Matt Lauria

Matt Lauria Headshot

Actor • Musician

Birth Date: June 22, 1984

Age: 39 years old

Birth Place: Washington, D.C.

Matt Lauria entered the entertainment business with very little acting experience and ended up emerging as a genuine scene-stealer. The theater-trained actor began making waves in Hollywood with supporting roles on television and in independent features before making his mark on the beloved drama series "Friday Night Lights" (NBC/DirecTV, 2006-2011). Lauria delivered a breakout performance on "Friday Night Lights" as a well-mannered yet misunderstood high school athlete. After two seasons on the critically acclaimed show, the actor found himself on new turf with a starring role as an eager young cop on Fox's short-lived "The Chicago Code" (2011). With so much talent and charm, it did not take long for Lauria to land a featured part on the primetime hit "Burn Notice" (USA Network, 2007-13), where he guest-starred as a discharged soldier whose intelligence and drive strikes similarities with the show's central character (Jeffrey Donovan). Taking on a variety of roles in such a short span of time established Lauria as one of Hollywood's brightest talents and showcased his potential to carry bigger projects later in his career.

Matthew Lauria was born in Alexandria, VA to Larry Lauria, an animator, and his wife Tricia. As a child, the future star lived in Ireland for five years with his family, which included two sisters. After moving back to the U.S., Lauria graduated from Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando, FL. He went on to attend Florida School of the Arts before transferring to the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, NC. As a student of the classical theater-training program, he acted in productions of "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" (1962) and "Habeas Corpus" (1973). Lauria graduated from University of North Carolina in 2007 with a BFA in drama. Within weeks of moving to New York City, Lauria made his television debut on NBC's hit comedy "30 Rock" (NBC, 2006-13). The actor later shared that landing that booking "30 Rock" early on his career helped get his feet wet in the entertainment industry.

A year after his first television appearance, Lauria landed his first regular role on "Lipstick Jungle" (NBC, 2008-09), an hour-long series based on Candace Bushnell's best-selling 2005 novel of the same name. He played the savvy fashion assistant to a top New York City designer (Lindsay Price). While the show featured a topnotch ensemble cast that included Brooke Shields and Kim Raver, "Lipstick Jungle" was taken off the air after just two seasons. Lauria took a short break from television and acted in the independent short film "8 Easy Steps" (2009). Lauria's big break came that year when he joined the cast of "Friday Night Lights" during its fourth season. The critically acclaimed drama followed the coach (Kyle Chandler) and players of a high school football team in the fictional town of Dillon, TX. On the show, Lauria played Luke Cafferty, a standout athlete whose parents disapprove of his passion for football. One of the biggest challenges his character faced was deciding between a generous offer to play for a different school or remaining loyal to his team. Ultimately, Luke stayed with the Dillon Panthers and helped them win the state finals. Eight months after the win, Lauria's character ended up enlisting in the army and was last seen bidding farewell to his high school sweetheart (Madison Burge).

On the heels of "Friday Night Lights" bow in 2011, Lauria starred opposite Jennifer Beals and Jason Clarke on the rookie police drama "The Chicago Code." The actor played a young homicide detective eager to follow in the footsteps of the police department's toughest veteran (Clarke). Created by Shawn Ryan, the brains behind FX's hit cop show "The Shield" (2002-08), "Chicago Code" garnered decent viewership when it premiered in February 2011, but quickly declined in the ratings. Fox cancelled the series after just 13 episodes. That same year, Lauria was snatched up by the USA Network to guest star on the action series "Burn Notice." He played an ex-Special Forces operative adjusting to his new civilian life in Miami, FL when he crosses paths with former covert operative-turned-investigator Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan). Stepping in as the new character on an established hit show, Lauria quickly gained a fan following and was rumored to return the following season as a series regular.

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