Matt LeBlanc

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Matt LeBlanc
Matt LeBlanc, Arqiva British Academy Television Awards, 2013.jpg
LeBlanc in 2013
Born
Matthew Steven LeBlanc

(1967-07-25) July 25, 1967 (age 54)
Occupation
  • Actor
  • producer
  • comedian
Years active1987–present
Known for
Spouse(s)
Melissa McKnight
(m. 2003; div. 2006)
Partner(s)
Children1

Matthew Steven LeBlanc (/ləˈblɒŋk/; born July 25, 1967) is an American actor, television producer and comedian. He garnered global recognition with his portrayal of Joey Tribbiani in the NBC sitcom Friends and in its spin-off series, Joey. For his work on Friends, LeBlanc received three nominations at the Primetime Emmy Awards. He has also starred as a fictionalized version of himself in Episodes (2011–2017), for which he won a Golden Globe Award and received four additional Emmy Award nominations. He co-hosted Top Gear from 2016 to 2019. From 2016 to 2020, he played patriarch Adam Burns in the CBS sitcom Man with a Plan.

Early life[edit]

LeBlanc was born in Newton, Massachusetts. His mother, Patricia (née Di Cillo), was an office manager; his father, Paul LeBlanc, was a French-Canadian mechanic.[1][2] His father is of Acadian descent and his mother is of Italian ancestry.[3] He attended Newton North High School, where he graduated in the same year as future comedian Louis C.K.[4] After high school he attended college at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston. He dropped out shortly after starting his second semester.[5]

LeBlanc moved to New York at the age of 17 to pursue a career in modeling, but he was told he was too short to be in the industry. His acting career began after a woman invited him to accompany her to an audition, where he ended up getting signed by her manager.[6] Although he had booked commercials and television and film roles before Friends, he was reportedly down to his last eleven dollars before landing the role of Joey Tribbiani.[7]

Career[edit]

1987–1994: Early career[edit]

LeBlanc at the 47th Primetime Emmy Awards, 1995

LeBlanc first appeared in a 1987 Heinz Tomato Ketchup commercial. In 1988, he starred in the television drama TV 101 for one season. In 1991, he had a recurring role on the hit Fox sitcom Married... with Children. He played Vinnie Verducci, a family friend of protagonist Al Bundy (Ed O'Neill) who briefly dates his daughter, Kelly (Christina Applegate). He also guest-starred in the first season of Red Shoe Diaries. LeBlanc went on to star in two short-lived spin-offs: Top of the Heap (1991) and Vinnie & Bobby (1992).

He appeared in two Bon Jovi music videos: "Miracle," from the Young Guns II soundtrack in 1990, and "Say It Isn't So" in 2000.[8] He also appeared in videos for Alanis Morissette's single "Walk Away," Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' "Into the Great Wide Open," and Bob Seger's "Night Moves."[9]

1994–2004: Friends[edit]

LeBlanc found success as the dimwitted but lovable Joey Tribbiani on Friends; he played this character for 12 years — 10 seasons of Friends and two seasons of Joey. Friends was wildly successful, and LeBlanc, along with his co-stars, gained wide recognition among viewers. This ensemble situation comedy became a major hit for NBC, airing on Thursday nights for ten years.[10]

For his performance, LeBlanc received three Primetime Emmy Award nominations, three Golden Globe award nominations, and one Screen Actors Guild Award nomination. During this time he also appeared in the films Lookin' Italian (1994), Ed (1996), Lost in Space (1998), Charlie's Angels (2000), and its sequel, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (2003).

2006–2011: Hiatus[edit]

Following the cancellation of Joey, LeBlanc announced that he would be taking a one-year hiatus from acting on television, which eventually turned into five years.[11]

2011–present: Career revival[edit]

LeBlanc at the Golden Globes with Meryl Streep, 2012

From 2011, LeBlanc appeared as a fictionalized version of himself in Episodes, a television series about an American remake of a fictional British television series.[12][13] The series is written by Friends co-creator David Crane and his partner Jeffrey Klarik.[14] At the 69th Golden Globe Awards in 2012, LeBlanc won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a television series, musical, or comedy, and was nominated for an additional four Primetime Emmy Awards.[15]

In February 2012, LeBlanc appeared in the second episode of the eighteenth series of Top Gear, where he set the fastest lap time in the "Star in a Reasonably Priced Car" segment in a Kia Cee'd. Lapping at 1:42.1, he beat the show's previous record-holder, Rowan Atkinson, by 0.1 seconds.[9] He also appeared in the fourth episode of the nineteenth season to race the New Kia Cee'd, and beat his previous time.

In February 2016, the BBC announced LeBlanc had signed on to become one of the new Top Gear hosts,[16] signing a two-year deal later that year.[17] He announced his decision to retire from the series in May 2018, having co-hosted it for three years. Despite the show being "great fun", he stated the "time commitment and extensive travel takes me away from my family and friends more than I'm comfortable with."[18]

LeBlanc played the lead role in the CBS sitcom Man with a Plan, which began airing in 2016 until it was cancelled in 2020.[19]

Personal life[edit]

LeBlanc married Melissa McKnight, a British-born American model and a divorced single mother of two children, in May 2003.[20] In 1997, they were introduced to each other by McKnight's friend, Kelly Phillips (wife of actor Lou Diamond Phillips). LeBlanc proposed to her a year later.[20] Their daughter, Marina, born in 2004, began suffering seizures at eight months old. By the time she was two years old, the condition, thought to be a form of dysplasia, had mostly subsided.[20][21] LeBlanc and McKnight divorced in October 2006, citing irreconcilable differences.[22]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1987 Doll Day Afternoon GI Joe Film debut, short film
1990 Jon Bon Jovi: Miracle Friend Music video, short video
1991 Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Into the Great Wide Open Young man
1993 Grey Knight Terhue
1993 Red Shoe Diaries 3: Another Woman's Lipstick Kyle Segment: "Just Like That"
1994 Bob Seger: Night Moves Young man Music video, short video
1994 Lookin' Italian Anthony Manetti
1995 Friends Joey Tribbiani Music video, video short
1996 Ed Jack 'Deuce’ Cooper
1997 Red Shoe Diaries 7: Burning Up Jed Segment: "Kidnap"
1998 Lost in Space Major Don West
2000 Bon Jovi: Say It Isn't So Unknown Music video, short video
2000 Charlie's Angels Jason Gibbs
2001 All the Queen's Men O'Rourke
2003 Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle Jason Gibbs
2010 Jonah Hex N/A Executive producer
2014 Lovesick Charlie Darby

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1988–1989 TV 101 Chuck Bender Series regular (13 episodes)
1989 Just the Ten of Us Todd Murphy 2 episodes
1990 Anything to Survive Billy Burton Television movie
1990 Monsters Tommy Episode: "Shave and a Haircut, Two Bites"
1991 Top of the Heap Vinnie Verducci Recurring role (7 episodes)
1991 Married... with Children 4 episodes
1992–1993 Vinnie & Bobby Series regular (7 episodes)
1992–1993 Red Shoe Diaries Tom's Brother, Jed Cody/Kyle 2 episodes
1993 Class of '96 Frank Goodman Episode: "Bright Smoke, Cold Fire"
1994 Reform School Girl Vince Television movie
1994–2004 Friends Joey Tribbiani Main cast (236 episodes)
2004–2006 Joey Main cast (46 episodes)
2011–2017 Episodes Matt LeBlanc Main cast (41 episodes)
2012 Top Gear Himself (guest) 1 episode
2013 Web Therapy Nick Jericho Web series; 3 episodes
2013 Web Therapy Television series; 2 episodes
2015 The Prince Television movie; Producer
2016–2019
2021
Top Gear Himself (main role) 24 episodes (series 23, 24, 25, 26) Guest 2021
2016–2020 Man with a Plan Adam Burns Main cast (69 episodes); Executive producer
2021 Friends: The Reunion Himself HBO Max special; Executive producer[23]

Awards and nominations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tauber, Michelle (May 19, 2003). "Way to Go, Joey!". People.
  2. ^ "Matt LeBlanc takes his Italian origins to his heart". Italo-Americano. October 16, 2015. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
  3. ^ Rafanelli, Stephanie (May 17, 2014). "Matt LeBlanc: 'I have an ego, but I try to leave it at the door'". The Daily Telegraph. London, England: Telegraph Media Group. Archived from the original on January 7, 2015. Retrieved January 7, 2015.
  4. ^ Radsken, Jill (September 20, 2015). "Louis C.K. and Matt LeBlanc, way back when". Boston Globe. Retrieved July 23, 2021.
  5. ^ "Joey Was Here – WIT Magazine". sites.wit.edu. Retrieved May 30, 2021.
  6. ^ "Matt LeBlanc". IMDb. Retrieved May 30, 2021.
  7. ^ "Matt LeBlanc Was Down to $11 Before Friends". E! Online. February 1, 2019. Retrieved May 30, 2021.
  8. ^ "Bon Jovi – Say It Isn' So". YouTube. Retrieved May 22, 2011.
  9. ^ a b "Top Gear; Series 18, Episode 2". BBC Two. Retrieved February 5, 2012.
  10. ^ "Matt LeBlanc Biography - life, family, children, parents, name, story, wife, school, mother - Newsmakers Cumulation". www.notablebiographies.com. Retrieved December 1, 2017.
  11. ^ "Matt LeBlanc on Life after 'Friends' and Taking a Six Year Hiatus". The Hollywood Reporter. June 27, 2014. Retrieved March 30, 2016.
  12. ^ Rampton, James (January 6, 2011). "Episodes: The one where Matt LeBlanc plays himself..." The Independent. London. Retrieved March 2, 2011.
  13. ^ "Matt LeBlanc Spoofs Himself On Comedy 'Episodes'". Access Hollywood. January 4, 2011. Retrieved March 2, 2011.
  14. ^ Parks, Tim (September 30, 2009). "LeBlanc to star as himself on 'Episodes'". Digital Spy. Retrieved September 30, 2009.
  15. ^ "Nominations & Winners". Golden Globes. Archived from the original on January 8, 2010. Retrieved January 16, 2012.
  16. ^ "Matt LeBlanc joins Top Gear!". Top Gear. February 4, 2016. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  17. ^ "Top Gear: Matt LeBlanc signs two-series deal". BBC News. September 26, 2016. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
  18. ^ "Matt LeBlanc to leave Top Gear". BBC News. May 31, 2018. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
  19. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (June 21, 2016). "CBS Sets Fall 2016 Premiere Dates, Slates JonBenet Ramsey Limited Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  20. ^ a b c Wulff, Jennifer (April 17, 2006). "Matt Leblanc's Surprise Split". People. Vol. 65 no. 15. Retrieved November 3, 2010.
  21. ^ Sawer, Patrick (February 6, 2016). "New Top Gear presenter Matt LeBlanc on his daughter, his marriage breakdown and his darkest years". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
  22. ^ "Matt LeBlanc's Other Woman". People. April 6, 2006. Retrieved January 6, 2021.
  23. ^ Andreeva, Nellie; Petski, Denise (February 21, 2020). "'Friends' Reunion Special Officially A Go At HBO Max With Cast Returning". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 24, 2020.

External links[edit]