Nobody knows just how fickle Hollywood success can be like comedy actor Matt LeBlanc. Playing the dopey but lovable Joey Tribbiani in ‘Friends’ saw LeBlanc become a Hollywood A-Lister, but then when the hit show ended and he reprised the role in the ill-fated ‘Joey’ the fans didn’t follow, and that shows demise due to poor ratings led to LeBlanc being left out in the acting wilderness for five years as he failed to land even one single role.
Matthew ‘Matt’ Steven LeBlanc was born on the 25th July, 1967 in Newtown, Massachusetts. His father, Paul LeBlanc was a mechanic and his mother, Patricia was an office manager. LeBlanc’s interest in acting didn’t come until after he had graduated from High School. After graduating from Newtown North High School he attended the Wentworth Institute of Technology but dropped out after just one semester. He had been working as a model but found a passion for acting after he took some drama classes.
He moved from Florida to New York to pursue his newfound dream and soon he found himself landing roles in several stage productions before then appearing in the video clip for Jon Bon Jovi’s single ‘Miracle’. Since then he has also appeared in video clips for Alanis Morissette, Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers and Bob Seger.
He landed his first television role when he was cast to play Chuck Bender in ‘TV 101’, before then having smaller roles in ‘Just The Ten Of Us’, ‘Monsters’ and ‘Anything To Survive’. He then played Vinnie Verducci in ‘Married With Children’ before reprising the same role in its two spin-offs ‘Top Of The Heap’ and ‘Vinnie & Bobby’.
After also performing in little known films such as ‘The Killing Box’ and ‘Lookin’ Italian’ he soon landed the role that made him a household name… the role of Joey Tribbiani in one of the most successful comedy shows of all time ‘Friends’.
The fame he found on ‘Friends’ soon saw LeBlanc landing roles in notable films such as ‘Ed’, ‘Lost In Space’, ‘Charlie’s Angels’, ‘All The Queen’s Men’ and ‘Charlies Angels: Full Throttle’. So successful was the character of Joey that when ‘Friends’ ended in 2004 the show’s producers quickly developed a spin-off named ‘Joey’ which saw the character of Joey move from New York to Los Angles to pursue his acting career. But the show never found the success that ‘Friends’ did and it was axed after just two seasons.
Alarmingly after the demise of ‘Joey’ it took LeBlanc five years to land his next television gig, where he played himself in ‘Episodes’. Once again he has found fame with the show and this had led him to appearing on ‘Top Gear’ twice where he has astounded the cast with some brilliant driving skills in their celebrity challenges.
When it comes to his personal life LeBlanc married model Melissa ‘Missy’ McKnight in May 2003. The couple had one child together, Marina (born in 2004), but their marriage fell apart in 2006 when LeBlanc admitted to some ‘irresponsible behaviour’ with a stripper in Canada. McKnight and LeBlanc divorced in 2006. LeBlanc then married his ‘Joey’ co-star Andrea Anders in November 2006 and they are still married today.
Once again LeBlanc is part of the Hollywood A-List. His role in ‘Episodes’ has audiences laughing every week and he is even set to appear on the big screen in 2013 in ‘Lovesick’ alongside Ali Larter and comedic genius Chevy Chase. Yes Matt LeBlanc is once again at the top of his game.