Feb. 18th, 1964
New Rochelle, New York, USA
Guest TV Roles
Himself - Host
Himself - Audience
Originally a teen star (generally in "troubled youth" roles), who has since matured into one of Hollywood's most enjoyable actors to watch on screen with a wonderful versatility in his acting range, tall, lean and handsome Matt Dillon was born in February 1964 in New Rochelle, New York, and was discovered by pure chance. Talent scouts were roaming the halls of Hommocks School, spied the good-looking Dillon, and asked him to attend a casting call. He showed up, put on a swagger and petulant attitude for the casting director and landed his first film role, appearing in Over the Edge (1979), a "troubled-youth" film about bored Colorado teenagers fighting developers, their parents and the police. His next role was as a teen bully who gets his comeuppance in the "feel-good" movie My Bodyguard (1980). He was the object of teenage female desire in Little Darlings (1980), and followed that as a poor boy eloping with a rich girl in Liar's Moon (1982).
Dillon was now a hot property, and his next three film roles were in quality productions of best selling novels by author 'S.E. Hinton' that cemented him as the US' #1 teen star. First he starred as a fatherless country boy in Tex (1982), then he headlined a cast of superb young actors, including 'Tom Cruise', 'Emilio Estevez', 'Rob Lowe' and 'Patrick Swayze', in the moving The Outsiders (1983), and finally he was back in trouble once more in the superb Rumble Fish (1983).
As his looks matured, Dillon moved into broader roles such as the smooth-talking Brooklyn teenager conning everyone at a posh Florida country club in The Flamingo Kid (1984). He made his first foray into adult action with 'Gene Hackman' in the thriller Target (1985), followed by several B-grade romantic efforts, before striking gold with the critics with his performance in the uncompromising 'Gus van Sant' film about drug addicts, Drugstore Cowboy (1989). Unfortunately, his next few films fell back into a degree of mediocrity until another intriguing performance as a young schizophrenic in The Saint of Fort Washington (1993), then another romantic comedy role in Mr. Wonderful (1993). He worked again with van Sant as naive husband Larry Maretto opposite murderous 'Nicole Kidman' in the icy thriller To Die For (1995).
Dillon remained busy and turned in excellent performances in the sexy thriller of murder and double-crosses, Wild Things (1998). He was hilarious as a sleazy private eye lovestruck by 'Cameron Diaz' in the box-office smash There's Something About Mary (1998). He starred in the black comedy One Night at McCool's (2001), made his feature film directorial debut with City of Ghosts (2002), had a day that goes from bad to worse in Employee of the Month (2004). And, for his work in the Best Picture Academy Award winner Crash (2004/I), Dillon received a long-overdue Oscar nomination, as Best Supporting Actor.
- Played a lead role in three of author S.E. Hinton's books made into movies consecutively: Tex (1982), The Outsiders (1983), and Rumble Fish (1983).
- Has traveled extensively in Southeast Asia.
- Is a runner, and regularly runs through Central Park in New York, where he lives. Usually he is not recognized.
- Dated 'Cameron Diaz' (qv) for several years in the late 1990's.
- He is left-handed.
- "Matt Dillon" is also the fictional name of the hero of _"Gunsmoke" (1955)_ (qv), television's longest-running ever western series (20 years from 1955 to 1975). The hero, a U.S. Marshal for Dodge City, was played by 'James Arness' (qv).
- His grandmother, Bea Dillon, is the sister of two famous artists: 'Alex Raymond (I)' (qv) and Jim Raymond. 'Alex Raymond (I)' (qv) was the creator of the cartoon strip, Flash Gordon; and also Jungle Jim and Rip Kirby. Jim Raymond drew Blondie for 'Chic Young' (qv) for about 40 years.
- Is a New York Mets baseball fan and collects 'Mookie Wilson (I)' (qv) baseball cards.