Matthew Steven LeBlanc (/ləˈblɒŋk/; born July 25, 1967) is an American actor. He garnered global recognition with his portrayal of Joey Tribbiani in the NBC sitcom Friends and in its spin-off series, Joey. For his work on Friends, LeBlanc received three nominations at the Primetime Emmy Awards. He has also starred as a fictionalized version of himself in Episodes (2011–2017), for which he won a Golden Globe Award and received four additional Emmy Award nominations. He co-hosted Top Gear from 2016 to 2019. From 2016 to 2020, he played patriarch Adam Burns in the CBS sitcom Man with a Plan.

Matt LeBlanc
LeBlanc in 2013
Matthew Steven LeBlanc

(1967-07-25) July 25, 1967 (age 56)
Years active1987–present
Known for
Melissa McKnight
(m. 2003; div. 2006)
PartnerAndrea Anders (2006–2014)

Early life edit

LeBlanc was born at Newton-Wellesley Hospital in Newton, Massachusetts. His mother, Patricia (née Di Cillo), was an office manager; his father, Paul LeBlanc, was a mechanic and a veteran of the Vietnam War.[1][2] His father is of French-Canadian descent and his mother is of Italian ancestry, the daughter of immigrants from Arce, Lazio.[3] He attended Newton North High School, where he graduated in the same year as future comedian Louis C.K.[4] After high school he attended college at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston. He dropped out shortly after starting his second semester.[5]

LeBlanc moved to New York at the age of 17 to pursue a career in modeling, but he was told he was too short to be in the industry. His acting career began after a woman invited him to accompany her to an audition, where he ended up getting signed by her manager.[6] Although he had booked commercials and television and film roles before Friends, he was reportedly down to his last eleven dollars before landing the role of Joey Tribbiani.[7]

Career edit

1987–1994: Early career edit

LeBlanc at the 47th Primetime Emmy Awards, 1995

LeBlanc first appeared in a 1987 Heinz Tomato Ketchup commercial. In 1988, he starred in the television drama TV 101 for one season. In 1991, he had a recurring role on the hit Fox sitcom Married... with Children. He played Vinnie Verducci, a family friend of protagonist Al Bundy (Ed O'Neill) who briefly dates his daughter, Kelly (Christina Applegate). He also guest-starred in the first season of Red Shoe Diaries. LeBlanc starred in two short-lived Married... with Children spin-offs: Top of the Heap (1991) and Vinnie & Bobby (1992).

He appeared in two Bon Jovi music videos: "Miracle," from the Young Guns II soundtrack in 1990, and "Say It Isn't So" in 2000.[8] He also appeared in videos for Alanis Morissette's single "Walk Away," and Bob Seger's "Night Moves".[9]

1994–2006: Friends, Joey and film roles edit

LeBlanc found success as the dimwitted but lovable Joey Tribbiani on Friends; he played this character for 12 years — 10 seasons of Friends and two seasons of Joey. Friends was wildly successful, and LeBlanc (along with co-stars Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer) gained wide recognition among viewers. This ensemble situation comedy became a major hit for NBC, airing on Thursday nights for ten years.[10]

For his performance, LeBlanc received three Primetime Emmy Award nominations, three Golden Globe award nominations, and one Screen Actors Guild Award nomination. During this time he also appeared in the films Lookin' Italian (1994), Ed (1996), Lost in Space (1998), Charlie's Angels (2000), and its sequel, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (2003).

Following the cancellation of Joey, LeBlanc announced that he would be taking a one-year hiatus from acting on television, which eventually turned into five years.[11]

2011–present: Career revival edit

LeBlanc at the Golden Globes with Meryl Streep, 2012

From 2011, LeBlanc appeared as a fictionalized version of himself in Episodes,[12] a television series about an American remake of a fictional British television series.[13][14] The series is written by Friends co-creator David Crane and his partner Jeffrey Klarik.[15] At the 69th Golden Globe Awards in 2012, LeBlanc won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a television series, musical, or comedy, and was nominated for an additional four Primetime Emmy Awards.[16]

In February 2012, LeBlanc appeared in the second episode of the eighteenth series of Top Gear, where he set the fastest lap time in the "Star in a Reasonably Priced Car" segment in a Kia Cee'd. Lapping at 1:42.1, he beat the show's previous record-holder, Rowan Atkinson, by 0.1 seconds.[9] He also appeared in the fourth episode of the nineteenth season to race the New Kia Cee'd, and beat his previous time.

In February 2016, the BBC announced LeBlanc had signed on to become one of the new Top Gear hosts,[17] signing a two-year deal later that year.[18] In May 2018, he announced that he was leaving the series in order to spend more time with his family and friends in the US.[19] He and Rory Reid were replaced by new co-hosts Paddy McGuinness and Andrew Flintoff in the twenty-seventh series in October 2018.

LeBlanc played the lead role in the CBS sitcom Man with a Plan, which began airing in 2016 until it was cancelled in 2020.[20]

Personal life edit

LeBlanc has an extensive interest in cars, and worked as a carpenter before acting.[21] He married Melissa McKnight, a British-born American model and a divorced single mother of two children, in May 2003.[22] In 1997, they were introduced to each other by McKnight's friend, Kelly Phillips (wife of actor Lou Diamond Phillips). LeBlanc proposed to her a year later.[22] Their daughter, born in 2004, began suffering seizures at eight months old. By the time she was two years old, the condition, thought to be due to cortical dysplasia, had mostly subsided.[22][23] LeBlanc and McKnight divorced in October 2006, citing irreconcilable differences.[24]

LeBlanc met actress Andrea Anders in 2004 while she was co-starring as his friend and eventual love interest on Joey and the pair eventually embarked on a relationship which was confirmed in 2006 following LeBlanc's split from his wife Melissa McKnight.[25][26] After over eight years as a couple, LeBlanc announced at the start of 2015 that he and Anders had been broken up for several months.[27]

LeBlanc primarily resides in Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles.[28]

Filmography edit

Film edit

Year Title Role Notes
1987 Doll Day Afternoon GI Joe Film debut, short film
1993 Grey Knight Terhue
Red Shoe Diaries 3: Another Woman's Lipstick Kyle Segment: "Just Like That"
1994 Lookin' Italian Anthony Manetti
1996 Ed Jack 'Deuce’ Cooper
1997 Red Shoe Diaries 7: Burning Up Jed Segment: "Kidnap"
1998 Lost in Space Major Don West
2000 Charlie's Angels Jason Gibbs
2001 All the Queen's Men O'Rourke
2003 Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle Jason Gibbs
2010 Jonah Hex Executive producer
2014 Lovesick Charlie Darby

Television edit

Year Title Role Notes
1988–1989 TV 101 Chuck Bender Series regular (13 episodes)
1989 Just the Ten of Us Todd Murphy 2 episodes
1990 Anything to Survive Billy Burton Television movie
Monsters Tommy Episode: "Shave and a Haircut, Two Bites"
1991 Married... with Children Vinnie Verducci 4 episodes
Top of the Heap Main cast (7 episodes)
1992 Vinnie & Bobby Main cast (7 episodes)
1992–1993 Red Shoe Diaries Tom's Brother, Jed Cody/Kyle 2 episodes
1993 Class of '96 Frank Goodman Episode: "Bright Smoke, Cold Fire"
1994 Reform School Girl Vince Television movie
1994–2004 Friends Joey Tribbiani Main cast (236 episodes)
2004–2006 Joey Main cast (46 episodes)
2011–2017 Episodes Fictionalized version of himself[12] Main cast (41 episodes)
2012 Top Gear Himself (guest) 1 episode
2013 Web Therapy Nick Jericho Web series; 3 episodes
Web Therapy Television series; 2 episodes
2015 The Prince Television movie; producer
2016–2019 Top Gear Himself (presenter) 24 episodes (series 23, 24, 25, 26)
2016–2020 Man with a Plan Adam Burns Main cast (69 episodes); also executive producer
2021 Friends: The Reunion Himself HBO Max special; also executive producer[29]
Top Gear: A Tribute to Sabine Schmitz Himself 1 episode

Music videos edit

Year Title Role Notes
1990 "Miracle" Friend
1991 "Into the Great Wide Open" Young man
"Walk Away" Boyfriend
1994 "Night Moves" Young man
2000 "Say It Isn't So" Unknown

Awards and nominations edit

References edit

  1. ^ Tauber, Michelle (May 19, 2003). "Way to Go, Joey!". People. Retrieved May 3, 2021.
  2. ^ "Matt LeBlanc takes his Italian origins to his heart". Italo-Americano. October 16, 2015. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
  3. ^ Rafanelli, Stephanie (May 17, 2014). "Matt LeBlanc: 'I have an ego, but I try to leave it at the door'". The Daily Telegraph. London, England. Archived from the original on January 7, 2015. Retrieved January 7, 2015.
  4. ^ Radsken, Jill (September 20, 2015). "Louis C.K. and Matt LeBlanc, way back when". The Boston Globe. Retrieved July 23, 2021.
  5. ^ "Joey Was Here – WIT Magazine". Retrieved May 30, 2021.
  6. ^ "Matt LeBlanc". IMDb. Retrieved May 30, 2021.
  7. ^ "Matt LeBlanc Was Down to $11 Before Friends". E! Online. February 1, 2019. Retrieved May 30, 2021.
  8. ^ "Bon Jovi – Say It Isn' So". YouTube. Archived from the original on December 12, 2021. Retrieved May 22, 2011.
  9. ^ a b "Top Gear; Series 18, Episode 2". BBC Two. Retrieved February 5, 2012.
  10. ^ "Matt LeBlanc Biography – life, family, children, parents, name, story, wife, school, mother – Newsmakers Cumulation". Notable Biographies. Retrieved December 1, 2017.
  11. ^ "Matt LeBlanc on Life after 'Friends' and Taking a Six Year Hiatus". The Hollywood Reporter. June 27, 2014. Retrieved March 30, 2016.
  12. ^ a b Hunt, Stacey Wilson (August 17, 2011). "Emmys 2011: Matt LeBlanc on Playing Matt LeBlanc". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 7, 2023.
  13. ^ Rampton, James (January 6, 2011). "Episodes: The one where Matt LeBlanc plays himself...". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on May 12, 2022. Retrieved March 2, 2011.
  14. ^ "Matt LeBlanc Spoofs Himself On Comedy 'Episodes'". Access Hollywood. January 4, 2011. Retrieved March 2, 2011.
  15. ^ Parks, Tim (September 30, 2009). "LeBlanc to star as himself on 'Episodes'". Digital Spy. Retrieved September 30, 2009.
  16. ^ "Nominations & Winners". Golden Globes. Archived from the original on January 8, 2010. Retrieved January 16, 2012.
  17. ^ "Matt LeBlanc joins Top Gear!". Top Gear. February 4, 2016. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  18. ^ "Top Gear: Matt LeBlanc signs two-series deal". BBC News. September 26, 2016. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
  19. ^ "Matt LeBlanc to leave Top Gear". BBC News. May 31, 2018. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
  20. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (June 21, 2016). "CBS Sets Fall 2016 Premiere Dates, Slates JonBenet Ramsey Limited Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  21. ^ "Hiking with Kevin". YouTube. January 31, 2019.
  22. ^ a b c Wulff, Jennifer (April 17, 2006). "Matt Leblanc's Surprise Split". People. Vol. 65, no. 15. Retrieved November 3, 2010.
  23. ^ Sawer, Patrick (February 6, 2016). "New Top Gear presenter Matt LeBlanc on his daughter, his marriage breakdown and his darkest years". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on January 11, 2022. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
  24. ^ "Matt LeBlanc's Other Woman". People. April 6, 2006. Retrieved January 6, 2021.
  25. ^ "Matt LeBlanc's Other Woman". People. April 6, 2006.
  26. ^ Wulff, Jennifer (April 17, 2006). "Matt Leblanc's Surprise Split". People.
  27. ^ Krishnan, Joe (January 7, 2015). "Matt LeBlanc announces split from partner Andrea Anders after eight years". Evening Standard.
  28. ^ "Matt LeBlanc's Pacific Palisades Mansion is Selling for $8.75 Million". Forbes.
  29. ^ Andreeva, Nellie; Petski, Denise (February 21, 2020). "'Friends' Reunion Special Officially A Go At HBO Max With Cast Returning". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 24, 2020.

External links edit