Born on October 8, 1970 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Matthew Paige Damon is an American actor, producer, and screenwriter. He is the second son of Kent, a stockbroker, and Nancy, a professor at Lesley University. Damon has one older brother. At age two, his parents divorced, and he lived with their mother in a six-family communal house.
Damon’s education started at Cambridge Alternative School and Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, where he performed exceptionally as a student. His introduction to acting was taking drama classes in high school and performing in several theater productions. At age 18, Damon got a small role in Mystic Pizza (1988) and applied to Harvard University as an English Major.
Matt Damon recalls starting his application to the University with the words, “For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be an actor.” After his admission, he said it was hard to turn the offer down. That he got accepted into Harvard is a testament to his brilliance and creative excellence. Damon lived in Lowell House and belonged to the class of 1992. On his first day at Harvard, he remembers being impressed by the school’s environment.
During his time there, Damon got small roles as an actor in student theater productions and the TNT original film Rising Son. In a playwriting class, he failed to follow an assignment’s instructions to write a one-act play. Instead, he submitted the first act of a three-act movie. After fearing he would flunk out of the class, he was shocked at his teacher’s encouragement and even got an A. Damon belonged to Delphic Club, one of Harvard’s first-rate Final Clubs.
For Damon, acting was the ultimate goal, and he would sometimes skip classes for auditions. Eventually, he dropped out of Harvard after landing a role as the lead actor for the 1993 film Geronimo: An American Legend. However, he did not get the big break he was hoping for. In the early 1990s, Damon and his childhood friend, Ben Affleck wrote Good Will Hunting, based on a scene from his assignment back in Harvard. The film, released in 1997, launched him into stardom and won him an Academy Award for Original Screenplay.
Damon has since acted in several movies, including the popular Jason Bourne thrillers and Ocean’s trilogy. He is married to Luciana Bozán Barroso and has four daughters. Although Damon never completed his English degree, he returned to the school to receive the Harvard Arts Medal in 2013, an award for remarkable excellence in arts.