Bourne Identity and The Bourne Supremacy, with another Bourne sequel, the Bourne Ultimatum, expected in 2007.
He will next be seen onscreen in Martin Scorsese's The Departed as an undercover mobster in the Boston State Police force and Robert DeNiro's The Good Shepherd as a career man in the C.I.A.. Both films are considered heavy awards contenders. He also has a cameo role in Kenneth Lonergan's film "Margaret", also due in late 2006.
Matt Damon married girlfriend Luciana Bozan Barroso in a private civil ceremony on December 9, 2005 in New York City hall with Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his wife's daughter the only persons in attendance. Damon became a stepfather to Barroso's young daughter, Alexia, from a previous marriage.
The couple had been dating since April 2004. While Damon's publicist refused to comment on rumors the two were expecting their first child, it is now understood that they are expecting a child mid-2006. Soon after the wedding, Damon's friend and frequent collaborator, George Clooney, told Entertainment Tonight that when he heard the news of Luciana's pregnancy he wrote in a message to Damon (with the gift of a case of champagne) that he should "make an honest woman of her." The next day, he was blown away to hear of Damon's wedding, and remarked "I didn't mean straight away!"
Prior to meeting Barroso, Damon had been linked to Claire Danes, Minnie Driver, and Winona Ryder.
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