Gaten Matarazzo

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Gaten Matarazzo
Gaten Matarazzo by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Matarazzo at the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con
Gaetano John Matarazzo III

(2002-09-08) September 8, 2002 (age 19)
Years active2011–present

Gaetano John "Gaten" Matarazzo III[2] (/ˈɡtən ˌmætəˈræz/; Italian: [ɡaeˈtaːno mataˈrattso]; born September 8, 2002)[3] is an American actor. He began his career on the Broadway stage as Benjamin in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and as Gavroche in Les Misérables.[4] He stars as Dustin Henderson in the Netflix science-fiction-horror drama series Stranger Things, and he hosts the Netflix show Prank Encounters.

Early life and education[edit]

Matarazzo was born in Connecticut, to Gaetano and Heather Matarazzo, but raised in Little Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, and he attended Pinelands Regional High School in Tuckerton, New Jersey.[5][6] He has two siblings, an older sister Sabrina and a younger brother Carmen.[7]

He pursued vocal training at Starlight Performing Arts Center in New Jersey. In 2011, he competed and won third place with his vocal solo entitled “White Boy Summer” at Starpower Talent Competition Nationals in Uncasville, Connecticut.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Matarazzo is of part Italian descent.[9][10]

Matarazzo was born with cleidocranial dysplasia (CCD), which he has spoken openly about.02|website=Metro|language=en|access-date=2020-03-09}}</ref>[11] After he was cast in Stranger Things as Dustin Henderson, the character's background was modified to have the condition as well.[12] He uses dentures. [13]


Matarazzo uses his platform to raise awareness of CCD and fundraise for CCD Smiles, an organization that helps cover costs of oral surgeries for people with CCD. Matarazzo has also started a line of shirts whose proceeds will go to CCD Smiles. On his social media sites, Matarazzo tells followers how to donate to CCD Smiles and promotes events he will participate in. In November 2017, his sister started a Facebook campaign to raise money for the organization.[14][15]

On April 6th, 2021, Matarazzo participated in an hour-long charity Among Us stream on The Tonight Show's Twitch account with Jimmy Fallon, Questlove, Tariq Trotter, Kirk Douglas, Sykkuno, Valkyrae, Corpse Husband, and his Stranger Things co-star, Noah Schnapp, with proceeds going towards Feeding America.[16]


Film and television
Year Title Role Notes
2021 Waffles and Mochi Casey the Electrician Episode: Mushroom
2019 The Angry Birds Movie 2 Bubba Voice
2015 The Blacklist Finn Episode: "The Kenyon Family (No. 71)"
2016–present Stranger Things Dustin Henderson Main role
2017 Ridiculousness Himself Episode: "Scarediculousness"
Lip Sync Battle Episode: "The Cast of Stranger Things"
2018 Drop the Mic Episode: "Darren Criss vs. Gaten Matarazzo / Chandler Riggs vs. Chad Coleman"
2019-present Prank Encounters Host
2021 Nickelodeon's Unfiltered Episode: "Be My Valentine"

Music videos[edit]

Year Title Artist
2017 "Swish Swish" Katy Perry (feat. Nicki Minaj)[17]
"Lost Boys Life" "Computer Games" (Darren & Chuck Criss)
"Jimmy Fallon's Golden Globes 2017 Opening" Jimmy Fallon
2020 "Meet Me On The Roof" Green Day


Year Title Role Location
2011 Priscilla, Queen of the Desert Benjamin Palace Theatre, Broadway
2014 Les Misérables Gavroche / Petit Gervais Imperial Theatre, Broadway
2018 Cinderella Jean-Michael Pinelands Regional Thespians[18]
2019 Into the Woods Jack Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2017 Young Artist Awards Best Performance in a Digital TV Series or Film – Teen Actor Stranger Things Nominated [19]
2017 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Won [20]
2017 Shorty Awards Best Actor Won [21]
2018 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Nominated [22]
2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards Best On-Screen Team (with Finn Wolfhard, Caleb McLaughlin, Noah Schnapp and Sadie Sink) Nominated [23]
2019 Teen Choice Awards Choice Summer TV Actor Nominated [24]


  1. ^ "9 Things You Didn't Know About Gaten Matarazzo (Stranger Things)". October 24, 2017.
  2. ^ Matarzzo at Stranger Things' Gaten Matarazzo Goes Undercover on Reddit, YouTube and Twitter. GQ ( July 1, 2019. Event occurs at 00:46. Archived from the original on 2021-11-18. Retrieved July 1, 2019. It's actually Gaetano John Matarazzo III.
  3. ^ "UPI Almanac for Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019". United Press International. September 8, 2019. Archived from the original on September 9, 2019. Retrieved January 30, 2020. …actor Gaten Matarazzo in 2002 (age 17)
  4. ^ "Les Misérables". Playbill. Retrieved August 18, 2016.
  5. ^ Kuperinsky, Amy (May 6, 2019). "N.J. 'Stranger Things' star Gaten Matarazzo shows off prom photos". New Jersey Advance Media. Archived from the original on January 30, 2020. Retrieved January 30, 2020.
  6. ^ "Gaten Matarazzo and Heather Matarazzo: Are They Related?". J-14. 2018-01-26. Retrieved 2020-03-04.
  7. ^ Santilli, Morgana (2019-06-28). "The untold truth of Gaten Matarazzo". Retrieved 2020-03-04.
  8. ^ "2011 Uncasville Results". Archived from the original on 2011-12-29. Retrieved 2020-05-10.
  9. ^ "Gaten Matarazzo, il Dustin di Stranger Things ha famiglia originaria di Avellino". Libero 24x7.
  10. ^ "Stranger Things, l'amicizia batte la paura - Tv". Agenzia ANSA. July 5, 2019.
  11. ^ Ro, Crystal (August 5, 2016). "Dustin from "Stranger Things" loves showing off his fake teeth in real life, and obviously it's adorable".
  12. ^ "Stranger Things: What Happened to Gaten Matarazzo's Teeth?". Inverse. Retrieved 2020-03-09.
  13. ^ "Gaten Matarazzo Of 'Stranger Things' Talks About His Genetic Disorder". Huffington Post. September 28, 2016.
  14. ^ "Donate to CCD Smiles!". StartSomeGood. Retrieved November 10, 2017.
  15. ^ "'Stranger Things' star brings smiles to Utahns with rare genetic disorder". Salt Lake City, Utah: KSL-TV. Retrieved November 10, 2017.
  16. ^ Peters, Jay (6 April 2021). "Jimmy Fallon played Among Us with streamers and the cast of Stranger Things in Twitch debut". The Verge.
  17. ^ Bell, Sadie. "Here Are All the Cameos From Katy Perry's 'Swish Swish' Music Video". Billboard. Retrieved August 24, 2017.
  18. ^ "Pinelands' 'Cinderella' Not Your Grandfather's 'Cinderella'". The SandPaper.
  19. ^ "38th Annual Awards". Young Artist Association. Archived from the original on February 2, 2017. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  20. ^ Nolfi, Joely (December 14, 2016). "SAG Awards nominations 2017: See the full list". Entertainment Weekly.
  21. ^ "9th Annual Shorty Awards". Shorty Awards. April 25, 2017.
  22. ^ Gonzalez, Sandra (January 17, 2018). "The full list of the 2018 SAG Awards nominees". CNN. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
  23. ^ Nordyke, Kimberly (May 3, 2018). "MTV Movie & TV Awards: 'Black Panther,' 'Stranger Things' Top Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on May 3, 2018. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
  24. ^ Swift, Andy (July 8, 019). "Teen Choice Awards: Stranger Things Leads Final Wave of 2019 Nominations". TVLine. Retrieved 19 July 2019.

External links[edit]