Matt Dillon

Matt Dillon Headshot

Actor • Director • Writer

Birth Name: Matthew Raymond Dillon

Birth Date: February 18, 1964

Age: 60 years old

Birth Place: New Rochelle, New York

Partners: Cameron Diaz

Siblings: Kevin Dillon

Once typecast as a doomed young rebel with smoldering good looks, Oscar-nominee Matt Dillon managed to outlast his teen stardom from Francis Ford Coppola's "The Outsiders" (1983) and enjoy a respected career in both drama and comedy. His acclaimed starring role in Gus Van Sant's "Drugstore Cowboy" (1989) helped build a bridge from Dillon's reckless teen roles to more adult fare, though he showed a career-long penchant for seedy and duplicitous characters, to which he always brought a charismatic charm or brooding allure.

While making successful forays into cartoonish, blockbuster comedies like "There's Something About Mary" (1998) and "You, Me and Dupree" (2007), Dillon also stuck close to independent film where he displayed uncommon versatility with Ted Demme's "Beautiful Girls" (1996), "Factotum" (2006), and Paul Haggis' "Crash" (2005), for which he won an Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actor. Despite the New Yorker's Hollywood-outsider status, Dillon maintained a prolific career that steadily held the respect of critics and audiences for several decades.

Dillon was born Matthew Raymond Dillon on Feb. 18, 1964, and raised in Mamaroneck, NY. His artistic-leaning family including a father who painted portraits and a pair of uncles who illustrated the famous comic strips "Flash Gordon" and "Blondie." But by the time he was a teen, Dillon seemed unlikely to follow in his family's footsteps and was cultivating an image as a class-cutting back-talker when talent scouts stumbled across him while combing the Horrocks School in search of an unknown talent for the film "Over the Edge" (1979). During his official audition, the 14-year-old made a strong (if abrasive) impression and producers knew they had found the right kid to play a troubled teen in Jonathan Kaplan's powerful film. Following his impressive debut in the indie, he was swiftly cast in two mainstream features, playing a school bully who experiences an eventual comeuppance in "My Bodyguard" (1980) and the object of Kristy McNichol's teen sexual desire in "Little Darlings" (1980). With his budding film career an attractive alternative to suburban high school life, Dillon left school to focus on acting and shot to stardom as the charismatic but confused lead of a trio of teen films adapted from the works of S.E. Hinton, beginning with Tim Hunter's "Tex" (1982).

While Francis Ford Coppola's "Rumblefish" was an artful, adult-oriented portrait of a kid from the wrong side of the tracks, his more commercial follow-up "The Outsiders" featuring an astonishing cast of up-and-coming heartthrobs including Tom Cruise, Rob Lowe and Patrick Swayze, transformed Dillon into a teen magazine pinup. While his acting was sometimes clunky, he easily and believably fell into the time-tested persona of a charismatic juvenile delinquent, and in addition, the camera simply loved his moody face. Lightening his image, he starred in Garry Marshall's period comedy "The Flamingo Kid" (1984) where his starring role as a working class Brooklyn kid with upper class envy showed the actor had more range yet to showcase. He re-teamed on screen with "Outsiders" siren Diane Lane in the 1950-set romance "The Big Town" (1987), playing a small town crapshooter whose ambitious move to Chicago finds him caught up in a tangled web of danger and illicit liaisons. After ably holding his own among the all-star cast including Tommy Lee Jones and Bruce Dern, Dillon co-starred opposite pretty boy Andrew McCarthy in the caper "Kansas" (1988), which was forgettable - though Dillon's performance was singled out by reviewers as the film's strength.

Under the clear, gritty vision of indie filmmaker Gus Van Sant, Dillon was reborn with "Drugstore Cowboy" (1989), which shed Dillon's Hollywood version of seedy characters in favor of a toothy and realistic starring role as a drug addicted thief nearing the end of his run. For his assured, mature performance (opposite Kelly Lynch as his wife), Dillon won a Best Lead Actor honor from the Independent Spirit Awards and finally left his reputation as a 1980s heartthrob in the dust. "A Kiss Before Dying" (1991), a mainstream thriller, failed at the box office but earned Dillon another round of accolades for a subtle performance, and he followed up with a supporting role in Cameron Crowe's generation X chronicle "Singles" (1992), where he gave an amusing turn as a dim-witted, flannel clad Seattle rocker. He proved convincing as a working-class Italian-American with dreams of owning a bowling alley in the light romantic comedy "Mr. Wonderful" (1993), and reunited with director Tim Hunter to play a disturbed man who is befriended by a homeless Danny Glover in "The Saint of Fort Washington" (1993), which received mixed reviews.

Van Sant tapped Dillon for a supporting role as the happily suburban (and doomed) husband of a fiercely ambitious weather girl (Nicole Kidman) in the sharply humorous "To Die For" (1995), and the same year displayed a winning chemistry with Anne Parillaud in "Frankie Starlight." In another indie success, he appeared in the praised ensemble comedy "Beautiful Girls" (1996) and played a 1960s record producer in Allison Anders' pop music portrait "Grace of My Heart" (1996). With his hilarious role as a self-impressed actor who unwittingly outs his closeted gay high school teacher (Kevin Kline) at the Academy Awards in "In & Out" (1997), Dillon entered the new realm of successful mainstream comedies. His follow-up performance in the Farrelly Brothers' mega blockbuster "There's Something About Mary" (1998), however, really caused audiences to rediscover Dillon, who was praised for his comic performance as the cartoonish, mustachioed private dick who stalks, then falls in love with the woman he was hired to track down (Cameron Diaz). Further fueling the publicity machine of the gross-out hit, Dillon and Diaz became involved in a long-term romance - one of the few ever made public by the private star who had, in the past, only been linked with frequent co-star Diane Lane.

Back in the spotlight, Dillon was cast as a popular guidance counselor wrongly accused of rape in the sexy, campy thriller "Wild Things" (1998) opposite Neve Campbell, Denise Richards and Kevin Bacon. In a rare move to television Dillon directed an episode of HBO's gritty prison drama "Oz" (1997-2003) and was not seen onscreen again until 2001, when he gave a "Mary"-reminiscent performance as a macho sleazeball in the comedy "One Night at McCool's." However even a star-studded cast including Michael Douglas, John Goodman and Liv Tyler failed to turn the film's promising conceit into a solid comedy. In 2002, Dillon unveiled his first feature filmmaking effort, "City of Ghosts," which followed the story of con man who travels to Cambodia to get his share from an insurance scam but finds himself caught in a much more dangerous situation. From his ambitious writing and directing debut, Dillon went on to star in the Sundance-screened caper comedy "Employee of the Month" (2004).

Dillon's career experienced another upturn with an Oscar-nominated supporting performance in the racially charged, multi-plot drama "Crash" (2005). Playing an angry LAPD patrol officer whose frustrations at home lead him to act out on the job, Dillon delivered an unflinching, complex performance that stood out even among the film's top-flight acting ensemble. In a display of unbridled versatility, Dillon played a NASCAR champ who gets beat racing a lovable, animated Volkswagen Bug in the Disney blockbuster "Herbie: Fully Loaded" (2005). "You Me and Dupree" (2005), a predictable romantic comedy where Dillon essayed the straight man whose bachelor buddy moves in with him and his new bride (Kate Hudson), proved just as big a hit with moviegoers. He returned to indie drama with "Factotum" (2005), starring in the film adaptation of one of Charles Bukowski's autobiographical chronicles of drinking, gambling, women and poetry. Dillon's dark, deadpan portrayal of the cult figure was well received, and he proved he had still more surprising characterizations in store with his 2008 portrayal of a federal prosecutor deciding the case of a newspaper reporter (Kate Beckinsale) who outs the identity of a CIA operative in the current-events inspired "Nothing But the Truth."

Credits

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High DesertStream

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Asteroid CityStream

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The Mechanic/Walter Geronimo
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75%

Land of Dreams

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American DreamerStream

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Dell
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50%

Capone

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Johnny
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2020

Roy's World: Barry Gifford's Chicago

Narrator
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2020

There's Something About Movies

Guest
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2019

Proxima

Actor
Mike Shannon
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Nimic

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Father
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The House That Jack Built

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Jack
Movie
2018

Running for Grace

Actor
Doc
Movie
2018

Head Full of Honey

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Nick
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Going in Style

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FBI Agent Arlen Hamer
Movie
2017

Rock Dog

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Trey
Movie
2016

Wayward PinesStream

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Ethan Burke
Series
2015
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Wayward Pines: Extras

Actor
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Late Night With Seth MeyersStream

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2014

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Movie
2014

Captivated: The Trials of Pamela Smart

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Larry Maretto
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The Art of the StealStream

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Nicky Calhoun
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2013
45%

Sunlight Jr.

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Richie
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2013

Pawn Shop ChroniclesStream

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Richard
Movie
2013
18%

Live! With Kelly and Michael

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Talk
2012

Girl Most LikelyStream

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The Bousche
Movie
2012
23%

TakersStream

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Det. Jack Welles
Movie
2010
28%

Modern FamilyStream

Guest Star
Robbie Sullivan
Series
2009
85%

Armored

Actor
Mike Cochrane
Movie
2009

Old Dogs

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Barry
Movie
2009

Nothing but the Truth

Actor
Patton Dubois
Movie
2008

You, Me and Dupree

Actor
Carl Peterson
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Once in a Lifetime: The Extraordinary Story of the New York Cosmos

Narrator
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Made in Hollywood

Guest
Series
2005

ET Canada

Guest
Show
2005

Factotum

Actor
Henry Chinaski
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2005

Loverboy

Actor
Mark
Movie
2005

Herbie: Fully Loaded

Actor
Trip Murphy
Movie
2005

CrashStream

Actor
Officer Ryan
Movie
2004
74%

Employee of the Month

Actor
David Walsh
Movie
2004

The Ellen DeGeneres Show

Guest
Talk
2003

Jimmy Kimmel Live!Stream

Guest
Talk
2003

Deuces Wild

Actor
Fritzy
Movie
2002

City of Ghosts

Actor
Jimmy
Movie
2002

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Director
Movie
2002

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Movie
2002

Live With Regis and Kelly

Guest
Show
2001

One Night at McCool's

Actor
Randy
Movie
2001

The Daily Show With Jon StewartStream

Guest
Talk
1999

Feria Urbana

Actor
Movie
1998

Wild ThingsStream

Actor
Sam Lombardo
Movie
1998
64%

There's Something About MaryStream

Actor
Pat Healy
Movie
1998
84%

OzStream

Director
Series
1997
93%

In & OutStream

Actor
Cameron Drake
Movie
1997
73%

Beautiful GirlsStream

Actor
Tommy "Birdman" Rowland
Movie
1996
78%

Grace of My Heart

Actor
Jay Phillips
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1996

Albino Alligator

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1996

To Die ForStream

Actor
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1995
89%

Frankie Starlight

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Una Razón Para Vivir

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1995

Entertainers: With Byron Allen

Guest
Show
1994

Inside the Actors Studio

Guest
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1994

Golden Gate

Actor
Agent Kevin David Walker
Movie
1994

The Saint of Fort Washington

Actor
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Movie
1993

Mr. WonderfulStream

Actor
Gus
Movie
1993
52%

SinglesStream

Actor
Cliff Poncier (Citizen Dick vocalist)
Movie
1992
79%

Las Tentadoras 2

Actor
Movie
1991

A Kiss Before Dying

Actor
Jonathan Corliss
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1991

Women & Men 2

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Eddie Megeffin
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1991

The SimpsonsStream

Guest Voice
Louie
Series
1989
85%

Bloodhounds of Broadway

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Movie
1989

Drugstore CowboyStream

Actor
Bob Hughes
Movie
1989
97%

Ladrones de Droguerías

Actor
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1989

Kansas

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Doyle Kennedy
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1988

The Big Town

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J.C. Cullen
Movie
1987

Native Son

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Jan
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1986

Rebel

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Movie
1985

La Cible

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1985

Target

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Chris Lloyd / Derek Potter
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1985

The Flamingo Kid

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Jeffrey Willis
Movie
1984
85%

The OutsidersStream

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Dallas Winston
Movie
1983
70%

Rumble FishStream

Actor
Rusty James
Movie
1983
76%

American Playhouse

Actor
Ralph
Series
1982

Tex

Actor
Tex McCormick
Movie
1982

Liar's MoonStream

Actor
Jack Duncan
Movie
1981

Little DarlingsStream

Actor
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1980
67%

My BodyguardStream

Actor
Moody
Movie
1980
79%

Over the Edge

Actor
Richie
Movie
1979

Good Morning America

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News
1975

Saturday Night LiveStream

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Series
1975

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