Matthew Paige Damon was born on October 8, 1970, in Boston, Massachusetts, to Kent Damon, a stockbroker, realtor and tax preparer, and Nancy Carlsson-Paige, an early childhood education professor at Lesley University. His father is of English and Scottish descent, and his mother is of Finnish and Swedish ancestry. The family lived in Newton till his parents got separated in 1973. Matt Damon grew up in a stable community in Cambridge with his mother and his brother.
Matt Damon attended Cambridge Rindge and Latin School and he performed in several theater productions during his time there. He attended Harvard University as an English major. While in Harvard, he kept on skipping classes to pursue acting projects, which included the TNT original film, Rising Sun (1993), and prep-school drama, School Ties (1992). It was until his film, Geronimo: An American Legend (1993), was expected to be a big success that he decided to drop out of university completely. Arriving in Hollywood, Matt managed to get his first break with a part in the romantic comedy, Mystic Pizza (1988).
Being a failure for that movie, he went for another audition, and managed to get a starring role in School Ties (1992). To be perfect in the role of a soldier who had problems with drug-addiction in the movie, Courage Under Fire (1996), he lost 40 pounds which result in his health problems. The following year, he garnered accolades for Good Will Hunting (1997), a screenplay he had originally written for an English class at Harvard University. Good Will Hunting (1997) was nominated for 9 Academy Awards, one of which, Matt won for Best Original Screenplay along with Ben Affleck. In the year 1998, Matt played the title role in Steven Spielberg’s film, Saving Private Ryan (1998), which was one of the most acclaimed films in that year.
That same year, Matt starred as an earnest law student and reformed poker player in Rounders (1998). The next year, Matt rejoined his childhood friend, Ben Affleck and fellow comedian, Chris Rock, in the comedy Dogma (1999). Towards the end of 1999, Matt played “Tom Ripley”, a working-class young man who tastes the good life and will do anything to live it, in The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999).
Matt lent his voice to the animated movie, Titan A.E. (2000) in the year 2000. He also starred in two other movies, All the Pretty Horses (2000) and the golf comedy-drama, The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000). In the year 2003, he signed on to star in The Informant! (2009) by Steven Soderbergh and the Farrelly Brothers’ Stuck on You (2003). He also starred in Gerry (2002), a film he co-wrote with his friends, Gus Van Sant and Casey Affleck.
One of Matt’s most recognizable work to date is his role in the “Bourne” movie franchise. He plays an amnesiac assassin, “Jason Bourne”, in The Bourne Identity (2002), The Bourne Supremacy (2004) and The Bourne Ultimatum (2007). Another praised role is that as “Linus Caldwell” in the “Ocean’s” movie franchise, in Ocean’s Eleven (2001).
The successful crime comedy-drama eventually had two other sequels, Ocean’s Twelve (2004) and Ocean’s Thirteen (2007). Among other highly acclaimed movies that Matt managed to be a part of was in Terry Gilliam’s The Brothers Grimm (2005), George Clooney’s Syriana (2005), Martin Scorsese’s The Departed (2006) and Robert De Niro’s The Good Shepherd (2006).
Matt Damon is ranked among Forbes magazine’s most bankable stars and is one of the highest-grossing actors of all time. Damon has received several accolades, including an Academy Award from four nominations, two Golden Globe Awards from seven nominations, and has been nominated for two British Academy Film Awards and six Emmy Awards.
For his supporting role as the rugby player Francois Pienaar in Invictus (2009) and his leading role as an astronaut stranded on Mars in The Martian (2015), Damon received Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actor and Best Actor, respectively. The latter also won him a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor. Damon has received Emmy Award nominations for his portrayal of Scott Thorson in the biopic Behind the Candelabra (2013) and for producing the reality series Project Greenlight.
In addition to acting in films, Damon has performed voice-over work in both animated and documentary films, and has established two production companies with Affleck. He has been actively involved in charitable work, including the ONE Campaign, H2O Africa Foundation, Feeding America, and Water.org.
In his personal life, Matt is now happily married to Argentine-born Luciana Barroso, whom he met in Miami, where she was working as a bartender. They married in a private civil ceremony on December 9, 2005, at the Manhattan Marriage Bureau. The couple have four daughters Alexia, Luciana’s daughter from a previous relationship, as well as Isabella, Gia and Stella. Matt is a big fan of the Boston Red Sox and he tries to attend their games whenever possible. He has also formed great friendships with his Ocean’s co-stars, George Clooney and Brad Pitt, whom he works on charity projects with. He and actor Ben Affleck, together with Ben’s wife, Jennifer Garner, are also good family friends and can be often seen going out together with Matt’s wife.