Heather Matarazzo

Heather Matarazzo Headshot

Actress • Writer • Producer • Director

Birth Name: Heather Amy Matarazzo

Birth Date: November 10, 1982

Age: 41 years old

Birth Place: Oyster Bay, New York

In 1996, Heather Matarazzo delivered one of the year's most striking film performances as the plain, bespectacled junior high student Dawn Weiner in "Welcome to the Dollhouse." Only eleven years old when the film was shot, the Long Island native offered a compelling and touching performance of a misunderstood middle child, battered by the taunts of classmates (who call her 'Weinerdog') and the particular attentions of one boy (Brendon Sexton III) who demonstrates his affection with threats of rape. Despite subject matter that was at times painful to watch, the young actress never flagged, holding the audience's sympathies even while displaying sibling rivalry. Like indie stalwart Lili Taylor, Matarazzo was willing to downplay her own unusual looks for the sake of the character.

The precocious youngster began her acting career at the tender of seven and later played an abused child in an NYU student film, Helen Keller in a stage production of "The Miracle Worker" and a recurring role on the Nickelodeon series "The Adventures of Pete and Pete." Following her acclaimed debut, Matarazzo accepted a recurring role on the short-lived ABC sitcom "Townies" (1996) as Jenna Elfman's younger sister and took supporting roles in two flicks that starred "Dollhouse"'s Brendan Sexton, "Arresting Gena" (1997) and "Hurricane Streets" (1998). She offered a strong turn as a witness testifying in a murder trial in scenes with Keanu Reeves in "The Devil's Advocate" (1997) and registered in the brief role as the younger sister of the ambitious Shane O'Shea (Ryan Phillippe) in "54" (1998). Matarazzo was also among the ensemble of the female-driven "Strike!/The Hairy Bird" (1998), a coming-of-age tale set at an all-girls school in the early 1960s. Her performance as a bulimic won her praise, but the film itself was the subject of some controversy: its producers were unhappy with Miramax's decision to open it only in Seattle and sought other distribution. Those problems, however, had little effect on the young actress' career as she lent her quirky, unselfconscious charms to "Cherry" and "Getting to Know You" (both 1999), adapted from the short stories of Joyce Carol Oates. After a brief stint on television as Eric Close's daughter on the short-lived but critically admired drama "Now and Again" (1999), Matarazzo enjoyed supporting roles in "Blue Moon" (2000), "Scream 3" (2000) and "Company Man" (2000) before landing another high-profile role as Anne Hathaway's Plain Jane buddy Lilly in the popular Cinderella story "The Princess Diaries" (2001), a role she reprised for the 2004 sequel. After a small but well-acted role in the dim-witted comedy "Sorority Boys" (2002) as one of the ugly duckling sisters in a sorority where college cads are disguised as women, Matarazzo again took on a merry nerd role in the religious satire "Saved!" (2004) as a desperately sociall-climbing Christian school student.

Credits

The Mattachine Family

Actor
Movie
2023

You're Not Supposed to Be Here

Actor
Carla
Movie
2023

EqualStream

Actor
Phyllis Lyon
Docuseries
2020
86%

The Estate

Actor
Mary
Movie
2020

Billboard

Actor
Jezebel
Movie
2019

Stuck

Actor
Darby
Movie
2019

The Fiddling Horse

Actor
Rosalina Truman
Movie
2019

Smothered by Mothers

Actor
Annie
Movie
2018

Girl Flu

Actor
Lilli
Movie
2016

Her Composition

Actor
Gallery Owner
Movie
2015

Sidewalk Traffic

Actor
Freda Rabinowitz
Movie
2015

Stalker

Guest Star
Series
2014
20%

Mangus!

Actor
Jessica Simpson
Movie
2011

Mangus!

Producer
Movie
2011

Life on MarsStream

Guest Star
Series
2008

Exes & Ohs

Actor
Show
2007

Hostel Part II

Actor
Lorna
Movie
2007

Believe in Me

Actor
Cindy Butts
Movie
2006

Grey's AnatomyStream

Guest Star
Series
2005
84%

Home of Phobia

Actor
Jessica
Movie
2004

The Princess Diaries 2: Royal EngagementStream

Actor
Lilly Moscovitz
Movie
2004
26%

Saved!

Actor
Tia
Movie
2004

Sorority Boys

Actor
Katie
Movie
2002

The Princess DiariesStream

Actor
Lilly Moscovitz
Movie
2001
49%

Scream 3Stream

Actor
Martha Meeks
Movie
2000
41%

Blue Moon

Actor
Donna
Movie
2000

Now and Again

Actor
Heather Wiseman
Series
1999
100%

Getting to Know You

Actor
Judith
Movie
1999

Our Guys: Outrage in Glen Ridge

Actor
Leslie Faber
Movie
1999

Cherry

Actor
Dottie
Movie
1999

54Stream

Actor
Grace O'Shea
Movie
1998
15%

All I Wanna Do

Actor
Theresa "Tweety" Goldberg
Movie
1998

Hurricane

Actor
Ashley
Movie
1997

The Deli

Actor
Sabrina
Movie
1997

The Devil's AdvocateStream

Actor
Barbara
Movie
1997
63%

Townies

Guest Star
Series
1996
30%

Bienvenidos A la Casa de Muñecas

Actor
Movie
1995

Welcome to the DollhouseStream

Actor
Dawn Wiener
Movie
1995
93%

ERStream

Guest Star
Alyssa Gunther
Series
1994

Law & OrderStream

Guest Star
Series
1990

RoseanneStream

Guest Star
Heather
Series
1988
76%

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