Celebrity Then And Now
Posted by Ryan Neal
Name: Matthew Broderick
Birthdate: March 1, 1962
Famous Years: 1983-Present
Currently Known For: Look Away, To Dust
|Networth: $45 Million||Famous For: Ferris Bueller's Day Off, The Lion King, WarGames|
March 1, 1962
Look Away, To Dust
Ferris Bueller's Day Off, The Lion King, WarGames
Movies have a way of having us identify with characters that we’re almost nothing like. For many of us that went through high school, Ferris Bueller was one of those characters. The slacker that just wanted to get away from school and have fun with the help of his girlfriend and neurotic best friend connected in only a way a John Hughes movie could. The role, of course, was played to perfection by longtime character actor Matthew Broderick.
Broderick grew up with a family that was seasoned in entertainment, having been born in Manhattan, New York on March 1, 1962. His father, James, was a TV actor in the 1970s while his mother worked as a playwright. Broderick decided that he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps, and from a very young age would start to appear in live productions, showing both acting and singing chops.
In 1983, Broderick’s career would start to take off as he garnered attention on both stage and screen. After having made one TV appearance on an episode of “Lou Grant” and in “Torch Song Trilogy” two years prior, Broderick would land the role of Eugene Jerome in the stage production of “Brighton Beach Memoirs”, which earned him his first Tony Award nomination and win for Best Feature Actor in a Play.
In the same year, Broderick made his film debut as he appeared in “Max Dugan Returns”, and later in 1983 had his first taste of big screen success with “WarGames” as main character David Lightman. “That happened purely by luck,” he said of getting accolades for two roles that happened almost at the same time. “I was auditioning for ‘WarGames’ the same time I was auditioning for ‘Brighton Beach’ and they both worked out and there was time to shoot before the play began...So it was just luck. I didn’t have some master plan to do both, it just worked out that way.”
Broderick would continue his stage career throughout the 1980s, taking starring roles in “Biloxi Blues” and “The Widow Claire”. You wouldn’t see much of him on television outside of a couple brief appearances, as he became a certified movie star. Following “WarGames”, Broderick would star in 1918 and “Ladyhawke” before having perhaps his most famous role to date in 1986’s “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” as the titular character.
The John Hughes directed film was a massive success and remains a fan favorite to this day, even if Broderick was worried about being able to distance himself from the character. “It’s not that I didn’t want to be typecast, I just wanted to make sure my career could withstand being identified with such an...iconic character,” he said. “It’s like when, back in the old days, if you were cast as Superman, it was hard for audiences to see you as anything else. So, as silly as it sounds now, that part almost had people thinking of me as that guy.”
It wouldn’t take long for Broderick to be able to get away from the mold of being Ferris Bueller, as he would finish out the last few years of the 1980s with a film adaptation of “Biloxi Blues”, along with films such as “Glory” and “Family Business”. Though he certainly wasn’t struggling for work, he had been trying to find a role that would be as successful as Ferris Bueller. That would come in 1994 when he voiced the adult version of the main character Simba in “The Lion King”, which became one of the highest grossing movies of all-time.
Broderick was suddenly a blockbuster star again, and found himself in big budget films such as “The Cable Guy”, “Godzilla” and “Inspector Gadget” throughout the 1990s. He also returned to the stage, earning his second Tony Award win for “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying”. In the 2000s, he’d continue his success on stage with “The Producers”, earning yet another nomination, and has had a dozen roles on stage since 2000.
Recent years have continued to see the 56 year old keep a busy schedule, as some of his more recent films have included “Tower Heist”, “Manchester By the Sea” and most recently in 2018 with “To Dust”. He also has upcoming roles in “Look Away” and “Wonder Park”, and has returned to making plenty of TV cameos on shows such as “BoJack Horseman” and “Modern Family”.
Outside of his acting roles, Broderick has also famously been married to actress Sarah Jessica Parker for more than 20 years. Along the way, the couple has had three children, including twins that were born in 2009. For Broderick, he’s found the right level of fame and being able to maintain a personal life that a lot of famous people don’t get to enjoy.
“I’ve been famous for almost more of my life than I haven’t been,” he said. “It’s part of my nature, which is eerie. Luckily, I’ve never been crazy big, where people can’t go out and need bodyguards. It’s a complicated thing and I enjoy a lot of it. I could have any table in Chicago and people wanted to buy me dinner all the time.”